The Church of England has identified 10 marks that show that a diocese is committed to developing disciples. The Diocese of Lincoln is using these as a useful framework to help focus our work on discipleship. For more information from the Church of England click here.
In a diocese committed to developing disciples ….
1…A lifelong journey of discipleship and growth in Christian maturity is supported and modelled by all.
The diocese offers opportunities for nurturing faith, prayer and discipleship across all generations, so that all Christians continually grow as followers of Jesus in their understanding and their actions.
2…The importance of discipleship in daily life is affirmed.
Events, publications and statements at all levels of diocesan activity highlight and support the role of Christians living out their faith as they seek to build the Kingdom of God in the wider community, workplace and home.
3…Gatherings for worship celebrate the discipleship of all the baptised.
The discipleship of the whole people of God is celebrated in the liturgy by word and symbol in the worship of congregations and on diocesan occasions such as the induction of ministers into parishes.
4…Disciples are equipped to help others to become followers of Jesus.
The diocese offers deliberate planning and resourcing to enable congregations and individuals in their witness to Christ, and develops support networks with those involved in ministries such as lay evangelists or lay pioneers.
5…Diocesan work on vocations is based on the principle that all the baptised are called into God’s service.
Vocations advisers strategically promote opportunities to work with all Christians to discern and develop their calling and ministry in both the world and the church.
6...Good practice in facilitating learning and formation is developed.
Laity, clergy and parishes are regularly resourced and equipped with high levels of expertise in using facilitation skills, learning methodologies and approaches to catechesis and formation.
7…Gifts of leadership are recognised and developed among all the baptised.
A share in spiritual leadership, governance and witness in the wider community is affirmed by lay and ordained alike, and such affirmation is embedded in diocesan processes (e.g. Articles of Enquiry, Mission Action Plans and Ministry Development Review).
8…Innovation and experiment are encouraged in mission, ministry and discipleship.
The diocese promotes and affirms new developments in forms of church life, in which disciples – lay and ordained alike - grow as they are released into new areas of active service and ministry.
9…Specific diocesan policies and plans promote discipleship development
As an integral part of diocesan strategy there are current theologically rooted plans, projects and programmes in place to encourage and resource discipleship development.
10…Diocesan resources are committed to the development of the whole people of God.
Resources of staff and money and time are allocated, and their effectiveness in enabling discipleship development of all regularly reviewed and assessed.