AMD 2.0 College 2

The second Ministry Development Team Day followed quite hot on the heels of the first one.

After opening worship we had a short introductory session on "Understanding our Chimps" to facilitate change. This was based on a book entitled "The Chimp Paradox" by Dr Steve Peters which was being read at the Incumbents' College.

We looked at what we are already doing, listing all the different events we have in our churches. We then mapped them onto a chart by age and level. The levels consist of level 1 purely social with no religious element, level 2 a very slight religious element, level 3 higher again and level 4 a fully religious event.  We did this as a cluster. The idea is then to see where the gaps are and to see pathways. The obvious paths to look for are the age groups, but really the idea is to look to see how people can move across from level 1 activities to level 2 (2-3, 3-4 etc), introducing them to faith gently. It is understood that people are unlikely to come for example to a coffee stop and decide from that they need confirmation and to attend weekly communion. The transition needs to be a bit gentler with activities in between. 

Examples of how to facilitate these pathways are as follows: If we do lunches invite a speaker that will be of general interest, but has a faith-based element to it. If we do a coffee stop, perhaps arrange a short time after clearing up to stay for prayer or focused conversation for those who wish to. Look to invite people to one specific thing rather than listing everything we offer. They will be more likely to accept a personal invitation. Bear in mind we may need to walk alongside these people.

It has been suggested that we might like to use the cluster model for reference and complete these maps within the separate churches. We may need to accept that some gaps just can't be filled at our church, and maybe we just need to make our peace with that. Perhaps we could see what else is going on in the cluster and signpost the people in need of that to something elsewhere.

Mapping out each church's own activities could produce interesting results. All may be surprised at what they already do, it may just be that there is a gap that needs addressing which is holding people back from taking the next step.  Most importantly, we decided we need to commit to praying for our cluster that we can work together to unify and try to address some of these things together.

Sally Piper has reiterated that she is available to help if any of the parishes want her to.