Part of our aim as a church is to build community and help men to grow in their faith.
Outreach to men is a key part of our vision. Many men are overstretched by work, and seeking to juggle family, friendships and a host of other priorities.
In recognition of this, men at St Mark’s do life together in various different ways…
Join us on Wednesdays at 8pm (Fortnightly), where the only aim is to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Please email for dates and locations firstname.lastname@example.org
We have events such as meals, speakers, social action which bind us together with a common purpose.
We have an annual weekend away.
We want to see men being able to grow in community and support – becoming more accountable to each other, seeking God together, having significant friendships.
For more information, please contact the Marksmen email@example.com
“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
“No-one becomes a disciple by accident…” – Dallas Willard
Are you struggling to grow your faith on your own?
Do you want to meet with other Christian men and share the challenge?
To inspire each other and grow our relationship with Christ we need to meet with
each other. As men of St Mark’s we recognise that meeting with other men can create an environment for openness and challenge that is different to meeting in mixed groups. This can be helpful for some and so we have started small groups for men called 4mation groups.
This isn’t a replacement for home groups or any other church group you are a part of but is very focused on the needs of each group in encouraging, supporting and inspiring each other in our journeys following Christ.
As a result, each group can have it’s own unique way of working that best fits the individuals.
What are 4mation Groups?
4mation Groups (4+) are groups of 2-4 men that meet regularly for an hour or so, to help each other to become more intentional in doing what Jesus wants them to do in their lives. People who are part of such a groups want to grow spiritually and the aim of the group is build up spiritual strength and vitality by focusing attention on 4 things:
• Engaging in simple practices or disciplines that make a difference
• Seeking to encourage the use of each person’s God given gifts
• Actively working towards the development of character
• Openly and honestly being accountable to each other
How they work…
4+ groups are flexible and varied – they are all unique. They are self-governing and are not limited by a specific curriculum. No-one is the leader and everyone is equal. They are fun and serious in equal measure. But they are not random or haphazard – they are a commitment and are planned. They are about people looking out for each other.
The groups are focused on helping each other become “people who naturally love God and love others”, and to help everyone to do this each person has a Formation Group Booklet on which they write what action they are aiming to do each week/fortnight/month. This could be some regular prayer or solitude, some fasting or service, some act of generosity or celebration to put on. They also write down the gifts and character of Jesus they are aiming to pursue, and the temptations they are trying to resist. The hour finishes with praying for each other to be filled again with the Spirit.
These groups must be a safe place for personal accountability. To be a participant in a 4+, you must commit yourself to being 100% confidential.
Because the purpose of getting together like this is to grow, each group regularly reviews how things are going and what God has done. Some split as new people want to join a group and other groups change and evolve for other reasons.
There is no fixed rule about the lifespan of a group – groups will either die when one or more members can’t make it anymore, or will divide into two groups, when a fifth member is present.… Because it’s not simply about being ‘mates’ and getting together over a coffee or a beer with a clique of friends, sometimes people make a new group with others they don’t know.
Want to join?
You can join a group in one of two ways:
Invite a couple of men you know to form a group directly. We’ll give you help and advice in how to get started and keep you in touch with the other groups for any wider men’s activities we organise.
Contact one of our coordinators who can place you in a new or existing group:
We’re all in the same boat so don’t worry about taking the plunge with people you may not know!
How do I join a 4+?
You simply get together with someone else (of the same gender) and sort it out between you. Because existing groups should always be looking to multiply, you may well be asked to join someone else’s group.
Why are the groups same sex?
Because of the need for honesty and transparency. Confession is never easy but it is often more powerful with those of the same gender.
Why is there no leader?
There is no need for a leader. One of the joys of this model is that anyone can facilitate a group. All you have to do is choose a location, find some others to join you and get started.
What is the lifespan of a 4+ group?
There is no set lifespan. 8 weeks would be a good start though, with a chance to review it after that… Sometimes it is good to have a review date in mind as this gives permission for people to change group more easily.
What about home groups?
4+ groups are not a substitute for home groups where you have more time for study, worship and mutual support in a larger, more diverse group. 4+ groups have a sharp focus on individual discipleship. The two should be complementary.
Why do the 4mation Groups work?
4mation groups instill these three biblically based principles into the lives of each participant:
4+ groups are places of honesty and truth. They are not therapy sessions but they are places where the masks are dropped and community is birthed. Confidentiality is vital.
4+’s exist to help people keep on track in their relationship with God. Each person sets their own goals and works at their own pace. Growth is expected. The groups help people overcome habits they don’t like and take up activities that are good for them. They help people pray more, and hear what God is saying to them. They help them stay in touch with Jesus. They shape character.
Missional Reaching out:
What is interesting is that even though these tiny groups are not specifically designed for to be evangelistic, people who join them find that over time they become more confident in their faith, better at praying for their friends, colleagues and neighbours, more enthused about reaching out and more passionate about making a difference with their whole lives. Simply having a moment each week when someone asks you about how you have been helping others to enter the kingdom, sharpens you up considerably.
For further information contact: