Eyes fixed on Jesus

Author: The Revd Andrew Jones

Published on: 5 September 2022

A large group of us gathered from the Trunch Benefice during March in our Mundesley Community rooms to join others on Zoom for the Diocese: Leading Your Church into Growth (LYCiG) conference.

It was wonderful to share the learning, conversations, and know-how with a dispersed group of folk from across the county. We gathered our Leadership team, Churchwardens and Ministry team, for the opportunity to learn, talk and reflect together on how we may begin to discern what the next steps were and what God was calling our benefice into. With a large team serving across seven rural churches, it was also an opportunity to come together, eat cake and make sure we were all on the same page in terms of our understanding of the benefice vision.

The conference was shaped well as the format naturally led us to think about where we were in terms of growth, discipleship and mission in our parishes; not in a technical or complicated way but gently and openly provoking conversations and some ownership of issues, followed by an opportunity to dream dreams and think about what could happen here in our church communities, which led nicely into a space where we could begin to discuss and offer ideas, thoughts and suggestions to try in the future. Again I have to say that many of the things we shared were not grand, expensive or needing lots of resource but simple, humble and doable ideas that could make a difference here and elsewhere.

During our time over the three sessions there was a feeling of togetherness across the Diocese as we enjoyed the excellent teaching from practitioners across the country and all the input came with a grounding commitment to keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and his mission in this world. This allowed us to be honest and frank about how church is now and our place in it, allowing us to be vulnerable and open to change and as a result we’ve implemented a number of small projects such as improved coffee after church, looking objectively at ‘the welcome’ in each of our individual parishes and unifying social media, websites & posters across the benefice that we hope in time will encourage growth in our church communities. It has given us the seedlings to begin to nurture and hopefully with careful tending they will grow for God’s Kingdom.

We thoroughly recommend and encourage PCC’s or small teams across the Diocese to get involved in LYCiG as it gently led us towards small changes that will, in God’s timing, bring growth and life into our churches.

The author...

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The Revd Andrew Jones

Licensed clergy - Incumbent: Rector, Trunch Group (Benefice)

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