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Introducing Discovering God - a new ROOTS resource

Practical ideas for informal services and events where the focus is on creating community and a sense of belonging, demonstrating that the church is available to all.


What is Discovering God?

Discovering God offers practical ideas for demonstrating that the church is available to all.

We aim to provide a range of ideas over the year, introducing the seasons of the church year and aspects of Christian living, and also looking at other everyday events, issues and celebrations through a Christian perspective.

Underpinning the materials is an intention to gather together and with God, sharing experiences and stories, and learning together by providing resources that give an opportunity to develop:

  • empathy – helping to understand others by listening to their stories
  • resilience – learning to trust in God, to have a sense of being valued and protected
  • self-awareness – developing a knowledge of ourselves, by asking questions, thinking and reflecting in order to grow
  • faithful living – a conscious intention about how we act in our daily routines, with eyes open to see where we need to do God’s work.

We urge leaders to act as facilitators, limiting time spent leading from the front, and encouraging people to participate and interact together in mixed age groups. The ideas will work in face-to-face gatherings, and with minimal adaptation for online use.


How do the Discovering God resources work?

The resources are intended to help churches make connections with people who are new to the church, or on the fringes of the church community. The materials are suitable for a range of informal gatherings in church, online, or elsewhere in the community, and adaptable to different formats.

Nurturing a sense of belonging and community often involves sharing refreshments or a meal together, so you may want to factor this into your planning.

The resources offer:

  • Somewhere to start - ideas to gather people together and set the scene for the theme within everyday life.
  • Discovering faith - background notes and a way of presenting the Bible passage and some thoughts about what it might mean for us.
  • After this we hand the initiative Over to you, with activities for people to explore the theme together.
  • We then Finish together, drawing the session to a close in prayer.
  • We know that these events tend to happen once a month or less frequently, so we provide ideas for Keeping in touch. These could be sent out to families and households at intervals between gatherings to help nurture the relationship with them and encourage them to continue to think about and act on what you considered together.


Guidance on using Discovering God resources

DISCOVER These resources are devised to help people discover themes, seasons, issues, celebrations and everyday events through a Christian perspective.
INTERACT We urge leaders to act as facilitators, limiting time spent leading from the front and encouraging people to participate and interact together to get to know each other. Consider setting up the activities and offering them simultaneously, with space and time for people to talk as they move around the space.
SPACE These materials can be used in a variety of settings and different groups, so we don’t suggest any particular structure. Somewhere to start, and Somewhere to finish give ideas for opening and closing the gathering. We suggest that you try to create a space for your group to journey together, using the activities most suited to your situation, and allowing each individual to experience this in their own time.
COMMUNITY Underpinning the materials is an intention to gather together and with God, sharing experiences and stories, and learning together. The focus should be on creating community and a sense of belonging, demonstrating that the church is available to all rather than having any fixed sense of outcomes or specific learning.
OPENNESS These resources are designed to be ready to use; however, they require a gentle approach. Prayers may be adapted for your context – and you may need to allow your group to use their own words, or no words at all. Questions should be left open-ended and unanswered. Fresh meanings may be discovered in the Bible passage and activities may provoke extended and helpful discussion, meaning that other activities aren’t used. Be flexible – if some people really want to continue to talk, let others start another activity. We encourage you to allow this to unfold naturally.
VARIETY Timings and age-differentiation are not included in the resources. Use the spiritual styles indicated by the coloured letters to help you plan and cater for the different ways in which people connect with God. Find information about spiritual styles.
EVERYONE The materials are devised for the whole group to interact together and in smaller groups. Where you have a wide age range, mix generations together so that they can hear and learn from each other.
REGULARITY It’s important to meet regularly as you form relationships and build up community together. These materials are ideal for a monthly gathering. The three Follow-up ideas could be sent out in the intervening weeks, to maintain contact and enable people to continue discovering.


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