4s Guide

words by Chris Bond

At Hope one of the ways we position ourselves to become more like Jesus is to meet regularly with 2 or 3 others who will know us, encourage us and challenge us.

You can listen to an audio version of this blog here:


As followers of Jesus our goal is to become more like Him. One of the ways we do this is to meet with a small number of other Christians who know us and will help us keep focused and motivated.

“As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27.17
At Hope we call these ‘4s’ because they generally (but not always) involve 4 people and have 4 main components.
4 People
3 or 4 people are ideal so you can know the detail of each other’s lives.
Men meet with men, and women meet with women. Or some find this works well within marriages, forming a 4 together with another couple.
Let Chris or Alice know if you’re forming a 4 or would like to join one:      [email protected]
4 Things
When you meet regularly think about having these 4 components within your time together. You will probably spend more time on one or two of them in each session but find a healthy balance of the four over time.

1.  Your Jesus Story
2.  Progress
3.  Practices
4.  Prayer

1. Your Jesus Story
• We each have a story of how we came to meet and follow Jesus. Know the story of the others in your 4.
• We each have an ‘Original Design,’ particular gifts and callings. Know the Original Design of others in your 4 and encourage them to live it.
• We are called to share the Jesus story with others around us. We often refer to this in Hope as our ‘Out’ or place of mission.
2. Progress
To follow Jesus is to be a life-long learner, constantly becoming more like Him through the ups and downs of life.
As a 4 we encourage and gently challenge each other in this journey of change. “What’s Jesus saying to you?” “Well done for persevering.” “I think this bit of the bible might help.” “This is your Original Design.” “Shall we pray and forgive that person now?”
3. Practices
Jesus had regular ‘practices’ through which He connected with His Father. He would often go off on His own, spent much time in prayer and fasted.
Reading the Bible, praying and other practices are vital for us if we are to grow as followers of Jesus and see His kingdom come around us.
As 4s, encourage each other in your spiritual practices.
4. Prayer
• Pray for each other to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
• Pray for each other’s ‘people of peace’
Recommended Reading
Garden City by John Mark Comer
Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Calvary Road by Roy Hession
Hope’s Resources
Up In Out blogs including People of Peace and transparent relationships
The Living Free Course – dates and sign up through the office.
Marginal Gains (relating to ‘Practices’) blog


A Suggested Pattern

Meet for 1½ hours at least once a fortnight. Make it a diary priority. If you want time for more general chat plan to have that afterwards. If you want to be tighter on time you can fit it in 1 hour, especially if there are just 3 of you.

Session 1:

  • Spend 15 minutes per person, how they became a Christian and their Original Design. Make notes to help you remember.
  • For the next 20 minutes each person share either a ‘Progress’ item (something God is leading you in) or about a ‘Practice’ you’re working on.
  • For the last 10 minutes pray for each other.


Session 2:

  • Spend 10 minutes feeding back encouragements of what’s changed since you last met (it’s always healthy to start with thanks and encouragements and then to move onto challenges and trials later)
  • Spend 10 minutes hearing from each person about their Jesus story relating to ‘Out’ – who are their people of peace, what’s their place of mission etc…
  • Focus on each person on an area of ‘Progress’ or ‘Practices’ for 10 minutes per person. Normally each person will come to the session with an area they want to talk about but over time members of the 4 might suggest you focus on a particular area for one person (for example “I know God’s been speaking to you about your relationship with your Mum. Can we hear how that’s going?”).
  • For the last 10 minutes pray for each other.


Structure future sessions similarly with the same 4 ingredients.