I made this video for a course I am leading for trainee clergy this year to try and illustrate that if discipleship is at the heart of how you lead, then you can discover that God decided to change the world through disciples - not clever leadership techniques. As Church Leaders we do need skills, we need to be serious in what we do, keep on learning and staying up to date - and work hard - but more importantly we need to enable folk to become the workers in the field that Jesus referred to as being the 'few'. We must give way as leaders to release everyone to use their God given talents. God needs everyone to take part to achieve all of His plans for his world. He doesn't seem to have left an alternative Plan B - its up to all of us!
His big plan? For Jesus to return to heaven as King and for the Holy Spirit to enable all of us to do His work, for His mission to the planet.
So, St Jude's embarked on a strong emphasis of discipleship about 8 years ago to tie in with a conundrum we take seriously: "While we may do outreach, it is the Holy Spirit who encourages someone towards a church so they can both encounter Jesus AND grow in Him. If the church can't offer that discipleship, why would the Holy Spirit bring them?" (From: 'Garden's, Dining Rooms & Kitchens - An evangelism and discipleship framework for ordinary churches' written by Tim Smith of his plans as the senior Pastor for St Jude's)
After about 5 years of transitioning, we have started to see growth over the last two years of about 10% per annum. And when you watch the video, you will see that this growth isn't just folk sitting in a pew on a Sunday - they do stuff for their King! For a church that is about 120 people in 2014, we already do a lot for the kingdom in church and in our city and beyond and want to do more yet.
We raise funds for all of this by asking folk to consider all their Saviour has done for them and that they are stewards of all he has given them, In this way we employ our few staff and give away 10% to mission agencies we have links with. General giving had gone up 7% in 2014 and at the first ask, at Easter, this wonderful church pledged £354,000 towards redeveloping our buildings too - with an aim of being more open to our community than we already are.
We hope it inspires you.
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