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Learning Community

The Diocese runs Church Revitalisation Training which forms the core of our learning community.

We are currently running training sessions at The Well Christian Centre in Ashill, Thetford, and previously ran them at St Barnabas Church in Norwich.

Open to anyone wanting to engage with the programme, this collaborative learning brings together people from focus areas to work together and share best practice.

The 10 week course lays the foundations for church planting and revitalisation.  Over the sessions we cover:

  • How did we get here? The problem of decline in the Church
  • A vision for flourishing in the local church
    • Why is church planting so important?
    • What is ‘Revitalisation?
    • Hope
  • Paul’s church planting model – a study in Acts and Paul’s epistles
  • The history of church planting over two millennia
  • Models of church planting and revitalisation – past and present
  • The need for ‘team’ and how to build one
  • Recovering holistic discipleship
  • The power of prayer
  • Evangelism – what is it and how is it effected
  • Leading off the map/outside the box 

Reading List

Context of the UK scene:
Missionary Ecclesiology:
  • The Household of God by Lesslie Newbigin  sets the groundwork for a  (the heart of church planting).
General church planting

…getting more specific to the UK towards the bottom of the list:

1. Discovering Church Planting by J.D. Payne. Very much an American Baptist perspective, but a good job on the overview, and some good practicalities.

2. Global Church Planting by Craig Ott and Gene Wilson. More of a missionary perspective, and really fascinating.

3. Centre Church by Tim Keller. Masterly, and very good on contextualisation.

4. Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer. Again American evangelical, but very comprehensive.

5. Church Planting in the Secular West by Stefan Paas. Really interesting. More critical of church planting, more scholarly, thought provoking.

6. Planting Churches in the 21st Century by Stuart Murray. A summary from a UK expert, a bit depressed, but good stuff.

7. The Future of the Parish System ed. Steven Croft. Interesting debates around the impact of church planting and fresh expressions on the parish system.

And, for a bit of fun, aimed at practitioners, Church-Planting Revolution by Winfield Bevins.