'Growing Networks' Follow-Up Event - 20th June 2010

CIG UK is only as strong as the departmental fellowship groups and networks it seeks to link together. We see encouraging and supporting network leaders as a really important task. Following on from an initial event held last Autumn, working together with Transform Work UK, we held a follow-up afternoon workshop on the theme 'Growing Networks'.  

The afternoon ran as follows:

  • Welcome
  • Worship
  • Opening address by Chris Mould - CEO Trussell Trust
  • Summary of last workshop and aims of afternoon
  • Group Session 1 - How can we support members of our network/fellowships? - followed by feedback/discussion
  • Group session 2 - How can we support and reach out to non-members and non-Christians in our departments? - followed by feedback/discussion
  • Update on other Christian Groups across the UK - Transform Work UK
  • Group Session 3 - How can leaders of networks/fellowships support each other? (Geographic Groups)  - followed by feedback/discussion
  • Summary of afternoon
  • What next?
  • Closing Prayer

Summary Report:


About 30 departmental reps joined speakers Dr Adrian Miles and Tom Stevens from Transform Work UK to explore creative ways of growing our networks. The event started with a lively session of worship led by the CIG UK worship band before Chris Mould from the Trussell Trust shared his experiences of growing Christian groups in the public sector. Chris shared the importance of encouraging members to pray about work related issues and of making ourselves open to share the real issues that are happening in our lives.  Chris leads 3 charities including Food Bank which is a community based initiative to collect and provide food to those in need which has spread rapidly across the country.

Attendees split into three tracks according to the development of our networks. We share experiences and explored the questions shown above. Recurring themes included the need to base our actions on prayer; make networks accessible to non Christians; develop effective communications and run creative events which cater for a range of different needs and interests. Adrian left us with the challenge to implement the things we had discussed!

Photos of the day:

Points raised by the groups under each of the questions included the following:


Question 1: How can we support members of our network/fellowships?


1. Prayer

a. For one another
b. Fasting
c. Biblically based
d. Rota
e. Structured and regular
f. Post box
g. On-line
h. Prayer teams
i. Triplets
j. 11am Monday pause for prayer


2. Communications


a. Newsletter
b. Awareness of organisational issues
c. Passing on emails


3. Events


a. Hold regularly
b. Socials
c. Flexible and adaptable


4. Use multi-faith rooms


5. Character issues


a. Be approachable
b. Be available
c. Be visible (use posters, etc)
d. Be genuinely interested in one another


6. Support from local church leaders


7. Awareness of multi-sited workplaces


8. All group members having a role


9. Mindful of denominational variety


10. Replicate church in terms of fellowship

Question 2: How can we support and reach out to non-members and non-Christians in our departments?


1. Practical support


2. Identifying with what's going on in the organisation (i.e. restructuring)


3. Activities


a. Christmas, Easter, pancake race,
b. God@Work
c. Alpha in the workplace
d. Social Action
e. Interesting speakers
f. Charity work
g. To build community (food)
h. Seek support of senior staff


4. Personal


a. Be an example to others
b. How we respond to situations is what others see
c. Prayer
d. Responding to bereavement
e. Group roles to support training and development
f. Rotating chairs


5. Raise profile of group


a. Advertise existence
b. Posters
c. Via event publicity


6. External relations


a. Chaplaincy
b. Linking non-members to external programmes i.e. homelessness


Question 3: How can leaders of networks/fellowships support each other?


1. Support


a. Local Church Leaders
b. Small groups
c. Via other groups outside of CIG-UK


2. Cluster groups


3. Local church


a. manage expectations of local church leaders of us
b. items in church magazines


4. CIG-UK Website


a. Use it
b. Have own department page


5. Share resources


6. Practical help with making it happen


7. Prayer


a. leaders (twinning)
b. Walks around workplace
c. Peace on this City


8. Leadership needs to be ‘team'