- Developing disciples (for comment please)
- Bitesize philosophy
- Images and internet for use in presentations
Developing Disciples (For comment please)
Many of you have been involved in contributing to our audit last year of practice across dioceses relating to lay development and ministry – or contributed to seminars around discipleship growth and strategy. Repeatedly you have drawn attention to the importance of encouraging a culture in the church that is seen to value the whole people of God in all that it does, plus engaging in practices that promote the ongoing formation of all. This is not only about ‘putting on courses’: a diocese needs to intentionally think of ways to support development, and avoid practices that (maybe unintentionally) could give an implicit message that – to quote George Orwell – “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
At a meeting of diocesan directors of ministry and training this week, Joanna and Tim shared the current state of play on national work around discipleship development. The meeting looked at this working draft of MARKS OF A DIOCESE COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING DISCIPLES
, part of cross-departmental work aiming to stimulate intentional practice and discussion in dioceses.
The paper raised interesting discussion, including one about the use of vocabulary. Is the word ‘disciples
’ helpful? Does it add anything to simply using the term ‘Christian’
? Is ‘discipleship
’ a helpful phrase? People are disciples of Jesus, but is ‘discipleship’ a term with Biblical roots? One diocese had undertaken a survey and found 20% of parishes used the word discipleship regularly, and 50% occasionally. What words were in use in different places?
We would like to use words and phrases that resonate with all, and also to be inclusive by incorporating phrases that are especially significant to people within the different church traditions, so that this can be a tool about enabling the whole people of God. We would value thoughts from lots of you about this, so please look at the document. What phrases or words would you recommend using– or maybe avoid or adjust? Please do contact Joanna and/or Tim with your thoughts and suggestions during next week ( We have a meeting to collate comments received on Friday 5 December).
Tim Ling writes:
“How Can I Know Wrong from Right? What Does It Mean To Be Free? Why Are Things Beautiful?
Are all questions being asked and answered in a series of animations of less than 2 minutes produced by the BBC on its HISTORY OF IDEAS
pages. If you haven’t come across these already FM Readers may find them useful conversations starters or even a refresher on some challenging ideas, enjoy!”
Images and internet material for use in presentations
- This blog piece on sources of images for use in presentations could be a useful for many in the preparation of teaching materials. As well as links to sources (both free and those that cost) it includes useful information on image quality, copyright etc.
Following the death of Gerard Hughes this month, an extract from his classic God of Surprises.
The chapter 'Clearing the approaches' offers a framework and insights looking at patterns of faith development some find more helpful or complementary to Westerhoff / Fowler etc.
"The Church must encourage the critical element in its members. If it fails to do so, then the individual will not be able to integrate religious belief with everyday experience or, put in other words, God will be excluded from most of the individual's life until religion comes to be considered a private but harmless eccentricity of a minority.
If the Church does encourage the critical element, then it must expect ot be questioned and challenged by its members and it must bw prepared to change its own ways on thinking and acting, submitting itself to the light of truth. Such an attitude is only possible in a Church which has a strong faith in God's presence in all things.............Her teachings will never be delivered as the last word on any subject, but rather as signposts, encouraging her members to explore the route further for themselves."
Gerard Hughes, God of Surprises,
DLT 1985, p. 21
National Adviser in Adult Education and Lay Development
National Adviser, Continuing Ministerial Development