Tribe Nights are here!

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Last night at Pursuit (our student small group night), we set out our vision for this spring term and what we’ll be up to. The winter weather has kicked in now, so hopefully this post will be helpful for anyone who wasn’t able to get through the cold, as well as anyone reading simply intrigued as to what we’re up to this term!

With our Tribes now up and running, we want to give more opportunities to meet in our Tribes as well as all together at Pursuit. We will alternate our Wednesday nights between the two; one week will be a Tribe night, the next a big Pursuit night. And then back to Tribe night. And then Pursuit. Do you see what I mean? Do I need to keep going with this? No? Great.

We want our Tribe nights to be purposeful and focused. Getting together and hanging is good, but it’s even better when we have a clear reason to get together. And since we have three Tribe nights this term, we’ll be doing three different things, all of which are to encourage and challenge us in our following of Jesus.

“WHAT ARE THEY?!”, you all shout really loudly. Well, check out this stunning visual that took me aaaaaaaages to put together…

Impressive, isn’t it?

This is taken from excellent discipleship material by Mike Breen, and the triangle is a helpful visual representation of the different aspects of being disciples of Jesus:

  • UP - our relationship with God

  • IN - our relationship with fellow believers

  • OUT - our relationship with those who don’t know Jesus

All are of equal worth and value. And all are easy to spot in Jesus’ life.

UP time with His Father in heaven was precious time for Jesus. He would retreat from the crowd regularly to speak to His Father, to worship, to pray, to rest. This was the foundation of his every day.

Jesus surrounded himself with those who believed in Him and followed Him. IN time was spent chatting together, eating good food, going about day-to-day life as a community, caring for one another. Jesus allowed them to literally follow Him wherever He went.

And reaching OUT to those who didn’t believe in Him was a key part of Jesus’ lifestyle. He always had time for those who came to Him; he cared for the lost, offering healing to the broken and proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God to anyone who would listen.

His life is the model for our lives as Christians. So one Tribe night will be an UP night, another an IN night, and another an OUT night. What does that mean?

On an UP night, we’ll gather at our church offices and have the whole evening to worship God. To sing songs to Him, share scripture with each other, offer prayer, follow the Spirit’s leading and step out in using spiritual gifts to encourage and build up.

An IN night will be gathering together in a cosy house of a lovely family in the church to have a warming drink, catch up with how life is going and then focus on this question: “How are you really doing?” It’s easy to have surface conversations - we believe Jesus desires us to go deeper with one another and learn how to open up about what’s beneath the surface. As each Tribe begins to feel more like a family, we will realise we can trust one another with the nitty-gritty of life and then pray together.

An OUT night will also be in a relaxing, homely setting (what a generous church we have of people giving us their lounges!) to talk about our personal evangelism. We all have people in our lives who don’t yet follow Jesus and we often need to spend intentional time to actually talk about them, what our relationships are like, and come up with ideas of how we can purposefully share the good news of Jesus with them. We’ll be asking, “What is God saying to you, and what are you going to do about it?” We can help each other to be not just hearers of God’s word but also doers.

If you’re already part of a Tribe, I want to challenge you to be committed. Diaries get full and we can’t always do everything, but just as so many are committed to Pursuit, I want that same heart for Tribe nights. God loves the big gatherings and the small. He uses both, often in different ways. So I hope you can be there and enjoy all your Tribe nights this term.

If you’re not yet a part of a Tribe, it’s so easy to be in one. Come along to Pursuit, and when you’re ready to, you can officially sign up here and we will add you to one. Or simply chat to one of our student leaders at a student event and we will get you stuck in with a Tribe.

Here’s all our upcoming dates for your diary:



About the Author

Sam Gardner is City Students leader and ID supervisor at the City Church, Canterbury and Whitstable. He is passionate about seeing young adults come to know Jesus and spend their lives following Him.

Sam loves his wife Andi, exercising, having dinner with friends and a good cup of tea in the morning. 


Sam GardnerThe City Church