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Welcome to a day about Transforming Church. Ma ki ng dis cipl es i n M i d i s iz ed Ch ur ch es. Numbers of churches growing & shrinking. October Count all week average: adults children

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Welcome to a day about Transforming Church


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welcome to a day about transforming church
Welcome to a day about Transforming Church

Makingdisciplesin

Midi sized Churches

numbers of churches growing shrinking
Numbers of churches growing & shrinking
  • October Count all week average:
  • adults children
  • Numbers up in 2012 15 17
  • Numbers the same 1 3
  • Numbers down in 2012 11 7
  • Group % growth 6% 33%
  • Child % growth less school events 27%
growing the church
Growing the church….
  • Is about growth in three dimensions – spiritual, numerical & vitality
  • Healthy churches grow in all three dimensions together
  • Growing churches get deeper with God and more effective in their communities as well as bigger
  • Jesus told us not to be churchgoers but to be his disciples
  • He told us not to make churchgoers but to make disciples
  • And he promised us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us
matthew ch 28v19 20 acts ch 1v8
Matthew ch 28v19,20 & Acts ch 1v8

“Go and make disciples of all nations….teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”

so what does it mean to be a witnessing disciple
So what does it mean to be a witnessing disciple?
  • A witness is, literally from the Greek, a martyr – a ‘blood-witness’ to Jesus in a hostile world.
  • A Christian witness testifies to their experience of Jesus by how they live and what they say
  • As a result, others begin to follow Jesus as well
so what does it mean to be a witnessing disciple1
So what does it mean to be a witnessing disciple?
  • A disciple is committed to their rabbi or master – an imitator of them, trying to become like them, part of their team, learning from them in order to be able to teach and influence others
  • A disciple is not just an acquaintance of the master, a disciple’s life is shaped around serving the master
  • We are called to be Jesus’ disciples ourselves and to help others grow as disciples as well
who are we helping to become disciples
Who are we helping to become disciples?

We are Anglicans – we are there for everybody!

But the most responsive people tend to be children, teenagers, young adults and families…………….

who are we helping to become disciples1
Who are we helping to become disciples?

We are Anglicans – we are there for everybody!

But the most responsive people tend to be children, teenagers, young adults and families…………….

We are there to help both people who are close to church and those who are a million miles away………………..

acts ch 1v8
Acts ch 1v8

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”

growing witnessing disciples in the nt

Judea …

Samaria …

The ends of the earth ….

Churched

Fringe?

De-Churched?

Non-Churched?

Growing witnessing disciples in the NT

Jerusalem

slide15

Churched

What challenge will help you grow as a disciple? It may be a church job, a contribution to the wider community, or a new piece of Christian learning

Jerusalem

slide16

Judea …

Churched

Fringe?

How can you bring fringe people and the church children into the centre? Give them a role? Get them into a small group? Get to know them, mentor them?

Jerusalem

slide17

Judea …

Samaria …

Churched

Fringe?

De-Churched?

What ways can you find to befriend and invite people who have drifted away or fallen out with church, including the teens who have left Sunday School?

Jerusalem

slide18

Judea …

Samaria …

The ends of the earth ….

Churched

Fringe?

De-Churched?

Non-Churched?

How can you go to the foreign countries and speak the foreign languages of the tribes among whom you live? This may not be about inviting them to ‘your’ church but about forming new shapes of church around and with your different people-groups

Jerusalem

what sort of church is yours
What sort of church is yours?
  • Are you stuck in Jerusalem or moving out to Samaria & The Ends
  • Are you growing in depth and vitality as Jesus’ disciples?
  • Are there plenty of you but it’s a bit shallow?
  • Does it feel like the Holy Spirit pours life into you?
  • And does that life overflow into making new disciples and serving the community?
  • Or is it all a bit stagnant?
  • If your church was a lake, what sort of lake would it be?

(Caution – Marmite Moment)

archbishop justin s vision
Archbishop Justin’s vision
  • There is no reason why the C of E could not double in size in the next 15-25 years if we renew our prayer life, achieve reconciliation within the church & beyond it, and recover the priority of evangelism at every level of the church:
  • Boards, Councils, committees, PCCs – our agendas, diaries and budgets should be dominated not by money, buildings & internal conflicts but by evangelism – by the drive to become witnessing disciples
  • Every Christian should routinely invite people to their church, should be informed & confident in their faith, and should be capable of witnessing to it
routinely invite people to church samaria
Routinely invite people to church - Samaria
  • 3m people say they would come to church if invited
  • They are not inclined to gate-crash someone else’s private club
  • But so far nobody ever has invited them
  • Pray about whom to invite – find one of the 3m
  • Pray for the courage and opportunity to invite them
  • Back to Church Sunday
  • But what about Christmas? In fact, any Sunday?
  • Create regular opportunities in the church calendar
routinely invite people to church samaria1
Routinely invite people to church - Samaria
  • Most people need inviting several times before self-starting
  • You need some confidence in your church’s events, services & community to risk inviting people-so make church a great experience for newcomers!
  • Always offer to bring people with you, to call for them or meet them
  • Be cunning – ‘Would you like to come to church at 10.30 then to our house for Sunday lunch?’
  • ‘Would you like to come one Sunday?’ – takes away the ‘Sorry I’m busy this week’ excuse
  • Use a Sunday with an invitation card. Pick the right one – invite a young family to Mothering Sunday, an old soldier to Remembrance Sunday
routinely invite people to church samaria2
Routinely invite people to church - Samaria
  • Smarten up the welcome – do ‘Everybody Welcome’ or ask Rhiannon about doing some ‘Welcome’ training with you
  • Appoint a ‘Welcome Team’
  • Develop a church culture in which friendliness quickly moves on to friendship
  • People need to do more than just attend a church event – they need to start belonging to the church community
routinely develop your foreign language skills the end of the earth
Routinely develop your foreign language skills – The end of the earth
  • Develop links with your unreached people-groups
  • Find the open and sympathetic people
  • Work with them at developing new ways of being church
  • The story of Baslow – the school gate, assemblies, friendship links, a new style, doing it with them not for them, being prepared to give something up
be informed confident in your faith
Be informed & confident in your faith
  • Courses for Christians to deepen faith & understanding (Pilgrim)
  • Small groups – be in one, be used to discussing life and faith-issues
  • Read Christian books or use new media
  • Study the Bible regularly at home
  • Absorb what weekly worship and sermons can give you
  • Be honest about your gaps and go out of your way to plug them
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the naïve questions – others will be grateful
  • Confidence comes from experience of God in our lives so we need churches in which it is normal to share our experiences – in services, in small groups, in conversations and one to ones
be capable of witnessing to your faith
Be capable of witnessing to your faith
  • Apparently +Justin was ‘absolutely terrified’ of evangelism until he did the ‘Lost for words’ course from CPAS, which he found ‘transformative’
  • Check out the ‘Lost for words’ course and consider using it in your church
  • Look out for a major ‘Lay Discipleship’ conference “Inviting Disciples” to be put on by ‘Church of England – Birmingham’ on November 15th 2014 – we are hoping for 1000 people at it. Invites to come.
faith sharing courses
Faith-sharing courses
  • Blowing Your Cover Evangelism training course – 6 sessions
  • Becoming a contagious Christian Willow Creek – 6 sessions
  • Lost for Words CPAS Courses for children, youth & adults – 6 weeks
  • Mind the Gap Gap between church & popular culture agape.org.uk
  • Time to Talk to God From the Methodist Church
be capable of witnessing to your faith1
Be capable of witnessing to your faith
  • We are called to be witnesses not evangelists
  • To tell our story not explain substitutionary atonement theory
  • Learn to tell your own story in the safety of a small group of Christian friends
  • Hone it down – two minutes not twenty
  • Make it up to date not all about 30 years ago
  • Make testimony a regular feature of church services
  • When you are confident about telling a story pray for opportunities to tell it
now lets hear a story
Now lets hear a story……

St John Perry Barr