An Introduction To City Groups



City Groups are new structure which allow for a whole range of ways of working.
City Groups give us more freedom. Freedom to continue. Freedom to innovate.


Growth Groups are changing. This webpage is aimed at helping us all understand why this is happening and what is changing.

We’ll start with the ‘why?’ question, for which we‘ll set out a clear vision.

In order to realise the vision we’ll need to move from vision to action, so we’ll describe the new structure that we hope allows us to more fully implement our vision. Finally, we’ll highlight some of the potential benefits of the new structure.





City Church Cambridge is a Family of Disciples on a Mission.

We want to be a growing family of growing people who, through our deepening love for one another, choose to live lives so full of the Holy Spirit and so shaped by the love of God that the good news about Jesus is encountered by everyone we meet.

This happens as we equip leaders to equip new leaders so everyone can take their proper place in God’s family.



called to be disciples

We are called to be disciples.

A disciple is someone who is increasingly
• worshipping God the Father,
• being changed by the Holy Spirit,
• obeying Jesus Christ
in all of life, as part of the church family, and is helping others to do the same.

Discipleship is a process and not an event. It is both supernatural and super-practical.

Discipleship is for all Christians and it should touch every area of our lives.

Discipleship is not simply one-on-one but also a group activity, and it isn’t a theoretical pursuit but a lifestyle that needs to be practised, observed and experienced.




We do want to add people to the church and to the Kingdom of God. But we don’t want simply to add them. We want to add them in such a way that they fully participate in all that God has for them, and become part of His mission on Earth.

So we actually want to multiply. We want to multiply disciples, pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets and evangelists. We want to multiply the impact we have on communities. We want to multiply meetings, venues — churches even! We want to multiply leaders.

It takes longer to develop, equip and encourage a group of new leaders to lead a new initiative (multiplication of leadership) than it does simply to lead it yourself (addition to your workload), but it is more worthwhile and ultimately more fruitful. This is what Jesus did.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
We don’t just want big church; we want big people.




To realise the vision we need three things:

1. A greater variety of easily-accessed contact points to enable newcomers to build relationships with people already in the church.

2. An improved breadth of learning and practice to encourage discipleship and help us reflect the lordship of Jesus in all of life. Because loving like family, making disciples and being on mission do not only happen in meetings.

3. To provide more people with opportunities to develop as leaders.


describing a city group

A City Group
is a group of about 12 people
with a leader (or leaders)
who commit to meet together on a regular basis
around a shared purpose or activity.

The groups meet over a 10 week term
and then come to an end.




1. ‘a shared purpose or activity’

There will be freedom for groups to look different from each other.
One might meet in a nursing home on a Wednesday morning and another might meet on a Saturday lunchtime for a picnic in the park. Anyone can propose a group!

This means that people can lead groups they are passionate about.


2. ‘The groups meet over a 10 week term
and then come to an end.’

City Groups will usually meet for a specific and limited number of weeks each term.

Leaders develop best when they have opportunity to pause, reflect and start again.


thinking clearly

Here are two ideas we all need to be really clear about if City Groups are going to work:

1. Good systems help disciples make disciples more effectively.

2. Sundays + City Groups are not the totality of what it means to be a family of disciples on a mission. They are just part of it.



overview of one year



so you've got an idea?




coaches will help support the leaders




1. Variety

We are increasingly convinced that a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work.
City Groups allow for variety of leaders, venues, times, activities, ways to make friends, ages who can connect, etc.


2. Flexibility

City Groups form a simple structure within which we can be incredibly flexible.
City groups give us the flexibility to make intentional decisions about what we want to be involved with from term to term. e.g. you might start with an Alpha Course followed next term by a Bible study.

The structure of City Groups allows for a whole range of ways of working.
It gives us freedom. Freedom to continue and freedom to innovate.



multiply connections



multiply leadership opportunites



multiply venues and times



mutliply discipleship contexts




Between now and 1st September:
Everyone will need to be given freedom to decide how to proceed (some leaders will want to step down or change how they lead and some members may want to try something new). If your Growth Group is dispersing, when will you stop meeting? Note: we urge you to keep meeting for as long as possible!

Between 1st June and 1st August:
You can submit ideas for City Groups you would like to lead (which might simply be to continue together as a group).There will be a clear application and approval process.

Between 1st September and 1st October:
Online sign-up period for Autumn City Groups.

From 1st October:
City Groups begin.




Dear Church,

There is much to commend this new way of working, but we do need to be honest about what this may cost. There will be those who will really feel the loss of always being with their dear friends. I can understand this.

City Groups are not the ‘easy way’ of doing things, not by a long way.
We will need to pay the price to make others feel welcomed and included. It will sometimes be inconvenient and uncomfortable to put others first. But this is the very nature of what Jesus has done for us. He calls us to do the same. Just as the Father sent His Son, so Jesus sends us. That is sobering. We are a ‘sent people’ commissioned to live as missionaries, living such overlapping and transparent lives that people spontaneously demand an explanation.

We are ‘the light of the world’ (Matt 5:14). My hope is that City Groups will help us reach out, draw others in, and lead people towards repentance, faith and maturity. They will help us create tangible contexts in which to experience discipleship, not simply in theory but in practice. Finally, I hope they will enable us to more effectively multiply leaders to care for the City Church of today, and the one we are growing to become.

Can I ask you to prayerfully consider your next steps with faith, and with your eyes wide open to both the cost and the possibilities?

Daniel Goodman - Eldership Team Leader


...make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! ...

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Philippians 2:2-8, 12-13 NIV




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For more information, contact Daniel Goodman (Elder)
Or, for practical enquiries, contact Poppy Balding (Church Administrator)