There are many benefits to having a GB community group as part of your church.
We want each of our members to find their GB group a safe environment where they can relate to one another, have fun, learn new skills, make a difference in their community, and discover more of how a relationship with Jesus Christ makes a difference to life.
The groups offer an opportunity to connect with children, young people and their families locally. Around 80% of those we work with connect to church through the work of GB, providing your church with a great tool for mission and outreach into your local community.
Each GB group is an integral part of the local church and shares in the church’s mission among the local community. Meeting and sharing with church leaders is essential for a shared vision of this work and communicating with church members too in order to gain their prayer support and to find expertise that could be used to contribute to GB programmes.
With around 450 groups in England and Wales made up of around 9,000 girls and young women (primarily) and led by more than 2,000 volunteer leaders, GBM spends time creating, developing and releasing these local mission teams, who are passionate to relate to people and meet them and care for them just where they are.
Dependent upon the needs of the local community a church may choose to focus a group on a single age group or offer a group that can provide opportunities for all ages – we have four age categories: n:vestigate for 4-7s; n:gage for 8-11s; n:counta for 10-14s; and n:spire for 13-18s.
GB groups provide safe, welcoming environments for girls and young women to form friendships, develop their potential and explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century, says Rev. Gill Newton, Chair of Sheffield Methodist District.
If a GB community group isn’t right for your context, we also offer consultations to local churches in mission and discipleship and equipping sessions around girls’ issues.
How can you, the church, support a new group?
As GB groups are part of the wider mission of your church, it’s great to help support them with your time, encouragement, prayers and giving.
Why not check out these documents that have some great guidance information about setting up new GB groups.
Engagement ideas for churches
- Themed services. Have a special Sunday/service with the theme of mission among children/ young people. Use this to share some of the stories of how God is using GB in your local community to transform lives. Encourage prayer for the year ahead and provide people with the opportunity to give – perhaps a percentage of the collection from this could be given to GB?
- Sponsorship. At church vision days, why not provide people with the opportunity to ‘sponsor a place/opportunity’ for a local child/young person to get involved in GB? Money for this could be used to subsidise subscriptions.
- Community events. Why not host a community event with the wider church? The proceeds of which could be used to support local charities, like GB.
- Giving envelopes. These are a great way to encourage either one-off or regular giving – and are a useful way of claiming Gift Aid on the donated money. Could these be used for GB after a special event, in the seats at church or as part of a church weekend away?