Discipleship, vocation and evangelism are our diocesan priorities. They are our way of focussing together on what it means to grow into Christlikeness, to invite others to join us on that journey and to help one another flourish in the abundant life God gives us.
Since autumn 2020 we have been exploring sustainable patterns of church that will enable us to continue focussing on discipleship, vocation and evangelism. Through this Shaping for Mission programme, many deaneries have asked for resources to support them in the outworking of these priorities. On this page you will find a range of resources as well as a set of questions under each priority heading. The questions are designed to help us assess whether an activity, event or focus will serve our priorities of DVE as together we follow Christ.
There are many courses and resources available for developing discipleship.
Living Faith is the diocesan course for those who want to explore their faith further. It follows the seasons of the Christian year and can be run in small groups.
Pilgrim is a catechetical course (one which teaches the basics of the faith) from the Church of England House of Bishops http://www.pilgrimcourse.org/
Difference In a divided and fractured world, it can be hard to know where to begin with the issues that surround us. Difference is a 5 session course that explores following Jesus in a complex and divided world, seeing transformation through everyday encounters.
Everyday Faith has a wide range of resources to support discipleship in everyday life.
Growing Leaders and Growing Leaders - Youth Edition from CPAS develops emerging and existing leaders in all contexts for anyone over the age of 14. The Arrow Leadership Programme is a more intensive cousin for exisitng leaders (primarily clergy, youthworkers, chaplains etc) aged 25-40.
Caring for one another: 8 ways to cultivate meaningful relationships by Ed Welch has been used by Holy Trinity West Bromwich as an introduction to biblical counselling. Revd Neil Robbie says "I'd be very happy to share our home grown resources once we've refined them a bit, but recommend just buying the book and creating your own sessions. Each chapter had discussion questions."
Discipleship Questions to reflect on for new activities or reflecting on existing commitments:
- In what ways does it develop discipleship?
- Will it help the people involved to deepen their experience or knowledge of God?
- Does it help to do the work of connecting faith and everyday life?
- Does it encourage us to become Christ-like in some way?
- Are we prepared for the fact that there may be a cost to this (Luke 14:27)?
You will find a range of resources for exploring vocation from the vocations and training team.
Your SHAPE for God’s Service explores spirituality, heart’s desire, abilities, personality and experience and is available here.
Worship4Today is designed to help service leaders and musicians develop complimentary understanding of liturgy, theology and musicality. In the decade since it was first run in this diocese, at least three participants have gone on to choose ordination and another serving in lay deanery leadership.
Reimagine: Leading the Church out of Lockdown – a set of resources originally developed in Leicester Diocese – which will help you reflect and think through the process of leading churches forward into a post-lockdown world.
Vocation Questions to reflect on for new activities or reflecting on existing commitments
- In what ways does it encourage vocation?
- Will it help people to understand that God calls them?
- Will it offer ways for them to identify their specific vocation?
- Will it clearly honour and support all types of calling whether in the workplace, home or church?
- Does it provide space for a process of discernment?
Faith Pictures is from Church Army and seeks to enable all Christians to talk about their faith.
Talking Jesus offers a course and resources based on some research around the idea that most people come to faith through conversations with Christians.
Growing Good Toolkit from Church Urban Fund is a free six session course helping churches explore the connection between social action, discipleship and growth. Through six flexible, interactive small group sessions, we explore how our churches can be faithful and fruitful in our local communities.
Evangelism Questions to reflect on for new activities or reflecting on existing commitments:
- In what ways will it inspire evangelism?
- Will it give people confidence and opportunity to tell the Jesus story as they know it?
- Will it tell others directly about Christian faith and invite them to make a response?
- Will it be a clear expression of God’s love for individuals and communities?
- Will it bring you into contact with people who are not like you (ethnicity, education, income, etc)?
How is the diocesan staff team supporting these goals?
Our Vocations and Training team (the development of lay and ordained ministers and those keen to develop their discipleship, leadership and who might be considering further formal training and accreditation in ministry) and Mission team (how parishes, schools, chaplaincies and fresh expressions engage and encourage their disciples and communities) come together under the umbrella of DVE. Colleagues in those teams have a particular focus on supporting people across the diocese in the priorities of discipleship, vocation and evangelism.
But all diocesan teams also have an eye on d,v and e in whatever practical role they have, whether it is supporting parish and school administrators through our governance and finance teams, or the advice and legalities of enabling buildings and churchyards to support the Church's mission in bricks and mortar or life events in our DAC and Registry teams, taking care of our stipendiary clergy in the Property team, awareness and responsibility of our obligations under Safeguarding best practice and legislation or communicating well in print or online.
Share your experience:
Have you run or participated in published courses or series in your church that you'd recommend? Drop us an email with the name and link and we'll look to add it here. We'd love to share some recommendations too, so write a short paragraph or record a short video (50" or less, landscape format) about what was useful about the course, who you would recommend it for and any key points, and email to the Comms team.