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Bishop's Study 2015

Lincoln Readers Study Day. 25/04/15The Diocesan Mission statement...The Diocese of Lincoln is called by God to faithful worship, confident discipleship and joyful service.Church GrowthThose who come to church take faith into the community. A healthy church grows! We must recognise our context – ‘the soil we are in’. Churches cannot just soar on auto pilot! We need:• Churches with clear mission & purpose. • Clergy & congregations who are intentional about and prioritise growth. • Willing to change and adapt.• Lay & ordained in active leadership. • Actively engage children and young people. • Welcoming culture who build ongoing relationships with people. • Churches that nurture disciples - offering specific encouragement through courses & activities. • Clergy / Leaders who innovate, envision and motivate people.Our job is to proclaim the Gospel afresh. We have to minister in the world as it is now! It has changed. ‘Cool’ = with it. ‘Wicked’ = good.Are we a purpose driven Jesus shaped church? Do we have purpose driven thinking or a purposeless church?• We exist to Worship a loving God • Express that love in a Christian Community• Draw people to Jesus - build them up as his followers • Equip them for service for the good of the worldWe need to be: •Worshipping God together •Growing in Jesus•Serving the World. How do we move people from Community - to Crowd, to Worship - Congregation, Fellowship - Committed, Discipleship - Core Service? Natural church development: As a church - what is your shape - your gifts, heart, excited about God, personality, experience. Do we...• Empowering Leadership • Gift orientated ministry• Passionate Spirituality• Functional Structures (sub groups)• Inspiring Worship Services• Holistic Small Groups• Needs Orientated Evangelism• Loving RelationshipsHealthy Churches:• Energizing Faith• Outward looking focus• Find out what God wants• Face the cost of change and growth• Practice an enabling style of leadership• Have participative laity• A Loving Community• Discipleship life long journey of faith• Practice what we preach• Do a few things wellRemember God grows the church – not us!We must have a vision for The Future.Identify our Vision. Where are we now? What is God's vision? It is do-able and difficult.Do we currently focus more on Today > Next week > The Future?Are we helping people belong - so that they may believe?We must have a positive faith based attitude with positive leadership.Are we Radiators or Drains?We are all imperfect unfinished business - we know and so does God.Celebrate the positive in what we have achieved - not focus on the negative!Seek and work with partners in mission. Exercise Prayer and Pruning.'The Provocative Church'. Able to respond when people ask us about or recognise our faith.

Thank you to Bishop David for leading a thought provoking Study Day - addressing a challenging topic: 'Church Growth - Possible?'

Above: Bishop David checks his notes. Below: Chatting with Warden Sally Buck.

Above: Readers Jan & David. Below: Sally chatting with colleagues.

Readers from across the Diocese gathered for our Annual Bishop's Study Day, at St Luke's Birchwood.During the sessions - Bishop David shared how his ministry had developed before arriving in the Lincoln Diocese. He highlighted some of the process undertaken to bring about growth in his previous Parish of Cromer in Norfolk.He emphasised that we are not about using a 'one size fits all' model for Church Growth. We must recognise our context – ‘the soil we are in’. Useful website and reference source document download links below:

From Anedote to Evidence - pdf

Released For Mission - pdf

Bishop David's ppt Slides

Meteor Attack! pdf

Purpose Driven Church pdf

Healthy Church pdf

and Notes relating to Slides

Diocese of LincolnAssociation of Lincoln Readers

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