The goal of CORE is to gather regularly with 4-5 people of the same gender, to help each other make disciples of Jesus. These gatherings are shaped by four practices – confession, others, reading, and encouragement – which groups journey through together.
• How do I join a CORE group?
There are two ways:
You can either form your own group; ask 3 other adults (it doesn’t have to be someone you know well, it can be someone older or younger, someone from a completely different walk of life than you) and agree to form a group together. Then nominate one person from your CORE group to complete an ‘I’ve joined a CORE group’ form which can be found on our website on behalf of the group.
Or, a really great option, if you are unsure about who to form a group with, you can be allocated to a CORE group, simply complete an ‘I want to join a CORE group’ form online, and we will facilitate you joining a CORE group based on your availability preferences.
• Who can be in a CORE group?
There is only one qualifying criteria: you want to become more like Jesus. If you do not have that desire, please don’t join a CORE group.
• How many people are in each CORE group?
CORE groups will have no more than 5 adults. Most groups will consist of 4 adults, leaving room for an additional person to be added for missional or pastoral reasons: someone becomes a Christian, joins our Church, wants to join a CORE group etc.
• Who decides when, where and how often my CORE group meets?
You do. Gather with your CORE group members and agree a day and time that you will meet on a regular basis. Please include this day and rough time (AM/PM) on your CORE group form when you register your group.
• Can I leave my CORE group at any time?
We ask that you commit to your CORE group for at least one term. Leave well, if you must, following a conversation with your CORE group and CORE Lead. We would encourage you to join another CORE group, course or activity group if you do as soon as possible.
• Does each CORE group have a leader?
No. Everyone has an equal role in the group. Every group will be assigned a CORE Lead, one of our church leaders, who will provide external accountability, act as a point of contact and check in with groups on a regular basis.
• Once my CORE group starts meeting are we left to our own devices?
Yes. Please use your manual as a guide and if you have any questions or concerns you can speak to your allocated CORE Lead at any time. Part of their role is to check in regularly with all group members via a group email, face-to-face, phone call etc.
• How long should we spend on each CORE section when we meet – Confession, Others, Reading, Encouragement?
This will depend on the number of people in your group and the agreed-upon time you have to meet. There must be space for everyone in your CORE group to speak, so it may be helpful to agree on this in advance. We encourage you to work through every section together each week.
• Are CORE groups confidential spaces?
Our groups should be safe places of love, trust, respect and openness. Our CORE groups are meant to be safe places where trust is built. Gossip is a sin, and so what’s said in our group times won’t be shared with others if becoming like Jesus is a priority. Let’s listen well, love well and become people worthy of trust.
• Do groups have to be same-gender groups?
Yes. Due to the nature of CORE groups, we suggest that groups are the same gender only.
• I know who I will be forming a CORE group with, what do I do now?
Please complete an ‘I’ve joined a CORE group’ form on our website, providing the names and email addresses of everyone who will be attending your group. Only one person per CORE group needs to complete a form.
• What should I do if I’m not part of a CORE group but would like to be part of one?
Please complete an ‘I want to join a CORE group’ form on our website and you will be introduced to a group based on your availability preferences.
• How long will I remain in the same CORE group?
CORE groups will run on a termly basis, lasting approximately 3 months each. We want to give groups time to develop, for group members to get to know each other, and to build trust, so we ask that you remain in your CORE group for at least one term.
• Can I remain in the same CORE group for more than 1 term?
Yes. You can remain in your CORE group for as long as you want. You just need to register your group each Term. This helps us in terms of administration so that we can facilitate new members joining existing CORE groups. We want CORE groups to be missional and pastoral, so it is likely that over time the members of your CORE group may change, as new people are added, others leave to attend a course or activity group for a term etc.
• Do I need to sign up for my CORE group each term?
Yes. Please indicate by completing a CORE group form if you intend to remain in the same CORE group.
• Do we have a set Bible reading plan?
No. Your CORE group may decide that following the same Bible
reading plan might be really helpful, but each CORE group, and each member, will be different. What matters is the encouragement to be saturated in the Word of God, which will be different for different people.
• What happens if one person dominates the group?
CORE groups are a great opportunity to grow in faith, meaningful relationships and love. Helping each other listen, and share well, will be part of this journey of discipleship. Being lovingly honest with each other in these moments is a vital part of CORE and growth.
• What happens if my CORE group runs into a problem, something that is difficult to resolve within the group?
If you need assistance please contact your CORE Lead.
• I don’t like my group, can I change?
Maybe. If you are struggling please speak with your CORE group in the first instance, then contact your CORE lead if necessary. But please don’t miss the opportunity to become more like Jesus through difficult situations and relationships.
• Can I join a CORE group at any time, even if I haven’t been part of a group before or I’m new to The Bridge?
Yes. We’ll be relaunching CORE groups every term. These are great times to join or leave a group. It’s preferable to join groups at the start of terms thus maximising the time available, however, joining mid-term is possible too, just complete a ‘I want to join a CORE group’ form on our website and you will be introduced to a group based on your availability preferences.
Download our handy booklet or pick up a physical copy at one of our services for all things CORE