Growing in Service: Further Modules

Growing in Service: Further Modules

Growing in Service: Further Modules

Understanding Your Local Community

How well do you know your local community? Can you identify its centres and boundaries, its main agencies, networks and organisations? What are its strengths and weaknesses? What kinds of people live in it? How is it changing? Do you know how to gather information about your local community to help your church serve it more effectively? Can you analyse this information and develop plans for mission and ministry?

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Engaging with Your Local Community

The church used to be at the centre of society, but now it is on the margins. What is the role of the church in the local community now? Should it become involved in politics? How can your church members become involved in your local community? What aims and objectives should guide such engagement? How can your church buildings be used for the community? Does a church start with needs or assets? What is community development and community ministry?

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Church Planting Today

Is there a biblical basis for church planting? How and why have churches been planted in the past? What is the story of how your church was planted? Why should we plant new churches today? What kinds of churches do we need? How do we plant these? What resources do we need? How long does it take to plant a church? How do we recognise gifted church planters? What is the role of church planting teams? What if things go wrong?

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Entering the Kingdom

Jesus proclaimed the 'good news of the kingdom' – what does this mean for evangelism today? He announced 'good news to the poor' – how do we relate to those on the margins? What is conversion and how does this happen? Do we need different strategies to share good news with various people groups in our plural society – secular and religious, old and young, men and women, married and single?

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Faith and Reason

What are the questions people often ask? What are the main objections to the gospel? What are the barriers to faith? Are these different now from twenty years ago? How carefully are we listening? How do we respond? What do we say and how do we say it? How do churches on the margins share their faith humbly and boldly? What role does dialogue play in evangelism? What is the relationship between truth and experience, believing and belonging?

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Local Church Planting

How does your local church go about planting a new church down the road? How do you explore this possibility? What steps do you take? How many people do you need? How do you prepare both your church and the planting team? Where will you meet? How will you reach out to others? Who is this church for? In what ways will this new church be different? What about training? How does the new church relate to other churches?

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Planting Churches Anywhere

Most churches are planted down the road by a group from a local church, but are there other ways of planting churches? How do we reach unchurched areas? What models of church planting might work in urban or rural areas? What about cross-cultural church planting? Can we deploy mission teams? Is it better to start from scratch or is there a place for adopting a weak church or replanting a struggling church? Should we plant ecumenically?

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New Ways of Being Church

Why do people leave our churches? What can we learn from this? Why do our churches only attract certain kinds of people? How do we reach other communities? What new forms of church life are emerging in our changing culture, and why? What do we make of cell churches, alternative worship groups, seeker services, network churches, ethnic churches and youth churches? What is happening on the margins? What is essential about being church and what might be done differently?

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Urban Mission

What does the Bible teach about the city? How do themes like shalom, incarnation, liberation, the powers and the kingdom of God help us understand the city? How do we relate this biblical teaching to our own urban context? What is urbanisation and how do we respond to the complex social realities of an urban culture? What is good news for the city? What kinds of churches are flourishing and struggling in the cities?

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Rural Mission

What are the distinctive features of life in the countryside and of rural churches? What changes are taking place in rural Britain? How should churches respond to folk religion? What is the role of the church within the rural community? What factors are contributing to the growth or decline of rural churches? What are the special characteristics of small churches? What forms of evangelism and church planting are relevant to rural communities?

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Cross-Cultural Mission

Have we caught up with the development of a plural culture? What do we know about other faith communities – Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, etc? How do we relate to members of these communities? What do they believe? What do we have in common? Where and why do we differ? How do we grapple with issues of racism in society and in ourselves? What is the task of mission in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society?

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Black Light

Why are there Caribbean and African churches in Britain? Why have they grown so rapidly in recent years? What can they teach us about spirituality, mission, church life and discipleship? How can black and white Christians learn from each other and work in partnership? What role have black people played in the Bible, church history and the history of Britain? How can we recognise racism in ourselves and institutions and work for change?

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Conflict Transformation

What are the causes of conflict in the congregation? What issues cause difficulty? Is conflict a healthy or unhealthy aspect of the life of a community? What damage can conflict cause if handled badly? What skills are needed in a congregation if it is to handle conflict well? What is the role of a mediator in situations of conflict? What biblical resources and models are available to help us deal with conflict?

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