The call to discipleship lies at the heart of what it means to be Christian. Jesus calls women and men from all walks of life to be his disciples – to follow him in faith, hope and love (1Cor 13:13). The call to be a disciple is one of learning and formation into the likeness of Christ. This commitment to following is foundational to the life and culture of our parishes, congregations and fresh expressions of church. Being a disciple involves service of one another and our communities and underscores our witness and work in the world.
Many church communities have a rich programme of activities that link together their life as communities of worship, care and service. There are a number of resources available for churches that help to explore what following Christ looks like today. Two good directories of such resources can be found at http://www.disciplekit.org/ and http://www.discipleshiptrove.com/
To help guide you through which resources to choose, we have identified some specific resources that can be used to help with the task of discipleship with respect to enquiry, nurture, growth and service. As well as pointing people towards these resources our teams can also help provide training as to how these resources can be best used see our Deepening Discipleship programme for further information.
This group of resources are useful for helping those new to the church or who are exploring Christianity for the first time
Alpha - A well-known 10 week course originating from Holy Trinity Brompton. Used by many churches it features include eating together to discuss topics around what Christians believe. You can find out much more about Alpha on their website: www.alpha.org. Also available as Youth Alpha
The Christianity Explored course gives you time and space to think through who Jesus is and why it matters. It is a 7-week course exploring the gospel of Mark. You can find out much more about Christianity Explored on their website: http://www.christianityexplored.org/
Another good resource to direct people towards is the Christian Enquiry Agency website - http://christianity.org.uk/. This site is a fantastic place for people to explore and ask questions about faith through articles and videos and to pose questions to a trained team via email.
The diocesan Mission and Evangelism team also have some helpful resources and training for helping your church to share faith more openly.
As disciples we are formed and sustained through the grace of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is the ongoing work of Christ that enables us to fulfil our individual callings and express our worship and service. The resources below are each focussed on helping people to explore more about knowing this God and where God is active in our lives
Pilgrim is a major new teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day. Much more information about Pilgrim can be found on their website: http://www.pilgrimcourse.org/.
The Discipleship Explored course is an 8-week course based on Philippians which follows on from the Christianity Explored course. You can find out more on the Christianity Explored Website
Life on the Frontline is a six-session DVD resource for small groups to inspire and equip Christians to make a difference on their Frontlines – in the workplace and local communities.
Are you ready is a book of 19 ready-to-use, interactive sessions to use with young people who are preparing for confirmation. The book also includes a full programme for a pre-confirmation retreat and a liturgy for the enrolment of confirmands. Works well with the confirmation gift book Living your Confirmation (SPCK, 2012)
The Diocese has two courses that focus on helping you and your church to grow in Christ
Deepening Discipleship draws together resources, training and events that support the discipleship and ministry of the whole people of God. The call to be a disciple is one of learning and formation into the likeness of Christ. It is a lifelong journey that draws us into deep patterns of worship and prayer, and service of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 5:1-12). Deepening Discipleship is a diocesan wide programme designed to support this journey and has been designed to support the ongoing activities within our parishes, Fresh Expressions and chaplaincies.
There are three strands to the programme:
- Growing in Faith and Life: courses and talks to support discipleship and ministry of the whole people of God
- Following in Faith: resources and training for discipleship in parish and community life
- Living in Hope & Love: events to encounter God in scripture, prayer and service
Leading Your Church Into Growth is a course for church leaders (lay and ordained) to gather together to look at principles and practices that stimulate growth. Based on training developed across traditions and contexts our Mission and Evangelism team run this course here in Southwark.
Some people might also find the Growing Leaders course a good way of developing and sustaining leadership across larger churches – to help these thrive and innovate.
Fan the Flame offers a way for congregations in the catholic tradition to rekindle their faith through a week of teaching and renewal.
The call to discipleship is also one to love and service of our communities. These two sites will help you to think through the opportunities and challenges of mission as loving service.
Church Challenge is a discipleship experience for your whole church to take part in, exploring the spiritual disciplines of prayer, simplicity and generosity.
The Cinnamon Network: Ready Steady Go resource will help you to think about:
- Understanding the needs of your community
- Planning to meet the needs of your community
- Launching one of our recognised projects