Spiritual Running Partners

Discipleship Groups

FAST TRACK YOUR GROWTH IN CHRIST WITH A RELATIONAL TRIAD!

In the same way athletes train to reach physical goals, we need spiritual training partners to provide encouragement, pacing and motivation for spiritual goals such as developing a discipline of reading scripture daily. To that end, we have created relational triads, or Spiritual Running Partner groups. Spiritual Running Partners encourage one another to become all God intends each person to be.


WHAT DOES A SPIRITUAL RUNNING PARTNER GROUP LOOK LIKE?

Spiritual Running Partners are relational Triads - groups of three people who commit to meet together weekly to help one another grow in their relationship with Christ. This size is still small enough to make scheduling easy, but it is large enough to give good feedback and support. Spiritual Running Partners are of the same gender, but partners can be of varying ages and stages of life. 


HOW DO I CHOOSE MY SPIRITUAL RUNNING PARTNERS?

The best way to find good Spiritual Running Partners is simply to let us know that you are interested. You can do that by going to the HUB, located in the Commons area of our building. Once we have your information we can help connect you to a SRP Group. 

WHY?

OFFERS CLARITY TO THE MISSION OF CHRIST

Above all else, Christ commanded us to make disciples (Matt 28:19-20). It is not only the command of Christ but it should be our delight to share His gospel message. SRP groups help to clarify the great commandment of Christ while developing the work of sanctification within the believer. Jesus wants us to join Him in His work so that He can shape us into His image while turning a lost world from darkness to the light.  


RAISES THE BAR OF COMMITMENT

Jesus is careful to tell us to count the cost of becoming a disciple because the cost is so great. In Mark 10, the Bible recounts the meeting of Jesus and the rich young ruler. The rich young ruler, having kept all the commandments as he knew them, knelt at the feet of Jesus and asked if there was anything more he needed to do to receive eternal life. Scripture tells us that, “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (verse 21), and knowing the young man’s possessions were keeping him from freedom, Jesus asked him to give up all of his possessions for the poor. We all know the story. The rich, young man went away sad. He preferred the bondage of his possessions over the true cost of discipleship.


Attaching yourself to a SRP group will continually challenge you to seek out and live the life of Christ. Not the life that we think is valuable, but the life that Christ has called us to. This is understood as knowing God’s will for our lives and following that will against all odds and worldly pleasures. 


GROWTH IN GOD'S WORD

Philippians 2:12-13 states, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Living more like Christ is found when we love Him more deeply each day. This comes by spending time with God. Time spent in the Word and time spent in prayer. Someone once said being a disciple is “walking, talking and acting like Jesus.” That can only be accomplished by growing in Christ through His Word. Learning and obeying Scripture is essential for one’s growth as a disciple of Christ. The SRP group will set you on a course for spiritual maturity while training you how to lead others to that same deepness in the Word of God. 


AUTHENTIC ACCOUNTABILITY

Discipleship is not just a solo effort—though it takes personal action and engagement in spiritual disciplines. Discipleship is a group sport, best done in community! There are no Lone Ranger Christians. (And even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.) We are responsible for, and to each other. It has been said that the gift God gave you is not for you alone. Instead, it is to be shared with others. When we truly believe that our actions will impact the spiritual development of others, it will change the way we live. We are responsible before God to be involved in discipleship—ours as well as others. 

Top 10 faq's

about Spiritual running partners

1. Who should I ask to be my running partner? 

  • An existing friend with whom you have a level of trust. The first place to look is in your Bible Community. 
  • A running partner must be someone of your own gender (unless you choose your spouse). However, we encourage you to ‘run’ with your spouse in addition to another Running Partner. 
  • It is preferable that your Running Partner is part of First Baptist Church, however that is not essential. 
  • If still in doubt ask one of our pastors to help connect you with someone. 

2. How do I ask someone to be my running partner? 

  • Firstly, find out if they already have someone in mind to ask to be their Running Partner? If so, then we need to gracefully respect their plans.
  • If they do not have partner in mind already, then ask if they would prayerfully consider being your partner.

3. If someone asks me to be their running partner, can I say no? 

  • A Running Partner pair/triplet needs all parties to be comfortable with talking, sharing and encouraging one another. So, there will be some situations where you might need to gently say that you can’t be their running partner at this time.
  • However, try and be as inclusive as possible. Perhaps you are the very person that God wants to use to encourage someone you would not usually consider for this type of connection.

4. What do we do at each meeting? 

  • The meeting is structures around the ‘Spiritual Running Partner Question Card’ and a curriculum called 'Discipleship Essentials' by Greg Ogden, both of which can be obtained at the church office.
  • A meeting will typically follow this outline: 1.) Pray that you will fulfill Heb 10:24 (see question card). 2.) Remind each other of the Guidelines of Spiritual Running Partners (see bottom of question card) 3.) Work through 1 or all 5 of the accountability questions depending on the time. 4.) Work through the next lesson of Discipleship Essentials. 5.) Pray for each other.

5. Do we need to meet face-to-face? 

  • Yes, the dynamic of meeting and praying works best when meeting face-to-face. So wherever possible, we suggest you meet in-person. 
  • However, there will be situations (eg. time pressures, distance, or children) where using technology is necessary. In such situations, the order of preference is firstly, video call (eg. Skype), then voice (phone), then text (email, sms, or internet).

6. How often should I meet with my running partner? 

  • Weekly is ideal. 
  • We don’t recommend a frequently less than every other week because we need regular encouragement, plus so much happens in one month that it is near impossible to constructively keep updated one month at time.

7. How long is each running partner meeting? 

  • This will vary depending on size of your group (ie. 2s or 3s) and the personalities present, but we suggest one and a half hours. 
  • We also suggest setting an agreed finish time, so that the time is used most effectively.

8. What if it doesn’t work out? 

  • We recommend you agree on a defined period that you will regularly meet together (eg. 6 months to a year). At the end of that period, discuss whether you will continue ‘running’, or take a break, or stop.

9. What if I am too busy to add running partners to my life? 

  • Every day we make thousands of choices about how we will spend the 24 hours we have be entrusted with by God. It comes down to priorities, if we think it is important enough, then we will make the time. 
  • Some ways to fit Running Partners into regular life is to meet before church or Bible Community, or to meet at a playground while the kids play, or to meet over an early-breakfast or lunch.

10. What if I find it hard to share personal information about myself? 

  • Transparency is scary, but the benefits are worth the risks. When we hide our deepest thoughts, fears and temptations, we are depriving ourselves of help and encouragement from people who are experience similar things.

For those who are self-conscious about sharing, the solution is to choose a Running Partner who you can trust, and then fervently protect each other’s confidentiality.