The Band Meeting​


Who should I ask to join me?

First, you should commit to the work of praying and discerning who might be a good fit. You should also commit to the work of praying that you would be a good fit for your group. Think of people you already have a spiritual connection with, or friends whom you have known for a while who also have a desire to go deeper in faith. Think of people that you’ve already been encouraging toward deeper discipleship — they might be a great fit. If you need help, contact Jonathan.

Why so small?

Each person will have up to 15–20 minutes to share every week. Having 2–3 people ensures that your meetings will be only about an hour long. It also helps to only have to work around 2–3 people’s schedules each week. Last, having so few people ensures you each get to know and support one another on a deep level.

Where do we meet?

Wherever works. Meet online or in-person — whichever your full group is comfortable with. Make sure it’s a space where you’re all able to speak openly.

How often do we meet?

Commit to meet weekly for four weeks. At the end of the month, take time as a group to ask how it’s been for everyone. Has it been life-giving? What needs to change? Be honest but loving. Adjust if you need to adjust. If you miss a week due to scheduling issues… don’t try to reschedule. Keep the same time and commit to meeting the next week.

What if we want to study scripture together?

That’s totally cool — but the goal is that your band will complement other groups you’re a part of like Bible studies. Discipleship bands aren’t meant to replace that in your life — they’re meant to give an opportunity to share about your life more personally with other Followers of Jesus. Remember that you can always share personal reflections on scripture and ask for input/feedback from the rest of your band.

Where did the idea of “banding” come from?

John Wesley (founder of the Methodist movement and who we get our group name from) was originally introduced to a form of band meetings in 1738. His meetings gathered a small number of people together and divided them by marital status and gender. Our desire is not to replicate his band meeting model exactly, but rather to find a new model to live out what was at the heart of the band meeting — namely, deeper discipleship in the context of strong relationships.

Wesley has an often quoted, but frequently misunderstood, statement: “The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.” In other words, a holy life cannot be lived out alone, but only can be lived out in relationship to other Christians.

He encouraged members to use the band meeting as a place to pour out their hearts without reserve, especially “the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb. 12:1). While he maintained that one could not be sanctified (or live a holy life) apart from faith through grace, he also knew that this didn’t mean a believer should simply sit passively and wait for this gift. Instead, he believed firmly that there were many practices God made available for his people to pursue holiness, whereby they could encounter the Holy Spirit. We are convinced we have the best chance at holiness within the context of a supportive community of believers.

The band meetings had a very simple format back then — to meet once a week, to begin with song or prayer, then to each take turns sharing “freely and plainly the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in thought, word, or deed, and the temptations we have felt since our last meeting.” Following this, they would end in prayer, praying specifically for the state or situation of each person who shared.

For Wesley, the purpose of the band meeting was summarized in James 5:16a: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Click Here for the Band Meeting Structure