Evangelism and Witness
Ours is the privilege of pointing others to the glory of God in Christ. Most of us only know Jesus because someone took the trouble to bear witness to God's love revealed in Him. There is no greater honour than bearing this Good News to another, no greater privilege than seeing others respond to the Good News, and no greater challenge than to be captivated by the urgency of this vocation.
This urgency is apparent to us as we look around our families, our neighbourhoods, our places of work and our nation. So many, young and old, rich and poor, live without knowing the love of God in Jesus Christ. It matters that people know nothing of this. It matters because each one of these people matters to God. It matters because there is nothing better for any person than to respond in joy to what God has done for them in Jesus Christ.
Digital Evangelism, Discipleship, and Training
The advent of social media has moved digital communications on from web based broadcast communications to two-way interactive dialogue. Churches, cathedrals, clergy and lay people across the country are using social media as a part of community building and growth strategies.
Digital provides a growing opportunity for original, high quality digital content from the centre of the Church of England to enable social and digital communications across the church, enabling all to become digital evangelists in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ
We will create a basis for digital apologetics, enabling individuals with the digital materials and resources to present their faith confidently.
Audio and visual content to support strands of new and ongoing discipleship work, such as the new Catechism project (with Church House Publishing) resources, specifically for young disciples (working with Education Division) resources and for developing lay discipleship (working with the discipleship task group).
Materials and resources for officers of the church across the parishes, from churchwardens to treasurers, PCC members to those undergoing continuing ministerial development
The Church of England offers "a Christian presence in every community" - and some of the toughest communities for Christian ministry are the housing estates, often on the fringes of towns and cities across the country. Here, the church is faced with what the theologian John Atherton called "the double whammy" of massive needs and inadequate resources, whether of money, plant or people. As one vicar on an estate put it, "How are we supposed be missional when there's not even the money for a flipchart pad?"
The new funding system under the Renewal and Reform programme will allocate significant central funds for poorer areas, including many estates. And a new strand of Renewal and Reform, focussing directly on growing churches on estates, will help support practitioners, share good practices and enable the work of estates parishes to inform the whole mission of the church.
Clergy and other practitioners on estates, whichever wing of the church they identify with, rarely talk about growth and social action as contradictory activities. The needs of people on estates call for loving and effective responses - but without a core of faithful local Christians, there is no viable "church" to be socially engaged. This new work strand is about building up the transformative power of the church in some of the most marginalised communities of the nation - and is central to our vocation to be a Christian presence everywhere.
In 2012, the Archbishops' Council and Church Commissioners created a funding programme for developing Church growth in deprived areas. £2.9m supported 28 projects that were already proving effective in growing the Church in deprived areas, with the aim of scaling their impact across the Church. An independent evaluation of the programme by Achill Management Ltd was completed in 2016.
Read Malcolm Brown's blog "The E words - Estates & Evangelism"