A bit of a buzz-word around the Church, ‘discipleship’ is often talked about, but seldom explained. The English word comes from a Greek term that combines the sense of being a pupil or student and an apprentice. Jesus’ first disciples followed him around, getting to know him better, learning things about him and God, as well as acquiring practical skills such as healing and teaching. Discipleship today means this and much more. 

When Christians are baptised, they begin a life-long journey of walking with Jesus and learning from him. But this is not a journey we undertake alone: we are baptised into the company of others who are walking with us, the Church. Some are more experienced than others; some have been on the journey longer. But in walking and learning together we encourage and build one another up in our faith.

Your local church is there to help you along this journey as you learn together to be faithful in worship and prayer, where you speak and listen to God, study his Word, and receive sustenance in the bread and wine of Holy Communion. It is there to encourage you and build you up in your faith, so that initial tottering steps on the Christian journey become confident strides. And it is there constantly to help you to focus outwards towards others not yet on the journey, in serving them and speaking and demonstrating the good news of Jesus.

As a diocese we are committed to helping local churches to fulfil these functions, and members of the diocesan Mission Team will be happy to give practical support and resources to parishes wishing to explore how they might more effectively encourage members to be effective disciples of Jesus Christ. 

A helpful resource for churches is the Confident Discipleship course, which we used as a diocesan Lent course a few years ago, and which is still available and downloadable for parishes to use.

For more information about how we might help your church, please contact the Mission Team by email or by calling 01522 50 40 30.