It has been almost two years since I first started coming to The Globe Church. Settling into the pace of London, whilst also balancing the challenges of a new job, is hard! The result? I had less time and energy than I expected to build deep relationships with my new church family.
A year ago I started to use One21 during a morning men’s small group session that I realised how useful it could be. It helps me build the deep and fruitful relationships which point each other to Christ. Part of its simplicity is having pre-prepared questions that bring us back to Sunday’s sermon- we can share our joys and challenges responding to the text throughout the week.
My job requires me to work in different locations around the city, it could change every couple of months. One21 provides the flexibility to sit down whenever people are free; we can dive straight into a study with minimal preparation. I’ve used One21 in a different way; morning meet-ups in coffee shops, lunch outside during the summers, even in the time after work before Globe Focus!
One aspect which I’ve found very useful is that One21 works in groups and 1-2-1s easily and interchangeable. For instance, I’ve recently had to start working in another new part of London. The implication was that I wasn’t able to continue with my previous One21 which met over lunch. But, I was able to find another Globe member who works close to my new office and was able to meet-up and work through the topics we’ve been studying on Sundays.
A unique part of church life at The Globe Church that genuinely helps build relationships is eating together. Come to a church service or small group and there will be a shared meal. This even comes through into One21; over one of the twenty-one meals you’ll have in a week meet with someone to do One21! There's no excuse for me! I get to have a meal with someone from church and get the added benefit of spiritual nourishment too!
Over the last 12 months that I’ve noticed that there are a different way of using the study questions. For example, I’ve recently started a new 1-2-1 routine and we’re able to delve much deeper into the text together. I find these types of session useful for reflecting more deeply on my response to the sermon. I also find these types of studies more comfortable to discuss and pray through any more personal struggles which the sermon raised. Whereas, when I use One21 in a group, I’m blown away by how many different angles we’ll find and to look at the same truth and variety of different responses we’re able to share in relation to the passage. It really serves as a crystal clear testament to the benefits of belonging to the body of Christ.
One of the things that I have begun to see clearly is a cementing of the church’s core values into our church life; be that sermons, ministries, or time together. I have experienced most growth over the past year around the Relational and Discipling values and One21 has been a significant part of that.