There is no such thing as a solitary disciple! Participants in the network gather with two or three other people into what we call a fellowship ‘band’. The purpose of meeting in a band is to help one another be intentional about following the Inspire way of life. This is what makes us ‘wayfarers’.
Band meetings usually incorporate the following elements:
- Centring. Band meetings open with a time of prayer and praise, which can be usefully based on the Way of Life (spiritual growth). It might be helpful to sing! During this time, prayer is offered for those who have come with particularly heavy burdens.
- Conversing. Members of the group hold one another accountable in a time of open conversation, using the way of life as a guide. Each member shares how their spiritual life has been since they last met; drawing out things to celebrate, points of concern, and areas of challenge to greater faithfulness. Each member listens to what is being shared, while listening for the voice of the Spirit, to help discern the presence and purpose of God in each other’s lives.
- Commissioning. The meeting concludes with each person reflecting on what the Spirit has said to them and what they are resolved to do next. The covenant prayer may be used. Members should finally commission each other in prayer, with the laying on of hands where appropriate.
Members ‘band’ together around the following set of commitments:
- To follow the way of life in the context of daily life as a means of accountability before God for our spirituality, discipleship, and mission
- To attend a band meeting on at least a monthly basis, and make this a clear priority
- To hold one another accountable to the way of life, and for any personal resolutions made at previous meetings.
- To pray for one another on a daily basis and be available in person, by phone, or e-mail as prayer partners between meetings
- To keep strict confidentiality relating to all things shared in band
- To support the Inspire Movement financially as they are able, through giving and/or participation in our training
Fellowship bands can take many different forms, in many different contexts, such as, single sex bands in local churches; mixed bands in a workplace; student bands on College campus; or seed bands for those doing church planting. Inspire is also developing the practice of virtual bands that meet over the internet. We see this as a supplement for face-to-face band meeting, but there can be many good reasons for a group of geographically distant people to share the journey through this means. We also use virtual bands as part of our online training process. Contact us if you would like to enquire further about virtual bands.