Friday, 22 June 2012

Developing a culture of discipleship...

Like many church leaders at the moment I’m doing quite a bit of thinking and reflecting on how we as a church make disciples? As part of this we decided earlier this year to join a Learning Community led by Paul Maconochie and Rich Robinson of 3DMUK, this Learning Community has been set up in partnership with Fresh Streams and will run for 2012 and 2013. The first Learning Community took place in February the theme was “Creating a Discipleship Culture” June marks the 3 month point between that Learning Community and the next one in October – and I and my leadership team, like all the churches on the Learning Community, have been working through our goals for these 6 months that are helping us work through and actually do what we believed God said to us at the Learning Community!

One of the goals for us is:
To explore a language that we can use that will help set this culture in HBC.

To have a common language within our church that everyone has a clear understanding on what we mean by that word will I believe help determine some of our behaviour together as individual disciples and as a community of believers. So we have been thinking about words like disciple, Kingdom, Covenant, authority, power, accountability, Lordship of Jesus, pastoral care to name a few. Words that are familiar to anyone who belongs to a church but words that we all understand, I’m not sure!

At the same time we are reviewing and revisiting our Pastoral Care Ministry Area, our Minister in Training is moving on and she has been heading up this area within the congregation so its seemed a great opportunity to do some thinking about what we mean by Pastoral Care.

In fact this was another of our goals in the 6-month period:
As a result of the “Pastoral Interregnum” to set up a new ministry area maybe called "Discipleship and Spiritual Formation"

TBH with you I don’t think we shall call it this but what we have been doing is looking at words help us describe what we are trying to achieve via “pastoral care” – this is how we are framing it at the moment:

“To nurture and equip the congregation at HBC in order that each individual becomes a committed follower of Jesus, knowing the love of the Father, for themselves, for others and for the lost. Each person a fully functioning disciple engaged in Kingdom work.”

Like I say we are just half way into our 6 month goals and we have 5 others to work at as well!! But I am beginning to sense that at least with our leadership team and some of our Ministry Leaders we are all beginning to speak the same language and the beginnings of a new culture of discipleship here at HBC.

I plan to add some more reflections on our other goals and the developing journey for us as a leadership and a congregation…

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