CALLED TO GROW
When he describes the Kingdom of God, one of the comparisons Jesus uses is that of a mustard seed; so small as to seem insignificant, yet which grows into a tree where life flourishes.
“It is our prayer that we will encounter the Holy Spirit working in all sorts of unexpected
ways as we pray and ponder, prioritise and plan.”
Bishop Simon Burton-Jones
Bishop of Tonbridge
Called to Grow is a five step process developed as part of Called Together, to encourage and equip us to consider the whole life of our church community, and what God may be asking of us. It is underpinned by prayer and adaptable to any setting.
At St Bart's during the month of September 2019, we asked the congregation to comment on a series of questions that gave us a basis to create a Called to Grow plan. In addition, this process has given us some valuable insights into the priorities and ideas of the people who make up our church.
Strong themes have emerged and there is a broad consensus of areas (outlined below) on which we should be concentrating.
During 2020 we plan to split the year into two and have four key developments for each six months. By doing this we hope to maintain momentum and the ability to review regularly both the progress and success of each initiative. The called to grow action plan will be reviewed at each PCC to ensure we are on track and offer any assistance that may be required
Our key Called to Grow themes
- Community and Fellowship
Repeated by all congregations, the value of being part of a supportive and encouraging group, welcoming
- A place of reflection
Phrases such as peace, away from the hustle and bustle, beauty, serenity
- Social activities
A place of meeting, fun, food, wider community use of buildings
- Use of church hall and church centre
Greater utilisation of our facilities and by wider groups, coffee morning, village groups, one off events, concerts
- Maintaining the balance of traditional and more contemporary worship
Broad churchmanship, music, both choir and band
- Ecumenical activity
Lots of mentions of doing things together as churches in Otford
- Outdoor visibility
Open air services – with the other churches, rogation tide walk
Web site, WhatsApp group, use of web cams if you can’t get to church, social media pages