Over the autumn term of 2020 we are thinking about the important elements, principles and ideas to calibrate our church around discipleship. Of course, discipleship is what the church is always meant to be about. However, hundreds and hundreds of years of church practice has meant we’ve got somewhat stuck in a rut.
The Covid pandemic represents an enforced time of stopping some of our usual practices and allows us the opportunity to think freshly about church.
Instead of starting with our usual activities, programmes and practices and then trying to fit people into them, what if we started with a the aim of making disciples and had the activities, programmes and practices fit around what we’re called to do?
This is our plan and the journey we’re undertaking.
So, during the autumn, each week we’re taking an idea and spending a short time thinking about it to get us ready. We hope you use the week in between to consider and work it into your own life.
Here is the journey so far. Click on the title of each week for more details :
What do we mean when we say the word ‘church’? Do we need to reconsider this over-used word? Dave and Sarah outline our aims for the autumn term and where we want to be in 2021.
What does it mean to have faith? Is it just a segment to fill a gap in our life, or is it in all our life?
Why would we include Jesus in every area of our lives? What about the bits that seem so unspiritual? What can we learn from Jesus to help us with our modern, everyday life? We introduce the idea of ‘security’ to understand how we can see God being present in our lives.
What is this emphasis on small communities? Have we given up on Sunday services all together? (Spoiler: no.) Why are communities important to discipleships? And, how willing are we to change anyway? What insecurities might hold us back?
How do we actually go about changing towards the person God created us to be? Do we just have a vague hope that, over time, we’ll somehow be transformed? This week we think about a framework to understand the process of change.
What are the areas we need to focus on, and how can we begin to talk about it? We want to develop a common language to help our discipleship process as we think about growing in security in all of our lives.
What is different about the Hubs we are looking towards? Are they different from what we have done before? Are they just small groups? As we continue to think about how Hubs will be centred around discipleship, we talk about some principles that will underpin them in 2021.
If we are prepared to reorganise church around discipleship, how might this actually work? How does this help in our current pandemic reality and how will it be beneficial beyond that? We’re very familiar with the way church has traditionally been organised and structured, so how easy might we find change?
Friendships don’t just happen. They require time and intention to grow and develop into something that will support, encourage and shape us. For Hubs to do what we want, we need to choose to invest our time in building friendships, which means going beyond ‘attending’ and into ‘doing life together’.
We think more about out spirituality moving beyond ‘attending’ an event. We grow in community with others and so we need to make an active choice to be part of community, which requires a commitment. As we think about forming communities in Hubs, we need to face the reality that is no perfect group! But even this is part of our growth. So instead of holding back because of the problems of community… join to be involved in being part of the solution.
God is interested in more than changing our behaviour and actions. He want’s to change who we are. This change happens in our heart and works outwards into our actions. We need to learn to engage with God in our inner world of thoughts, feelings and motivations. And the good news is, he’s never shocked and he wants to help us here.
On the final week of the Learning Journey, Dave and Sarah summarise our plans, hopes and dreams for 2021 by talking about the nuts and bolts of what’s going to happen.