Formations are a group of 4 people who meet once every 3 weeks or so. They exist to help us get to know a handful of people really well and to grow as disciples.
John, Paul, George & Ringo
Ron, Brick, Brian & Champ
Carrie, Miranda, Samantha & Charlotte
De La Soul may have professed 3 to be the magic number but clearly the best things come in four.
Formations are the place where we are supported and we support others, helping us all to get the best out of the life we were created for. Formations aren’t about trying to crowbar yet another thing into our diaries; they’re not about ticking a box. Formations aren’t about the hour or so you meet up for, but about setting ourselves up well for the hours and days in between.
How to get started
Grab 3 people (of the same gender) who you like and actually want to spend time with. Pick a venue (somewhere you can pray and
not be disturbed), and pop a date in your diary. Once every 3 weeks or so should do it.
If you don’t know many people at St Mary’s yet then we strongly recommend doing the Life Course first. Once you’ve done the Life Course then we recommend coming along to Home, and other events like church lunches & socials, that will help you to get to know others. From there you can create a Formation group.
For those who are able to meet every 3 weeks or so, we recommend beginning by meeting up socially. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, meet to specifically talk about your work lives, home lives, relationships and most importantly your relationship with God. For some people the pressures on their time mean they have to meet less regularly or perhaps can only meet for an hour at a time. If this is you, don’t be put off! To work well, each Formation needs to fit in with the lives of the people in it.
Relationships of any depth take time but we recommend throwing yourself in from the start as much as you can so you all get the most out of it.
So what does a Formation look like?
Begin by briefly praying & inviting Jesus’ presence.
Each take a short amount of time to update on how you are.
Take a moment to silently give stuff to God – this could be anxiety, disappointment, sin, pain etc. Then take it in turns to lay hands on each other and invite the Spirit to come.
A Formation could only take an hour, while others may prefer to meet over a whole evening – this all depends on the individual group and what they want from their Formation.
Saying all this, at St Mary’s we don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach. You need to find a group that works best for you. As long as it serves to help you be known and to know others, and for you to grow in your relationship with God, then we don’t actually care what it’s called or what it looks like. Explore all the options and find the best fit for you.