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Calderdale Methodist Circuit : Facing the Challenge

Every church community has now visited by members of the leadership team. These visits were completed in March 2015. We believe these visits and the discussions that took place have helped the local church evaluate present challenges and what plans they have for the next five years. See information about these conversations and subsequent church reports.

The outcomes of these conversations and reports were pooled and an overall analysis has been made that will help our understanding of shared challenges and planning for the future.

From that base, the first steps towards the formulation a circuit-wide strategy for mission in the deployment of resources for mission and ministry have been made, presented and well received at the June 2015 Circuit Meeting. The overall set of proposed first steps has been split into the areas of Worship, Mission, People, Organisation and Property. Here is the information given at the June Circuit Meeting. Also see a “spider” diagram showing the steps.

Also at the June Circuit Meeting, the Revd Canon Gordon Dey gave a Presentation of Jesus Shaped People (link opens in a new window). This is a Discipleship Programme that would be good for the circuit to be engaged with following on from Facing the Challenge and Best Foot Forward. The Programme identifies five key features of the life and work of Jesus:

  • People
  • Teaching
  • Team Building
  • Prayer
  • Prophetic Challenge

The programme spends three weeks looking at each priority making a total of 15 weeks altogether.

Churches are encouraged to to discuss this and consider if this programme could be of benefit to them.

The Calderdale Circuit Mission and Vision Team explained the concept of ‘Stepping Out’ which is a follow up to the Mission & Vision Team's Best Foot Forward Day. This is a 4 week course and will be rolled out from September. This would start with a Sunday service led by the Mission and Vision team. This will be followed up by a further three weekly sessions:

  • Week 1 – looking at the context of the church and their comments from Facing the Challenge.
  • Week 2 – MSI material to give ideas of mission possibilities.
  • Week 3 – Specific mission fields – give them some ideas of resources.

“Stepping Out” would help churches to focus on what they needed to be doing in their particular context. Any interested churches are asked to let the Circuit Office know. Email the Circuit Office

At the Leadership Team meeting in July 2015 a number of further specific steps were agreed

  • The Mission and Vision Group be asked to facilitate this work in the Mission steps
  • Worship: we will create a task group from ministers, Local Preachers, Worship Leaders, Messy Church leaders and other worship specialists to help facilitate the worship steps.
  • Lay Employees: A task group will be formed to explore roles and funding streams.
  • Property: Circuit Property Management Group will be asked to facilitate property initiatives.
  • Communication: Task group will be formed to improve lines of communication including IT, web site, and social media.
  • Young People/Children: Team will be set up to explore creative worship, support and encouragement of young people and their leaders.

Prayers for Facing the Challenge

The Disciples were challenged by Jesus to go in his name and proclaim the Good News. In our Circuit we are Facing the Challenge of discerning God's will for our future mission. How do we do that? First we pray, then we pray and we pray again and again. We need to pray constantly for God's leading and empowering. So the first part of Facing the Challenge is prayer.

We pray for each local church to seek God's leading in mission and witness. What is our mission? How do we witness? Can we help another church in its mission and witness?

We pray for members of the Leadership Team (Circuit Staff and Stewards) as they visit each church. Through worship and conversation we discern God's leading.

We pray for our ecumenical partners as we explore ways working together in mission and witness. How may we work together in our community?

We pray that every person in the Calderdale Methodist Circuit will take part in ‘Prayers for Facing the Challenge’.

Through our prayers we will discern God's leading and empowering to be his agents for mission and witness. W. E. Sangster once said, ‘If you are too busy to pray then you are too busy’. Everyone can pray, and everyone can share in the task of Facing the Challenge.

What is God challenging us to become as individuals, churches and as a Circuit? Where will God lead us?

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer” John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection