Relationships are an essential piece of the Sown Network. We believe that relationships with like-minded individuals working towards the same goals and purpose allow us to grow and learn at an exponential rate, far greater than if we try to do it on our own.
At the same time, the trend in most churches is to regulate what groups are acceptable and what groups are not. While this is an effective way of ensuring that everyone is moving in the same direction, the Sown Network operates it’s group structure in a slightly different manner.
We believe that every individual already exists in multiple groups within the context of their everyday life. Some of us seek adventure and so we hike or climb mountains or kayak or mountain bike or any number of adventure-orientated activities. Others of us seek out the creative outlets of art or music or film or writing or drama or any number of creatively inspired endeavors. Still others are drawn to knowledge and seek out theological studies or intensive Bible study groups or one-on-one mentoring or discussion groups. And there are even some who simply just want to focus on relationships and accountability through businesses or shared interests or backgrounds or family groups.
The Sown Network believes that God has intentionally and purposefully placed you in these social groups and among the people you meet and connect with in those groups. The Sown Network believes that if we can equip you with the ability to know and love Jesus in the context of the social groups you are already involved in, that God will use you to share His good news with the individuals in those groups.
So instead of asking you to leave those groups or asking adventurers to join in with knowledge seekers or asking creative-types to pair up with business or family groups, the Sown Network has created a structure that walks you through identifying the social groups you are already part of and provides you with the training, support, and resources necessary to establish micro-churches within those social groups for the purpose of sharing the good news with others.
The Sown Network has organized our groups, the micro-churches associated with the Sown Network, into three distinct classifications.
Every member is required to be part of a Sown Network community group. The reason for this is that you live in a community, a city or town or municipality. So when you sign up we ask for the city you live in so that we can place you in the community group where you live. This allows individual communities to have groups that are specific to the needs and interests of their community.
Note: Just like you are unable to live in multiple places at once, you are only able to be part of one community group at a time.
In the Sown Network, our Social Groups are determined by the interests and needs of our members. If you’re interested in dog walking, and we don’t have a dog walking group, then the Sown Network team will work with you to help develop, equip, and support a dog walking group that can share the good news of Jesus with other dog-walkers.
Whatever Social Group that you are currently involved with, if there is not a Social Group that currently exists or there’s one that does exist but it’s in another community group, then reach out to the Sown Network and we will work with you to create a Social Group that meets the needs that you see.
Note: Social Groups can exist in the entire Sown Network Online Community so that anyone can participate if they meet the group requirements, or the Social Group can exist only in the Community Group that the organizer is a member of and is only available to the members of that Community Group who meet the requirements of the Social Group.
In the Sown Network, Study Groups refer to intentional and purposeful groups committed to studying a particular book, subject, or theme focused on increasing knowledge and confidence in sharing the good news of Jesus with others.
As with Social Groups, Study Groups are determined by the interests and needs of our members. So if you’ve always had an interest in learning more about the Pauline writings and the current selection of Study Groups do not offer that opportunity, then reach out to the Sown Network and we will work with you to create a Study Group that fills that gap.
Note: As with Social Groups, Study Groups can exist in the entire Sown Network Online Community so that anyone can participate if they meet the group requirements, or the Study Group can exist only in the Community Group that the organizer is a member of and is only available to the members of that Community Group who meet the requirements of the Study Group.
How to Join an Existing Group
Joining an Existing Group in the Sown Network is easy. Navigate to the Groups page and Search for a group that you’d like to join. Once you find the group you were looking for, take the time to read the requirements for the group. If you have no objections, go ahead and request to join the group. Depending on how the organizer has setup the group, you maybe added immediately to the group or need be authorized first before being added.
How to Request a New Group
Requesting a new group is easy. If you search for a group and you are unable to find what you are looking for, then it’s time to request a new group. You can do this by click on the Members tab and searching for any Admin and submitting your request to them.
Once requested, the Sown Network Groups Team will reach out and provide you with the training, support, and resources necessary to establish the group as a micro-church for the purpose of sharing the good news with others.
Note: Anyone may request a group, however, to lead a group, the Sown Network does have some additional requirements that must be met.
How To Lead a Group
To lead a Sown Network Group, the completion of the Sown Network Group Leader’s Course is required to ensure that the Sown Network fully understands how best to support the group and group members. This course walks you through the development of the group, defining the various needs of the group, and provides introductory training on how recruit and promote the group.