HUDDLES AT FOOTHILLS FELLOWSHIP
A Huddle is a small group of people who desire to grow together as disciples of Jesus and who want to be equipped to make disciples. This is done by consistently meeting together to study the Bible, to grow as disciples, to be equipped for disciple-making, and to develop the ability to hear and respond to God.
A Huddle follows the pattern of discipleship we see in the Gospels. Jesus called a group of disciples to journey together with Him for an extended period. During this time, they learned to imitate Him, and as they did, He sent them out on mission. They went out, came back together to receive encouragement and challenge, and then they were sent out again - and so on.
Huddles at Foothills have the same goal. People journey together to learn, grow, and listen to the Lord. As they do, they hear God calling them to go on mission to people in their neighborhood or to people in their network of family or friends. The Huddle prays for them, equips them, encourages them, and supports them as they go. They come back to the Huddle to receive continued encouragement, support, and challenge, and then they go out again – and so on.
The mission of Foothills Fellowship is to equip disciples of Jesus to make disciples who make disciples. So, a Huddle isn’t just a gathering where people grow in following Jesus; it’s a gathering where they also are equipped and called to be disciples who makes disciples who make disciples, and they do it by constantly asking, “What is God saying to me? What does He want me to do about it? And to whom is God calling me to go on mission to make disciples?”
How often do Huddles meet? Preferably, weekly. However, depending on the availability of each Huddle member, some Huddles might meet every-other-week. Each Huddle will decide when to meet and how often to meet.
How long is a Huddle gathering? 1 to 2 hours. We try to limit a Huddle gathering to one hour of the actual content portion of the Huddle, but if your Huddle decides to eat together as well – which is encouraged – it may last longer.
Who leads a Huddle? Huddle leaders are those who have been in a Huddle for some time (at least 6-12 months) themselves and have sensed the leading of the Lord to branch out from their Huddle-of-origin and start their own.
Where do Huddles meet? Preferably in homes. However, some may find it better to meet over Zoom some of the time or all of the time. Some Huddles may choose to meet in a coffee shop or other public spaces. Each Huddle will decide where and how to meet.
How long do Huddles meet? This all depends on how God moves among the Huddle members. Ideally, you will always have some connection to your Huddle-of-origin, but as Huddle members sense God’s leading to launch their own Huddles or to venture out into ministry in some other way (neighborhood or network), the Huddle-of-origin will meet less as members go on mission to make disciples who make disciples. For those who are new to Huddles, there is an initial period of time necessary for learning and practicing discipleship and disciple-making tools and for listening to the Lord together. This takes about 3-6 months – depending on how often the Huddle gathers.
If I’m currently in a Huddle or small group, do I need to change? No. Current Huddles should still meet if they are still gathering. If you are currently part of a small group, your leaders will begin the transition of infusing the DNA of a Huddle into your current gatherings. This may require some format adjustments, but as a group, you will work on this together.
If I’ve already been Huddled and it has stopped meeting, do I need to join a new Huddle? Yes! The goal is for everyone in the church to be a part of a Huddle. Even if God leads you to launch your own Huddle or to venture out into ministry, the idea is that the relationships, accountability, and encouragement of a Huddle are always present in your life. Of course, as time goes on and you sense God leading you to seek disciple-making thru launching a new Huddle or thru other ministry involvement, your Huddle-of-origin will meet less – but you should still have some connection to it.
Is it OK to join a new Huddle if I’m already in a Huddle or a small group? Yes. We are viewing this period of time as a time of transition to all things Huddle in accordance with our new discipleship and disciple-making strategy.
Can I choose which Huddle to join? Yes. Once we have a clear idea of how many people are answering this initial call to join a Huddle, we will let everyone know the days and times of each Huddle gathering. Some Huddles will be ladies-only, some will be men-only, and some will be mixed. Once you have all the information, you are welcome to choose if you’d like.
What about my kids? Children are young disciples in the making, so they are welcome to be a part of any facet of a Huddle as their parents deem appropriate. Some Huddles may choose to include kids more than others. Some may develop an age-appropriate discipleship piece for their kids. Some may choose not to have their children involved at all. This is up to each parent and each Huddle. By the way, our My Message kids’ ministry and youth ministry on Sunday mornings are exposing our kids to some of the discipleship principles adults are pressing-in to in their Huddles!