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Mission Network News

Church Growth Course

Tim Ling writes:
“I am delighted to be sharing the latest report coming from the Clergy Experiences of Ministry project. This time it’s on Church Growth Courses. Stuart Burns (Head of School for Ministry, Leicester diocese, and also currently on a secondment with Ministry Division) has interviewed five dioceses and other partners about their practices. His report offers a number of key insights (including a reflection on ‘what is a church growth course’!):

  • Participation and effectiveness of a Church growth course is influenced by the overall direction and ethos of the diocese. Permission-giving is important on the part of individual parishes, national providers of courses, diocesan structures, and individual clergy and laity.
  • Vision for growth precedes resource allocation.
  • Clergy and laity learn well alongside each other, and laity are eager, innovative and open to church growth. Laity implement their learning and do so most effectively in partnership with clergy.
  • Understanding context and accompanied application of learning is key to long term change and church growth.
  • Relationships between national course providers and diocese officers benefit from long term connections and effective networks. Where small pilot initiatives are successful, momentum for larger (and potentially more risky) partnerships increases. Trust flows both ways, and both are enriched in their work.

The full report can be found at:

On Tuesday 2nd June 2015 (11am – 3pm, Church House Westminster) Ministry Division (in collaboration with Rachel Jordan, National Mission and Evangelism Adviser) are hosting a Consultation event to help the further sharing of insights and learning in this area with a view to further developing practice in this area. 

Please contact Stuart, for further information and to reserve a place. We aim to accommodate as many people as we can, and should there be high demand we may arrange a further date.

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