The Church of England Birmingham’s resource for growing confident discipleship is called ‘Way of Discipleship’.
Visit the Way of Discipleship website and you will find a range of resources for individual or group use. There are over 250 questions you can browse, over 50 simple tools you can use, and four courses you can run in many different ways according to your context.
- What approach does the ‘Way of Discipleship’ take?
- Who is it for?
- How does it work?
- Can I join a course?
- I want to use the resource but need to have some support as to how to run and/or adapt it.
- How do I find out more?
- What if I am exploring becoming a Reader, or another licensed/authorised ministry, or ordination?
What approach does the ‘Way of Discipleship’ take?
The ‘Way of Discipleship’ helps develop us in four ways which reflect the fact that being a disciple is like being an apprentice – someone who is learning as they follow.
An apprentice first needs to be in relationship with the one they are following. So the first part forms us in “Being with God” – looking at the ways we know God, how this shapes our identity, and how in our daily lives we can live in ways that put God at the centre of our attention – through worship, prayer, Scripture and a balanced life.
As we are with someone, we become more like them. The second part forms us in “Becoming like Christ”. We look at Jesus – His life, death and resurrection, the meanings of the cross, His Lordship, and what this means for our priorities in life. We also look at how God can change us to become more like Him – increasingly doing things in the manner in which Christ did them.
Finally an apprentice grows into joining in with the work of the one s/he is following. The third part is called “Joining in with the Spirit”. We look at our mission and callings in the context of God’s mission, how we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and what this means for our daily work, sharing faith, being church and struggling for a better world.
The last module you can use is called “Knowing the Story and Bible Confidence”. Six sessions aim to equip and inspire us in loving the Bible – seeing our story in the context of God’s big story, dealing with some tricky questions, and being given lots of handy ways into being confident with listening to God through Scripture.
Who is it for?
It aims to be flexible, and so suitable for many people. It’s the next step on from a basic foundation, but it has lots of extra options to stretch those who want to dig deeper.
It’s about being transformed – and so may be helpful for lots of people at different stages of their Christian journey.
You don’t need lots of knowledge, or to be a “confident Christian”. You just need a desire to grow.
How does it work?
It’s about developing a confident understanding of discipleship, but more importantly shaping our lives around the habits and practices which help us grow.
In each session, there is worship, some core content, modelling by other local, ordinary Christians of discipleship in their everyday experience, and a chance to reflect on, “What is God saying to me?” and, “How may I respond?”
Further material at various levels is offered for those who want more to explore between sessions.
Each session is about two hours. You can do all the modules, one after another or split up over a longer period.
Can I join a course?
As well as being a resource for you to draw from wherever you are, the four courses are run regularly throughout the year on Zoom on a Monday or Thursday evening. Before using the resource, it is a good idea to experience it. You can do as many of them as you like.
From May 8th, on Monday or Thursday evenings, 7.00-9.15pm you can join the fourth of the Way of Discipleship modules, "Bible Confidence and Knowing the Story"
This module is six sessions, and aims to build confidence with the Bible in three ways:
- Knowing the whole story of the Bible.
- Dealing with tricky questions about the Bible.
- Exploring practical ways to read, study and meditate on the Bible.
Session One: What is the Bible and How to read it
Session Two: Creation and Calling
Session Three: Covenant and Worship
Session Four: Freedom and Longing
(Including how to read the violent portrayals of God in the Bible through the lens of the cross.)
Session Five: Jesus and the Gospels
Session Six: The Church and Future Hope.
(Including how to apply the Bible and seek God’s revelation for new questions.)
The dates are week beginning May 8th, 15th, 22nd, June 19th, 26th, July 3rd
Use this form to book on.
I want to use the resource but need to have some support as to how to run and/or adapt it.
Church of England Birmingham longs to see every Christian equipped and envisioned for whatever calling God has for them, but knows that our discipleship is the foundation for everything. ‘Way of Discipleship’ offers you a way to know you are being nurtured in your faith, and a resource you can use to develop others.
If you would like to explore more or have support/training in running one or more of the courses, you can join a monthly online session called “Making the most of Way of Discipleship”.
The sessions are one hour, but with the possibility of ongoing mentoring/training according to your needs. They are on Tuesdays at 3pm (sometimes) or 7pm. The link for the 3pm session is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83837775864 and for 7pm: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89257449472
Dates for sessions in 2023 are Tuesdays: 23rd May (7pm only); 27th June (7pm only); 25th July; 26th September (7pm only); 24th October; 28th November
If you can’t make those dates, feel free to contact Guy Donegan-Cross who will be delighted to support in any way he can.
How do I find out more?
Please email Guy Donegan-Cross and he would be delighted to speak with you.
What if I am exploring becoming a Reader, or another licensed/authorised ministry, or ordination?
Participating in Way of Discipleship (and Way of Servant Leadership) is a good way of deepening discipleship for all Christians, and a foundational option for those wanting to engage in the learning required for authorised ministry - including Reader and Lay Pastoral Teams, as well as those exploring ordained Ministry. One of the benefits of Way of Discipleship is that it runs throughout the year, and you can join in at various points. You can also do it over 1, 2 or 3 years if necessary.