As the Setting God’s People Free (SGPF) page on the CofE’s website says, “SGPF is a programme of change to enable the whole people of God to live out the Good News of Jesus confidently in all of life, Monday to Saturday as well as Sunday. ”
On the page are 2 resources, plus an email sign up form for updates as more resources become available. Here’s a heads up on what’s already out:
This is a summary version for discussion in Deaneries & PCC’s. Some headlines and quotations from this 14 page document:
” … the Church exists in two forms – ‘gathered’ and ‘sent’….
- gathered … when we are worshipping together on a Sunday or during the week …
- sent … when we are out in the world … in our various walks of life.
… the focus of the report is on ensuring that what we do when we are gathered nurtures us for our role when we are sent. “
The report says that two vital shifts have to occur so that we …
- teach and equip lay people to follow Jesus confidently in every sphere of life in ways that show the difference the Gospel makes.
- recognise lay and clergy are equal in worth and status, complementary in gifting and vocation, mutually accountable in discipleship, and equal partners in mission.
It then goes on to identify eight key levers of change. The 1st four it identifies are about how the national church and dioceses operate:
- Reforming structures/legislation to strengthen relationships between clergy and lay people.
- Bishops integrating an interest in and a concern for lay people into personal and Diocesan priorities, practices, and processes.
- Re-focussing clergy selection, training, and development to integrate a concern for the development and discipling of lay people.
- Reorienting church communications to create a balance between the historic focus on clergy and the Church as an institution and the central role of lay people in the life and mission of the Church in the world.
although the fourth point is arguably something that local churches can affect, too.
The other four levers of change the report lists are about what local churches can do.
- Developing a biblical vision for the role of lay people.
- Listening to lay people’s experiences.
- Equipping lay people for their Monday to Saturday frontline ministries.
- Enhancing our gathered worship and liturgy to resource lay people for their Monday to Saturday lives.
The document lists a number of things happening to help implementation including, for example, the development of a national online portal for whole-life discipleship. The report concludes with some questions that may be helpful as people explore the report and its implications with PCC, Deanery Synod or small groups within a church.
The 2nd resource is …
This 16 page document starts with a section titled “Getting Started: Small shifts to a big difference”. This goes through a number of tried and tested ways to achieve small shifts to make a big difference: here’s the contents page…