Praying God’s priorities 1 Thess 1

19/5/24

Dear Growth Group leaders

When I was reporting on our great progress as groups to Vestry last week, I was able to say around 47 members of our church have attended a growth group in the last 3-4 weeks. This is wonderful in many ways: one way being that we are all growing in prayer!

This week our focus is praying God’s priorities: especially his priority to see people turn to trust God and live for Him. 

A slightly different ending this time – we’re getting super practical.

Picking up on the good suggestions of our Mission team, I’ve suggested in the attached questions that we land this study with an exercise in identifying for one individual each that we can be praying for as a group each week in the months to come. 

Below are the questions I’ve written, as well as a 20 min chat about these with Jaden.

Go well this week. I’m praying for you.

in Christ, Mark

Supporting our Ministry Interns

May 2024

We give thanks to God for Jaden & Zoe, and Katie & Tim with Teddy. How can we support Jaden and Katie as they train and grow and exercise ministry among us?

One obvious way is by encouragement: as you are able, spur them on.

Another obvious way is to pray. Ask God that his Spirit would equip Jaden and Katie with all that they need to serve in ministry and spur on our mission as a church.

A third way, is to financially support them individually. Three points of clarification on this:

1) Together as a church we already are financially supporting Jaden and Katie. Your giving week by week enables us to pay our bills, our Vicar, and just over half of each Intern’s stipend. And Martin announced at the AGM, that money has been generously provided to guarantee that two interns are able to be supported by our church for the next year. Praise the Lord!

2) Internship training involves personal fundraising as a skill for ministry. Each Intern raises just under half their stipend by personal fundraising among family, friends, colleagues and contacts.

3) If you would like to assist Jaden and Katie with the personal fundraising part of their stipend, they would warmly welcome this. To do so, you could send through a bank transfer to our Redeemer Account, naming the person you wish to support in the reference field. Our bank details are below.

Or you could speak to, or email Jaden or Katie or the Wardens or Mark: contact us.

Thanks for your warm welcome to both families in recent weeks /months.

in Christ, Mark

Praising God in our prayers

10/5/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 

Hope your week on Hebrews 4 and Psalm 25 has gone well. Thanks for your GG reports with the positive comments. 

Please find attached our questions for next week: starting in Psalm 96 and comparing with Revelation 5:6-14 – an ideal week to split into two groups. 

A chat with Jaden about these questions is below, as are the questions.

If I can help further, please get onto me. 

I’m praying for you. 

in Christ, Mark 

His resurrection body guarantees ours

4/4/24

Dear GG Leaders.

I hope you (like me) have had an excellent week with God’s people discovering more of the riches of the resurrection. I’m so glad we’ve got these four weeks to dig into this chapter.

Please find attached some questions for next week’s passage 1 Cor 15:35-49.

And below is the link to the chat concerning these questions.

Programming Note: this little podcast is now having a short holiday. We’ll return with our new Prayer series late in April, for your Growth Groups week commencing 29 April.

As per my earlier message, here is the plan for the coming weeks:

MondayGrowth Group passageSunday sermon, passageNotes
8 April1 Cor 15:35-4914 Apr.1 Cor 15:35-49 Spiritual bodiesResurrections bodies then
15 AprilGG Break.  [1Co15:50-58]21 Apr.1 Cor 15:50-58 Labour in the LordResurrection ministry now
22 AprilGG Break.  28 Apr. Ephesians 1:1-14Jaden preaching God’s big plan
29 AprilPrayer passage 15 May. Prayer series beginsOur plan is to spend 6-7 weeks…
6 MayPrayer passage 212 May. Prayer series continues…on prayer convictions & practice

We’re due to have another GG Leaders meeting on Sunday 5 May.

In Christ, Mark

1 Corinthians 15:12-34 Since he has been raised…

Dear Growth Group leaders,

Happy Easter to you. Praise the Lord that Christ is risen.

Find attached some questions and the link to our podcast for our next section of 1 Corinthians 15:12-34.

This week feels like it should be a holiday week – but as school resumes after this long weekend, and because we’ve only been going in our groups 6 weeks, my thought is to continue until the school holidays in later April.

You are in the best position to work out what to do with your group. Perhaps you want to keep charging on until winter! I find a short autumn break helps maintain energy through term 2.

My plans, including for what we’ll be preaching when are as follows:

MondayGrowth Group passageSunday sermon, passageNotes
1 April1 Cor 15:12-347 Apr. 1 Cor 15:12-34 Since he has been raised…Resurrection life now
8 April1 Cor 15:35-4914 Apr.1 Cor 15:35-49 Spiritual bodiesResurrections bodies then
15 AprilGG Break.  [1Co15:50-58]21 Apr.1 Cor 15:50-58 Labour in the LordResurrection ministry now
22 AprilGG Break.  28 Apr. Ephesians 1:1-14Jaden preaching God’s big plan
29 AprilPrayer passage 15 May. Prayer series beginsOur plan is to spend 6-7 weeks…
6 MayPrayer passage 212 May. Prayer series continues…on prayer convictions & practice

Hope this helps?

We’re due to have another GG Leaders meeting on Sunday 5 May.

In Christ, Mark

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 A message to hold onto

22/3/24

Dear Growth Group leaders

Hope you’ve had a valuable time in Luke 18-20 with your groups these last 7 weeks.

As we come to Easter this week ahead, we’re moving to a new series in 1 Corinthians 15 called ‘made alive’.

On Good Friday, I’ll major on the substitutionary atonement of the cross 1 Cor 15:3.

On Easter Sunday, I’ll preach 15:1-11 Paul’s good news to hold onto.

Find below the questions that Jaden and I have drafted for our groups for our studies this week.

A reminder to invite your group to join us for a Good Friday lunch at Annie & Gerhard’s place (friends welcome).

On our website is also our podcast/ chat about these questions.

Thanks for your group reports and feedback.

in Christ, Mark

Luke 20:20-47 Honour the Son

18/3/24

Dear Growth Group leaders,

Please find below some questions and discussion for our time in Luke 20 this week.

My apologies this has come late to you this time.

FYI this is our final week in Luke’s gospel for this series. We’ll return and complete Luke at another time. From here, we move to 1 Corinthians 15. We’ll be reading the crucifixion narrative alongside 1 Cor 15:1-8 on Good Friday. And we’ll read the resurrection accounts as we step through the whole chapter in 5 weeks from Easter Sunday.

God-willing, we’ll have some reading guides produced for this, and GG Study questions for this resurrection series later this week.

in Christ, Mark

Luke 20:1-19 Authority contested

Dear Growth Group leaders,

We’re getting into the less comfortable parts of Luke’s gospel from here on. This week a confronting challenge about authority.

Jaden and I have produced some questions. And recorded a chat which should hopefully give you confidence to adjust the questions to suit your group.

Go well this week ahead.

And please pray that we can establish a sixth group just outside the city.

In Christ, Mark  

Recognised by his own? Luke 19: 28 – 48 for Growth Groups

1/3/24

Dear Growth Group leaders,

I hope you’ve been finding these passages in Luke challenging in a good way?

Certainly its clear that Jesus has turned up the temperature when it comes to the urgency and significance of responding to him rightly.

In our next passage, one of the big issues raised is precisely about that: recognising Him in the full – honouring sense of that word. Where the first half seems to rightly recognise & honour him, the second half is so drastically different. This tells us lots about the people he came to save. That he perseveres (rather than cut and run) tells us much about Him!

I’m praying that God, by word and Spirit will be transforming us as we meet. Go well with your groups. See below for the questions and podcast chat with Jaden.

in Christ, Mark

Luke 19:28-48 Growth Group questions chat.

Luke 19:11-27 Faithful servants?

Dear Growth Group leaders,

Thanks for the good start you’ve made with your groups.


And thanks too for your prayers for a sixth group to begin. We’re hoping to see another group commence, perhaps in later March, somewhere just outside the city, such as in Prebbleton.

Please find attached some questions that Jaden and I have drafted for our next passage, Luke 19:11-27 Faithful Servants?

It’s the great parable of the minas, which is likely supposed to jolt us into (and assure us of continuing in) faithful service of Christ while we wait for his coming.

See what you make of these questions, and by all means add / change to suit you and your group.

Here’s our latest Word Dwell Richly episode where we talk about these questions.

In Christ, Mark