Discipleship

Jesus’ last commission to his followers was, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you’ (Matthew 29.19-20). Making disciples is at the heart of the Church’s mission.

Discipleship begins when people hear the call of Jesus, ‘Follow me,’ and respond in faith and obedience.

Discipleship affects how we live the whole of our lives in company with Jesus – a process of lifelong learning and growth. It is supported by worship, prayer, Bible study and fellowship. It makes an impact on how we use time, money and our gifts. It challenges us about life at home, at work and in the community and how we care for others and the world we live in. For some there may be a call to particular ministries in the Church.

We are committed to encouraging and supporting people on their journey of discipleship. This website provides links to information, helpful resources and training provided not just by this Department but by others in the Diocese and other organisations.

Resources and downloads

All Christians are called to be disciples, ‘learners’, following Jesus. It is a life-long process of personal transformation and of living for and serving God. Discipleship comes first and must be the basis from which any ministry arises. It touches on many areas of our lives. Below are links to resources which support discipleship; some of them are diocesan resources and some are web-sites of other organisations and dioceses.

Helping people get to know the Bible – reading and studying the Bible and learning to understand the Christian faith are key ways to grow in discipleship. Find our about schemes to encourage church members in reading the Bible regularly.

Bible reading notes – some suggested resources for individual Bible reading.

Prayer strengthens our relationship with God.

Taking part in worship is another mark of discipleship.

Resources for learning together in small groups

Small groups – play a very important role in encouraging discipleship. We can provide help in encouraging the development of groups and in training group leaders. There is a wide variety of resources available for small groups. Contact the Department of Mission and Ministry for more information.

There are locally-produced resources for groups in the Diocese.

A study guide to Bishop Michael’s book, ‘Jesus and Peter’, which explores what it meant for Peter to become a ‘friend of Jesus’.

Bible studies on ‘Running the Race’ spurred on by the example of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.

There are sessions for groups, reflecting on the stations set up for ‘Experience Easter’ in Experience Easter with Adults.

The Education for Discipleship programme can be used flexibly to provide studies for groups. You can download any of the modules.

Several organisations provide on-line resources many of which are free.

A good number of publishers include material for groups in the resources they produce. They include
The Bible Society
Bible Reading Fellowship
IBRA
IVP Books 
Scripture Union

The Diocesan Resource Centre has copies of a wide range of study guides on a wide variety of Bible passages and other topics and some DVDs suitable for small groups.

Education for Discipleship – is a resource for groups who want to take a deeper look at the Christian faith. The Diocesan programme has modules which provide an overview of the Bible, Church history, ethics, worship and spirituality and other faiths.

Faith at work

As disciples we seek to serve God in the world. There are challenges about how we live out our faith in the environment of work.

How to Encourage Faith at Work – is a set of guidelines developed from discussions in the Diocese a few year’s ago.

Faith at Work Worship Resources – contains eucharistic materials

About our Father’s Business – is a helpful booklet of ideas produced by the Saltley Trust in Birmingham

The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity is one of the key places where thinking has taken place about the link between faith and work. They have just launched some new materials they have developed in the light of their experience working closely with a range of churches on their ‘Imagine Project’ – focussing not just on encouraging individual disciples but on the characteristics of a disciple-making church. See their ‘resources’ section for the Imagine Project link.

Websites

Two web-sites with helpful resources for Bible reading plans and study resources are

The Big Bible www.bigbible.org.uk  This site is run by theologians based in Durham.  It includes the resources produced for the Biblefresh initiative.  One of the resources is a Lent course with talks by Rowan Williams linked to his new book about C.S. Lewis’ Narnia stories.  There are links to a variety of resources and information, an overview of some of the Bible reading notes which are available, a thought for the day much more.

The other site is YouVersion https://www.youversion.com .  Among other things it gives access, via computer or mobile phone app, to a wide selection of versions of the Bible and a variety of Bible reading plans, largely on particular themes.  A few have video content by authors such as John Piper.  Some are linked to albums by song writers such as Matt Redman.  Both sites provide the facility for on-line involvement.

There are also ideas on the Church of England website.

Our giving is an expression of our commitment to God. Also as part of our discipleship Christians are called to care for the people around them and the world in which we live. Have a look at the Parish Resources sections of this website to learn more about environmental and rural life, justice and equality and social action.

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