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North East Churches
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Church of England
North East Churches

Church Development

Church Development Aim:

"To work with existing groups of Christians as they dream of what it means to bechurch and then to support, encourage and enable them as they begin to grow".

Church Development Objectives:
  • To establish a process of consultation and reflection in order to develop a dream.
  • To implement the process.
  • To prepare for the implementation of the dream (i.e. planning the way forward).
  • To support the growing capacity of Christian communities so that skills and self-confidence are developed and the vocation of the community is identified and lived out.
  • To enable individuals to discover the gifts already within them and apply them to the outworking of the dream.
  • To reflect theologically on the whole area of Church Development.
  • To share the methodology and outcomes of this process with the wider community and church.

The aim of “Church Development” and the objectives which enable us to get there are impressive and ones that any church community anywhere might want to adopt. In order to get there, however, dreaming and careful thought and work has to be done around every aspect of a churches life.

  • Around its worship life and all that happens when the community gathers.
  • Around the ways in which it makes best use of its resources both in terms of buildings and people.
  • Around its involvement in God’s mission to realize His kingdom – using as a guide the Anglican Churches Five Marks of Mission:
    • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
    • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
    • To respond to human need by loving service.
    • To seek to transform unjust structures of society.
    • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

In practice, as in any situation, to keep an eye on all these things can be very demanding – and in actual fact, because the buildings were not in a particularly good shape and so not fit for purpose, a significant amount of time has been spent on these in the belief that if we can get these right – particularly in terms of them being means to an end rather than ends in themselves – they could be used to allow worship and welcome to develop and as tools to serve the above Five Marks of Mission.

This has, to a degree, happened, but as always there is a great deal more work to do!

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