Paraclesis: Journeying Together

Coming alongside others in small groups

I saw an advert for a church recently that mentioned warm fellowship – it was definitely intended to be an incentive to draw people in. I don’t think the offer of ‘fellowship’ is really that enticing for many people … what is fellowship other than a hurried cup of coffee after a church service, before everyone rushes home to tend to roasting potatoes?

In Acts, Luke writes about how the Early Church made fellowship a priority.

‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’ (Acts 2:42)

Why is fellowship important?

Without getting too deep into a lesson in ancient Greek, there’s a word used in the New Testament that means fellowship, which is koinonia. Two main ideas stem from it: ‘to share together, take part together’, and ‘to share with’, the act of giving to others. But how do we effectively share with one another?

I think that small groups are essential for developing fellowship in a church. To share with and care for one another. Yet it’s often easier said than done, which is why teaching found in series such as Paraclesis: Journeying Together is so important. To learn how to journey with someone, to have real, effective and honest fellowship with one another, just as God calls us to do:

‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.’ (2 Corinthians 1:4, The Message)

The main premise of Paraclesis: Journeying Together is for people to share what they have learnt through their life experiences with other people, in order to help them through the challenges they are facing.

Paraclesis: Journeying Together sets up churches and small groups to experience and practice true fellowship with teaching, resources and creative ideas. It teaches us to come alongside one another instead of just standing side-by-side each other at the coffee morning.

For more information, visit www.paraclesis.org.uk

About Emily Owen

Emily Bio Pic smEmily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.

Paraclesis: Journeying Together – Introduction Pack

Paraclesis: Journeying Together is a fresh approach to local church pastoral care. The Paraclesis initiative has been created as a response to the felt need for more care and support in the Church today.

Scripture shows that it is God’s heart that we should love and come alongside one another just as He comes alongside us.

‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.’ (2 Corinthians 1:4, The Message)

Developed by Trevor J. Partridge, the Paraclesis: Journeying Together six-week series aims to place caring at the heart of the local church  in order to support those in need.

CWR has developed a suite of both online and print resources to help churches access the gift of experience that is hidden within their congregations and enable people to come alongside one another. By embracing the heart of Paraclesis and benefitting from all the accompanying resources, the Church can develop a fresh culture of care.

How to start your journey

If you like the sound of Paraclesis: Journeying Together, why not introduce it to your leadership team and church? We have compiled a free Introduction Pack, which you will receive once you sign up. You can use the free Introduction Pack to let your church leadership know what Paraclesis: Journeying Together is all about and what to do next.

The Introduction Pack includes an Introductory Booklet containing an Introduction Booklet with samples of a full sermon, a sermon outline and a small group study, as well as extracts from the Daily Guide workbook and the companion book Love With Skin On. A DVD is also included with explanatory videos, perfect for introducing Paraclesis: Journeying Together to your church leadership team.

By signing up, you will have immediate access online to all of these resources and more. Currently  available in the UK and Republic of Ireland, we plan to release the six-week series internationally in 2017.

Find out more at www.paraclesis.org.uk

Paraclesis: Journeying Together for your small group

As a member of a small group for around a year, I have really enjoyed watching the relationships within our group grow and develop as we have met each week. Although I have known some of the members for many years, I have found that a totally different dynamic has evolved over time. We have created a very honest and comfortable environment where we can openly discuss and challenge one another. And so it is for this reason that when I found out about Paraclesis: Journeying Together, CWR’s new six-week series that offers the Church a fresh perspective on pastoral care, I knew it was going to be a great opportunity to once again challenge and grow as a small group, alongside others in our church.

The word ‘Paraclesis’ is one you may or may not have heard of in your lifetime. I personally had absolutely no idea what it meant until recently. It turns out that this word is actually built around the Greek word Paraklesis and means ‘one who comes alongside’, and it is this exact definition that has been used to unfold Paraclesis: Journeying Together. Pastor and co-founder of CWR, Trevor J. Partridge, has worked with CWR to develop this fresh initiative as a response to the felt need for more care and support in the Church today. It has been shaped and grown over the last 15 years and maintains the following Scripture at its core:

‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.’ (2 Corinthians 1:4, The Message)

It explains on the website (www.paraclesis.org.uk) that there are weekly videos and small group study guides for each week, as well as a Small Group Leader’s Guide, which provides more practical ideas on how to help everyone journey together, in the way that God journeys alongside us. I am excited to see how Paraclesis: Journeying Together is really going to transform both our small group and our church’s culture of care, so that we can enable each other to use our personal experiences to turn into gifts of support and care for others around us.

To find out more about Paraclesis: Journeying Together, click here.

 

About Charlotte Moore

Charlotte is a recent graduate, who is now working as a Digital Marketing Assistant at CWR. She hopes to continue to build her career in digital marketing and web content management and when she isn’t at CWR, she is playing drums in her local church or planning her next holiday to an exciting new destination.