The last command given by the risen Christ to his followers was to ensure that the Good News of the Christian message was given worldwide circulation and Christ Church seeks to take its part in this mission.
Live | Pray | Serve is our motto into the future. Our Diocese originally drew up our Live | Pray | Serve vision in 2016 and this has guided our thinking ever since.
To Live. Christ Church as part of our Mission Community seeks to equip people to live as disciples of Christ, growing in faith, responding to God’s call, bearing witness to the Gospel, and connecting our faith within our local, national and Global contexts.
To pray. individually and together as members of a vibrant, open, faithful and growing worshipping community, where gifts are recognised and shared in ministry; paying particular attention to drawing young people, and new Christians into communities of faith.
To serve. our local neighbourhoods and society together to make disciples of Christ, grow our churches and equip people for lifelong learning and promote the transformation of society.
As part of this process, we are seeking growth in depth of discipleship, our impact on society and the numbers of those who are becoming disciples of Christ.
The renewal of this vision in 2021 has come from a process by which our Diocesan senior staff, Bishop’s Council, area deans and lay chairs have looked afresh what a ‘thriving diocese’ might look like in five years’ time, and what needs to be done in order to reach that destination. It comes out of a challenging context in which the Covid pandemic has closed our buildings for a time and hit our finances. That experience has also sharpened our focus and prompted an outpouring of creativity, as we’ve found new ways to celebrate and share our faith.
We still seek to grow in depth, impact and numbers, under the following headings:
Growth in Depth:
Using new creative ways of growth through on-line meetings, study groups, prayer groups and support groups:
- sharing a prayerful RHYTHM OF LIFE both individually and corporately, where our Christian faith inspires all our relationships and actions;
- celebrating an IDENTITY IN CHRIST, who we are in Jesus Christ, where we speak of what God has called us to be, and how our vocation fits alongside the calling of others;
- offering a GENEROUS STEWARDSHIP of our time, resources and finances, and appreciation of the gifts and beliefs of others. To strive to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us.
Growth in Impact:
Using new creative ways of impacting our societies in different areas of need. Through Food Banks, Sign-posting Help Hubs, providing phone support for the lonely and isolated, Prescription and Hot meal deliveries, serving our community schools:
- working towards the REPURPOSING OF OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS in a way that serves our communities as the top priority, through Foodbanks, community wellbeing or artistic expression;
- creating churches as the FOCAL POINT OF THE COMMUNITY, bringing people together in healing, reconciliation and wholeness;
- empowering Christians to play a central role in PRESERVING GOD’S CREATION through environmental sustainability. Being environmentally responsible; treasuring and sustaining all the good things God has given us.
Growth in Number:
Many more have joined us in different ways; digitally and on-line.
- inspiring Christians to SPEAK VIBRANTLY ABOUT FAITH and to joyfully share their experiences of the Good News that comes through knowing Jesus Christ;
- creating FRESH WAYS TO EXPLORE FAITH, through digital communities, pioneering communities and new ways of being church that fit the local context of our particular community.
In order to achieve our vision, we will need to work on four key areas. They are:
- Creating VISIONARY LEADERS at all levels, enabling others to lead and do;
- Creating TEAMS ON A MISSION, with a clear purpose, the right skills and the right resources;
- Creating KINGDOM-BUILDING DISCIPLES, who will seek to create more disciples, not just churchgoers;
- Ensuring GROWTH-ENABLING STRUCTURES are in place to enable change, serve mission and allow people to take risks.
Our refreshed, new vision of Live | Pray | Serve seeks to help us Grow in Depth, to Grow in Impact and Grow in Number, looking at our individual contexts to determine what resources we need in our place to deliver the mission of the church in our place; using those resources to build the Kingdom of God.
Acts Chapter 2 – just after the Day of Pentecost describes when the early church was just beginning to be formed; how they shared things in common, supported each other, ate together, spent time together…..’ and the Lord added daily to the number those who were being saved’. A wonderful vision of a church that is so engaged, so attractive that people want to be a part of it. That is the vision for me, where we want to be, where we want to get to; a church that is growing in Depth, Impact and Number to such an extent that people want to be a part of it.
I invite you, we invite you, to catch that vision anew and afresh for 2021, 2022 and the years ahead, so we can be the church for the people of our parishes and of our communities as we serve them through our people, through our church buildings, through our Chaplaincies and in every way that is open and available to us. God is calling each one of us to play our part, to collaborate, to work together, to be partners, to be members of the one body of Christ the church, as we work together to help build the Kingdom.
Our Live | Pray | Serve prayer
Here’s a prayer you may wish to use as an individual, in our churches, in our parishes and deaneries as we move forward in our Mission Strategy:
Lord our God, You make all things new.
Inspire our lives with your spirit
Renew our prayer with your grace
Transform our service with your love.
In the renewal of our life may your kingdom flourish
and your church thrive
so that all may come to know and love you
in your Son Jesus Christ.