Rules for groups & meetings

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

We seek to glorify Christ and live together as family looking to serve one another and our King. No decision we make or conclusion we come to is about what “I want”. We are follower of Jesus, so we are all about asking God what HE wants and following Him.

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Many people feel ”I can’t ask that, it’s a stupid question”. This can feeling be magnified if we have seen others laugh or ridicule someone for asking a question which they think “everyone should know the answer to”. It is a good rule to establish and reinforce that all questions are valid and laughing at other people’s questions is a ‘no-no’.

Avoid focusing on what a text means ‘to me'

Often people disagree on what a particular text means ‘to me’. It is not important what the text means ‘to’ any one of us, what is important is what God is saying to us through it. Remember the general rule is that none of the Bible was written TO us, but it was all written FOR us. That means that understanding what God is saying to the original readers and the intent of the original writer is foundational to how we should understand it. What is important is not what it means to us, but how we apply its teaching into our daily lives.

No ONE translation of the Bible has priority

(they all have strengths and weaknesses). Bible translation is a complicated business, and there are several translations to choose from. Some are literal ‘word-for-word’ translations, which can be ‘clunky’ to read. Other versions are not really translations at all, but are, rather, paraphrases which in essence ‘re-tell’ the Bible using modern language, expressions and idioms. They are more readable, but do not always accurately translate what the text actually says. A good rule is to steer away from paraphrases and plump for a translation when studying. Some of the better translations are : KJV/NKJV; NIV; ESV; NLT; ASB/NASB; RSV/NRSV. Allowing different translations across the group can add to the understanding of a text. Use of a Bible App on a smartphone can give easy access to multiple translations AND make searching words and referencing the original languages so much easier. Three good translations are ESV, NIV, NLT. Going to just one specific translation of the Bible because it’s the only one which says something puts you on very thin hermeneutical ice.

One small point: There are some translations of the Bible which purport to be Christian, but which are created by groups which teach and deny historic Christianity. The most common of these is the “New World” translation which is produced by the Watchtower society. Such translations are NOT suitable Bibles to use.


No ONE person has priority.

Spend any time at all in a house group and you will, sooner or later, come across someone who dominates the group they are in. Often they don’t even realise they are doing it, but frequently it feels like whatever experiences you have had, or what struggles you have gone through, they have had it worse, or harder. When such a person dominates a group, the others often stop contributing and sharing. The group should try to nurture an environment where all voices are heard. This is, or can be, a real problem, and it has the potential to really cause upset if handled insensitively. So, how you do that, depends on the people concerned and the dynamics in the group. At the very least, impress on the group the importance of allowing others to speak.

It’s OK to disagree.

What is not OK is damaging one another in the conversations we have. It is perfectly normal to find people in a group disagreeing about things. Fighting and falling out does nothing positive in the body of Christ. Disagree with people all you like, but NEVER make an ad hominem attack. In other words, even if you criticise and challenge beliefs, never dismiss or devalue people. It is NOT ok to criticise or attack someone’s character in a discussion. Even in the midst of discussion we must remember that, despite any disagreement we may have, we are called to love and prefer one another. One fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23) — so even in a disagreement, no one gets to claim they couldn’t control themselves.

No Ultimatums.

No one gets to say or imply to anyone, “If you don’t do or I don’t get what I want, I’m leaving.” If that’s you, leave now. Because if we listen to you, we’re no longer being led by Jesus–we’re allowing ourselves to be led by you. You didn’t die for the church, Jesus did, so we follow HIM, not you.

Go Back