Starting out (or beginning again)
The life of a disciple can be challenging at different times and for the new and not so new disciple this can be especially so. These resources will provide guidance and encouragement for travellers on the journey of faith and discipleship.
lyfe – The Bible Society has developed the lyfe course as a resource to help in connecting God, us and everyday life. Website.
Christianity Explored – This is a ten-session course based on Mark’s Gospel that explores who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to follow him. It is described as “an informal course for people who would like to investigate Christianity, or just brush up on the basics”. It involves teaching input, Bible study and group discussion. Full resource material is available, including comprehensive teaching material and free downloads. Website.
Contemporary Creed – Contemporary Creed is a book-based course that aims to translate ancient beliefs into today’s language. It is written for those who, like the author, do not find it easy to believe and whose faith is marred by doubt. It offers an intelligent pathway through sixty intellectual problems of traditional Christian beliefs. Website.
Beta Course – Beta is a 10 session adult Christian education and pastoral care course and is used in churches of all denominations around the UK and in Bible and theological colleges and in prisons. www.beta-course.org
E100 Bible Reading Challenge – This challenge is produced by the Scripture Union and is based around 100 carefully selected Bible readings (50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament) designed to give participants a good understanding of the overall Bible story from Genesis to Revelation. The ‘E’ stands for Essential and the programme works well for individuals or for churches. Website.
The Christian Enquiry Agency – The Christian Enquiry Agency provides information for people who want to find out about the Christian faith and its founder Jesus Christ. Website.
Faith Formation Learning Exchange – The Faith Formation Learning Exchange provides tools and resources to assist churches and their leaders in faith formation across the whole life span. Website.
Other courses that explore the Christian faith, encouraging discussion and mutual support include:
- Alpha – contact details.
- Emmaus – The Way of Faith (course material available in book form)
- Beginning Again – John Pritchard
- Nooma DVD series – Rob Bell (there is an extensive range of Noomas available from the ChYP’s library at Diocesan House)
Sometimes even the hardiest of disciples can get travel-weary. These resources will provide just such a disciple with options to reinvigorate and restore themselves as they continue on the journey of faith and discipleship.
Sacred Space – Sacred Space provides on-line daily Guided Prayer structured around Ignatian Spirituality. Website.
10 Christian Podcasts you should be listening to – Produced by the Christian Colleges and Universities website, this list of podcasts from around the world provides a range of ways to engage with your faith and journey of discipleship. There should be something here to suit every palate. Website.
Retreat Association – A Retreat is exactly what it sounds like – the chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and just ‘be’ in a welcoming, peaceful place. Retreats are for ordinary people at any time in their lives. There are no expectations on anyone going on retreat and you don’t need to be a churchgoer. The Retreat Association provides information and practical advice on a range of retreats. Website.
On-line Retreats – Have you wondered about a retreat but are not sure if it is for you? Or maybe you don’t have the time or resources to visit a retreat centre? This may be for you. This site offers a range of on-line retreat options and is run by Benedictine nuns. Website.
Deepening Discipleship – For the Methodist Church 2011 it is ‘The Year of the Bible’. This website offers a range of resources focussed in deepening discipleship through the study of the Word. Website.
Trove Discipleship – A one-stop shop for digital discipleship resources and courses commissioned by the Jerusalem Trust.
Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility – Stephen Cherry (The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book 2011)
Disciples and Citizens: A vision for Distinctive Living – Graham Cray
The Reflective Disciple – Roger Walton
Discipleship – David Watson
The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Do Nothing to Change Your Life – Stephen Cottrell
Travelling Well – Stephen Cottrell and Steven Croft
These resources reflect some of the activities located within the Diocese of Canterbury that can help the disciple on their journey. They range from courses and accredited vocational training to spirituality and healing. These resources are constantly being updated.
Deepening Discipleship – an eight-session course to explore discipleship, and what God is calling you to become. The purpose of the course is to help participants,
- Understand the journey of discipleship and the unique calling each of us has
- Identify and apply key gospel discipleship practises as a basis of service
- Reflect on the growth and development of Christian communities
The eight-session course seeks to create a learning community that enables participants to skilfully reflect upon their lives as disciple through a range of themes. Further information.
Vocations – Are you wondering where God is leading you? Are things changing in your life and you wonder why? Do you feel that you are stuck in rut? Got a hunch that some sort of ministry, or different ministry might be for you? Confused by the options?
God calls us all to follow and serve him and each vocation is unique. The vocations team work to ‘stimulate the vocational heartbeat of the diocese’ in promoting, clarifying and releasing the ministries of the people of God in the Diocese of Canterbury. Contact details and up to date information.
Authorised Lay Ministry (ALM) – All Christians are called to follow Jesus and use their gifts in ministry. Authorised Lay Ministers are offering themselves to help transform his world in the following ways,
- By representing the church in the community
- By leading or participating in particular areas of ministry (e.g. pastoral care, worship leading, healing and wholeness, youth, children, etc)
- By encouraging each other to develop and use their gifts
Together with the incumbent and other members of their local church, ALMs share in the public ministry of the local church, as their serve their local parishes. ALM ministry takes many different forms depending upon the church base. Contact details and up to date information.
Intentional Disciples (iD) – iD facilitates ways of meeting in small groups to explore how to be more intentional disciples (iD).
These groups are about,
- Creating places for conversation of how you put ideas about following Jesus into practise
- Discovering and exploring personal and spiritual “gifting”
- Taking steps in daily life towards becoming who God is calling you to be
- Asking what it takes to be more intentional in following Jesus in all of life – not just for “church”
Fresh Expressions Network – The Diocese of Canterbury is committed to both traditional and fresh expressions of church in growing the Kingdom of God. More information on the Canterbury Fresh Expressions Network.
Stewardship – Stewardship is a recognition that everything we have comes from God – from the world around us, to our families and friends, and our own particular talents and gifts. God has been incredibly generous to us, and a right and proper response should be to look after what we have been given, nurture our gifts, and give something back to God – joyfully rather than grudgingly.
More information on Christian Stewardship.
Living Well – A Christian Centre for Healing and Wholeness, the Living Well is based in Nonington, nr Canterbury. The Living Well provides a base and resource in the Canterbury Diocese for the Christian ministry of wholeness and healing, with the aim of making the healing and wholeness found in Jesus available to all people. The Living Well provides both Quiet Days and teaching and training on specific subjects related to the ministry of healing. These resources are both for individuals and for churches. Further information on The Living Well.
Cursillo – “Cursillo” is Spanish for “Short Course”. It is a movement within the Church that provides a method of encouraging and supporting people in living the Christian life and sharing their faith with others. Cursillo seeks to complement other Parish and Diocesan activities. Contact details and up to date information.
Other organisations and websites
There are many organisations and websites with resources to suit every disciple. The following are just a taste of the wealth of resources available.
London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) – “Equipping Christians and churches for whole-life discipleship in the world”. LICC exists to envision and equip Christians – and the leaders, churches and organisations that serve them – with the biblical framework, practical resources and models to engage biblically, relevantly and vigorously with the issues they face in today’s world. Website.
Church of England podcasts – Learn more about the life of the Church of England and what it means for you. The podcasts cover a wide range of topics and new podcasts are uploaded on an almost daily basis. Website.
The Archbishop of Canterbury – Follow our Archbishop as he speaks into the life of faith and the needs of our world. Website.
Cell UK – Cell UK supports the multi-denominational cell church movement in the UK and publishes a full range of cell group resources from basic information to practical support guides for leading and supervising small groups. Website.
Presence and Engagement – This website is supported by the Church of England’s National Advisor on Inter Faith relations and is part of the General Synod’s Presence and Engagement Programme. Website.
allbelievers – This website provides discipleship resources to affirm every member ministry, the priesthood of all believers and the ministry of the whole people of God. Website.
CPAS – CPAS is an Anglican mission agency working with churches primarily in the UK and Ireland. Their mission is to enable churches to help every person to hear and discover the good news of Jesus Christ. They produce a wide range of resources particularly focussed on growing local church leaders. Website.
Share -Share is for all involved with fresh expressions of church – practitioner people in training encourages supporters and researchers. Share produce “The Guide” with a huge range of resources including resources specifically focussed on Discipleship. Website.
Big Book Media -By combining religious storytelling with top-quality filmmaking Big Book Media aim to bring toe Gospel stories to life. These resources are particularly helpful in supporting the whole church in the way of the disciple. Website.