In June 2013, in a paper written to provoke wide discussion in the CofE, Steven Croft, now Bishop of Oxford wrote: “How should we lead and guide the Church in this aspect of our life (evangelism) given this challenging context?
“We need to be realistic about the challenges. We need to practice and live hope as a key virtue in leadership. We need to be deeply rooted in prayer and in the scriptures. We need to be aware that the leadership we offer individually and bishops, clergy and lay people sets a tone and makes a difference to the whole church. We need to prioritise thinking and reflection around this issue. We should beware of simplistic rhetoric and easy solutions. We need a richer dialogue on evangelization and growing the Church…. It is also possible that, as individuals and as a body, we see the complexity of the call to grow the Church and we are in danger of being overwhelmed by that complexity. We need to cherish humility before one another and before God in this area: this is not something we know how to do”.
Canon John Holmes has served as a missioner in the Ripon Diocese and the ‘missionary diocese of Wakefield’, which was about encouraging and equipping churches to be evangelistic and be more confident in sharing the gospel. Since retirement from full-time ministry, he continues to act as a mission consultant in several dioceses as well as a mentor and speaker. He has written two Grove Booklets – ‘Vulnerable Evangelism – the way of Jesus’ and ‘Challenging Questions for Churches wanting to grow’. He is a member of the College of Evangelists and has recently moved to live in Bridlington.
This day is set up as one of our occasional ‘Advancing Leadership’ series of days for those who have completed the York Leadership Programme. But by nature of the subject, clergy who have been involved in the ‘Leading your Church into Growth Conferences’ are invited to attend the day as well as any other clergy or lay leaders who would find this day helpful.
Bookings through eventbrite.