In June and July we are hosting three evenings at St Paul’s under the title “Church – Past Present & Future.” The intention of these evenings is to explore some of the background to the nature of the church in the 21st century and how we as the church need to continue to adapt and change.
Below I highlight some recent research that the Church of England has done. Please do complete the survey you will find at the end of this post. The more responses we get the more helpful it will be!
Please put the following dates in your diary and come along:
June 22nd 7.30pm – Growing The Vision
July 6th 7.30pm – Christmas!
Between 2011 and 2013 the Church of England conducted a research project on factors that influence church growth. The focus was to look at areas of ministry that were growing numerically and find our why. It may, or may not, surprise you that this is the first study of this sort that the Church of England has done!
In the introduction to the findings Archbishop Justin Welby says:
“As Christians we believe that the best decision anyone can make is to decide to follow Jesus Christ. It must then be of primary importance to us that so many people live their lives unaware of Jesus’ invitation to follow him. How we as a Church help people hear, experience and respond to the call of Jesus is the most urgent of our priorities.”
So what did the study reveal? It identifies eight areas, some of which growing churches were likely to have in common.
- A church that has a clear mission and purpose and whose clergy and congregations are intentional about growth
- A church that understands its context, actively engages with it and with those who might not currently go to church
- A church that is willing to change and adapt
- A church which is welcoming and builds on-going relationships with people
- A church that has clergy and lay leaders who innovate, envision and motivate people
- A church where lay people as well as ordained clergy are active in leadership and other roles
- A church that actively engages children and young people
- A church that nurtures disciples
We will look at some of these together when Charlie Peer leads our evening together later this month. In the meantime it would be really interesting and helpful to know from as many people as possible how you think we are doing against the descriptions above.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY YOU WILL FIND HERE it will help us greatly as we prepare for our evening on the 22nd of June.
You can read more about this research here: From Evidence To Action
Things I’ve read this week: