Casting the Net has helped to change the ‘mindset’ of our diocese and its congregations; it has given us a shared way of thinking, talking and praying; it has opened new spaces and reshaped old ones.
Through Mission Action Planning, and the Growing Congregations programme, congregations are making commitments towards a future in mission and growth. Those commitments and the changes that have followed have stirred a hunger for learning and a desire to serve among our members. This hunger for learning is expressed by people who wish to know more about their faith and to understand it better so that they can be active disciples in today’s complex and secular society.
A striking feature of the transformation taking place in our churches is the move from membership to ‘Active Discipleship’. ‘Membership’ approaches to being Church are often characterised by an emphasis on a common cultural heritage, or a common understanding of church or society—and, generally, a desire to remain the same. ‘Active Discipleship’ on the other hand seeks to engage faith in uncommon ways, emphasising learning and deepening our understanding together. Active Discipleship seeks to invite people who aren’t usually found in church into a conversation and experience of Jesus Christ. Active Discipleship, seeks to encounter the living God through participation in worship, ministry and mission in ways that build up and strengthen others. It has been an exciting time in our diocese as we watch more and more of our people and congregations make the move to Active Discipleship.
Discipleship resources are available from our resources library, under resources for the nine marks of mission (see especially mark of mission 3).