The 2017 consultation will explore how leaders within larger churches can address and work through some of the 'barriers' to growth. The following is an overview of the issues and discussions that will make up this stimulating consultation.
It is sometimes the case that the external life and witness of the local church is impaired because of the 'interior landscape' of leaders. In this session we will explore a number of leadership issues including:
- What it means to lead from a place of security.
- How leaders learn from their mistakes.
- Where blind spots and (lack of) self-awareness impact church health and growth.
If it is true that we live in an increasingly post-Christendom culture, then it is also true that the challenge to 'make disciples' may look, sound and feel very different from how it was in former times. In this session we will be exploring:
- A refreshing biblical concept of discipleship for the 21st century.
- Questions such as 'what can we reasonably expect of church members?'
- Disciple-making models, tools and programmes that are working well in larger church contexts today.
Pathways to growth
Amongst the critical questions facing larger churches today is that of whether growth will come through expanding more of the 'as is' or through reaching for the 'new'. In order to explore this further we will address issues such as:
- What opportunities are available to us to help release growth and how might Bishops' Mission Orders help?
- What drives and enables growth in 'attractional church'.
The changing tectonics of wider society and culture underlie the different situations and contexts in which we find ourselves ministering. One of the challenges for leaders of larger churches is to examine whether the cultural 'gap' between Christian community and the wider society is one of difference or distance (i.e. are barriers to penetration of local communities to do with culture or geographic/physical separation).
In this session we will explore how
- In an individualistic culture, how can church communities be built on relational foundations?
- In a consumerist world, how can church members be contributors?