Thursday, December 8, 2011



è  Studies for first 3-4 months:  The ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22,23) -

  • Love (affection for others TM: ie. The Message) (Rowland to lead the first three studies/devotions – 1. Love for God: how can we measure that? 2. Love for Self: when is it healthy/unhealthy? 3. Love for others, including enemies: how are we supposed to do that?
  • Joy (exuberance about life TM)
  • Peace (serenity TM)
  • Patience (a willingness to stick with things TM)
  • Kindness (a sense of compassion in the heart TM)
  • Generosity (goodness NIV, REB, a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people TM)
  • Faithfulness (finding ourselves involved in loyal commitments TM, fidelity REB)
  • Gentleness (not needing to force our way in life TM)
  • Self-control (able to marshal and direct our energies wisely TM)
è Contact Rowland if you’d like to give a 10/20 minute introduction/Scripture study on one of these, together with discussion questions. Suggest other studies/themes or guest speakers ‘down the track’? AOK.

è Is the name Wednesday Koinonia OK? Yes: however (community/fellowship) in brackets after the name might help.

è 10 am – lunch (bring finger food to share) 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at EDBC from Feb. 8th? OK.

è Who to invite? We leave that to our regulars’ discretion. (Use the nice invites Janice Perkins has printed off: more available if needed). Check with Rowland or Jan Croucher if in doubt

è Music / PA / Ppt / Youtube/  A capella? Who chooses? Concerts? Decide as we go. Rob Perkins to talk with a few techos about using powerpoint etc. Music selection – let’s be sensitive to the ethos of the group/ each other – our songs will come from various Christian traditions.

è Administrator: keeping it simple: Rob Perkins? Yes.

è  PA to Rowland – Jan Newham? Yes.

è Sharing/offerings: Gold coin for coffee/tea/cookies? Trading table for mission projects etc.? Offering bowl for other projects/gifts to EDBC for use of facilities etc.? Yes, yes, yes.  

è Mission Project: Opportunity International – a West Timor village lifted above poverty-line? Yes: Jan Croucher to invite an Opportunity International representative to talk to us as soon as possible in Feb.

è Praying in 3’s/4’s – happy for Jan/Rowland to suggest prayer-partners? Yes. (Some will prefer to pray regularly with the same two or three; others would like to move around; some are OK with praying aloud; others reticent: we’ll need to be sensitive to all these – and other – factors).

è Update from Rowland on some other matters of current interest (Lilydale Baptists etc.) . Let’s pray for Matt Glover and his family and the church – and also the Baptist Union of Victoria, which is getting a mixed public press on all this. And let’s not forget those caught in the cross-fire, especially gay/lesbian folk who started to attend the church.

è East Doncaster Baptist Church is listed among about 8 or 9 Victorian Baptist Churches as being gay-friendly/welcoming. Our group is very happy to endorse this emphasis.

Rowland Croucher and Rob Perkins
9th December 2011

WEDNESDAY KOINONIA: advertising within East Doncaster Baptist Church


WEDNESDAY KOINONIA ('community'/'fellowship')

This new twice-monthly group (2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 10 am until a shared lunch) will commence February 8 and 22, 2012, meeting in the Tom Keyte Seminar Room.

It's open to any EDBC'ers (and others) - especially if you're not currently attending an EDBC small group.

We will learn together (Bible Studies, book reviews, visiting speakers), share life-stories, sing (sometimes or often - we're still figuring how to do that best), pray in small groups of 3 or 4, and adopt a mission-project (probably microfinancing to support a village in West Timor or elsewhere to raise it above the poverty-line).

For more info.: talk to Rob/Janice Perkins, Hal Grix, or Rowland/Jan Croucher. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Christians have always met in small groups – leaders like Jesus and John Wesley built their ministries/movements around them…

Small groups where Christians study, share, pray, and ‘mission’ together come in many sizes and formats. (It’s unlikely that a Pentecostal who ‘prays in the Spirit’ for half an hour will be excited by a Progressive Christians’ group-discussion on prayer where they don’t pray at all, at least in the accepted sense of the word. Evangelicals want more Bible Study; radical Christians more social justice etc. etc.).

Small groups allow for more intimacy, involvement, accountability, than attendance at formal church services. In our John Mark Ministries’ seminars on Small Groups, we opine that, except for unusual factors, 70%+ of regular ‘worshippers’ ought to be in a small group that meets at least fortnightly to participate in intentional personal/group/spiritual growth exercises…

What happens in small groups?

[1] First, some contemplative silence, centring-down, ‘gathering words’ etc. Maybe, as God’s people have done for millennia, singing in worship/praise together.

[2] We listen to the Word of God, from a teacher/facilitator/ discussion leader - Bible study, exposition of an idea, book-summary about some aspect of being a Christian in our world…

[3] We respond by listening to one another – our joys, sorrows, family issues, work-related problems, personal struggles etc. – in a confidential context.

[4] We pray together: encouraging empathetic intercession for one another: maybe in smaller sub-groups of three or four. Those who find it difficult to pray aloud in a group can mention ideas, or read a prayer etc. And we commit to praying for one another regularly between meetings…

[5] Because we follow Jesus we involve ourselves in mission: serving the lost/last/least in a ministry-project (in our neighbourhood, overseas via a microfinancing agency etc.). A good book on all this: Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways (see ).

More on the theory/practice of small groups: (small groups and ‘belonging’)
(what does a healthy church – of any size – look like?) (praying together) (small groups and community) (mentoring) (what does the church of the future look like?)

Rowland Croucher

September 2011