Thinking Thursday: What is a Housegroup Actually For?


Several people get together every week in someone’s house for a couple of hours. They have tea and biscuits, enjoy each other’s company, and encourage and support one another.

That could be any kind of club or support network. A nice place to go, to belong. If you want to. If you don’t, you don’t go. It doesn’t matter.

Does it matter if you go to housegroup? Are you just missing out on some friendly company? After all, you can see people in church on Sunday. But how many people can you see on Sunday? How much time do you have to get close to someone, to grow to trust them, to ask your questions?


Not easy in a busy church. Church on Sunday is for corporate worship, encouragement, and listening to the word of God. There may be an opportunity to ask for prayer or talk to someone over a cup of tea after the service, but we’re all rushing home for lunch.

In housegroup there is a small group of people who have the opportunity to get to know and trust one another. To share one another’s burdens, to pray for each other. But most importantly, housegroup is somewhere to look at your life against the word of God, the Bible.

We are all on the road of discipleship, trying to cooperate with God as He changes our hearts and lives, to become what He wants us to be. We all have a long way to go, and a lot to learn. Just because someone has been a Christian a long time doesn’t mean they’re more sorted out than you. But as we meet in housegroup and consider what God has to say, we can help each other work out what it means for us. We can ask questions, discuss the implications, encourage, support and pray for one another.

When the church began they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). Later on Paul encouraged the Colossians to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom (Col.3:16). Whatever people’s needs, the Bible has the answer.

It is preached on Sunday, but the pastor doesn’t have time to sit down with each of us and ask us if we understood it, and what we are going to do about it. He doesn’t have time to check back with everyone as to what progress we are making with the challenges the Bible presents to us.

I remember when I first became a Christian, the cry of my heart was ‘But what am I supposed to do every day? How do you be a Christian?’ It’s in housegroup that I found friends to guide me and help me answer those questions.

Do you have to go to housegroup? You can’t afford to miss it.


About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at
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