I have recently moved and I have been to my local church a few times. The Sunday service is fab and very inclusive to people who are new church attenders and for those (like me) who have questions and who just generally want to know a bit more.
So house groups have been mentioned, and I am wondering what they are like? My DP is from a committed Christian family background wheras this is all quite new to me. I am interested in knowing more but I don't want to go to a house group and look like an idiot, but then neither do I want to sit there silently all night!
So, what are they like? What sort of things are talked about? How many people in a group? If I go, does everyone then have to come to my house at some point or are they usually led by the same people? Will I need to revise!?
It really does depend on the individual church and the individual home group. There is no formula as to how it has to be.
However, in my experience home groups are generally very laid back, a few people (ranging from 6-10 ish) getting together to study the bible - in depth or not, chat about how it applies to today, maybe pray together for each other (but never a pressure to pray 'out loud' ime) and often simply socialise.
Sometimes they are held only in the home of the leaders, sometimes they move round the group members' homes, so that people don't have to get babysitters every time for eg.
People in home groups are from all different walks of life, there is no expected norm. There are new christians, non christians, people who have been christians for ever. There should be no expectation of knowledge or wisdom. You can sit and take it all in and not say anything. You can ask any questions.
This is all ideally, of course. I don't know your church set up or home group leaders, but most would try to do something like this with welcome for all.
When we've led home groups we've mainly drunk wine, eaten cake and asked ourselves difficult questions, without necessarily coming up with answers.
Hope this helps, and hope your home group is enjoyable and relaxed for you. Glad your new church is so good.
Hi pingulingo! Good name by the way. I'd go along with what Madhairday says. In our housegroup we tend to take in turns hosting and leading sessions, but there is no pressure on anyone that doesn't want to. At first I spent a lot of time either saying nothing or asking questions along the lines of "I just don't get it all!". Sometimes all the church housegroups are asked to study a particular book and sometimes we pick our own topics.
Do you mind if I ask what your church does to make new church attenders feel welcome and that it's OK to ask questions. I found it all very hard when I started going to church and was afraid to ask things. I'd love to be able to help improve that situation for newcomers, but don't really know where to start.
thanks for both your replies, it does sounds quite relaxed and sounds less intimidating then I feared! I've really only had a brief conversation about the housegroups my church runs, and I do know they have a group coordinator who I can talk to and who can give me more info on the different groups that run, maybe he can point me to a group with cake too!