Catechesis and Discipleship

Catechesis

[ˌkatɪˈkiːsɪs]

We are living in a time that is not unlike the Reformation when technology is changing the way we communicate. The renewal of Catechesis – the discipline of forming, making and sending disciples in the life of the Church – is urgent, argues Bishop Steven. He has been exploring this ancient-future discipline of helping to form adult Christians in the faith for over 30 years.

The Christian tradition has a name for this discipline of introducing people to Jesus. It is catechesis, which means laying the good foundations of faith in the lives of enquirers and new Christians.

But, says +Steven, it doesn’t end there: “Once a person has learned the faith for the first time and come to baptism and confirmation, then year by year that faith and understanding are deepened within the framework of the great story of salvation lived out and expressed in our liturgy. The story is revisited over and over again at different stages of life and of faith development.”

If you’re new to faith, keen to develop your faith or a minister looking for preaching resources, scroll down for further information.

Discipleship and Everyday faith

There isn’t a prescriptive list of things to do to become more Christ-like, it will differ for everyone, but we want people to be confident talking about God in their everyday lives, seeing the world as Christ sees it, and experiencing a greater, fuller life in God from Sunday to Saturday.

It’s about renewing and re-igniting the everyday faith of every person in every church. The need is vital. Did you know that 59 per cent of Christians surveyed recently said their church does not equip them well for life in today’s world?

We think that people grow in their faith when they can take responsibility for their development and develop a helpful structure within which to grow. In the past year, we’ve developed two approaches to help people feel more confident and equipped to live out the good news of Jesus in all areas of their life.

  • Gifts for everyday faith
    A simple questionnaire designed to help you think through where your gifts are strongest. It can be used on its own, as the first step in a Personal Discipleship Plan or as one of the individual exercises in a Parish Planning Tool process. Once completed, you’re invited to reflect and talk about making the most of your gifts in everyday life with your minister.
  • The Personal Discipleship Plan (PDP)
    The PDP is a life-changing programme designed for people who want to feel more confident and equipped to live out their calling. The Personal Discipleship Plan process is an accompanied faith journey that you take with a local minister or mentor to discern the answers deep questions about what God is doing in your life… and what you might be called to next.

In February we’ll be publishing information about a small group discipleship resource called Fire Pits. Want to be one of the first to find out about this new resource? Follow the Diocese on social media, or sign up to receive eNews direct to your inbox using the links at the bottom of this page.

Case study: Paul’s story, using a Personal Discipleship Plan

This short film is a conversation between Paul and his mentor about the difference a PDP has made to his life and his faith journey.


In 2020

We’re entering 2020 greatly encouraged about the impact our approach to increasing confidence in Everyday Faith is making across the Diocese of Oxford. Already, over 300 people have been trained as an encourager or mentor and are able to accompany people on their own personal discipleship journey. By mid-2020 every deanery and church will have been offered the opportunity to engage with this visionary new approach. Our hope is that everyone in our churches will be able to benefit from an opportunity to be encouraged and supported in sharing their God-given gifts from Sunday to Saturday.


Feedback from our everyday faith pilot churches after 6 months

  • My church supports me to live out my faith Monday – Saturday: 86% agree (from 35% baseline)
  • I am being encouraged and equipped to develop my gifts: 100% agree (from 50% baseline)

In 2019, over 675 people attended large scale events to ‘Share the Fire’, designed to inspire and increase confidence in everyday faith. Further events are planned in 2020.

  • I have been inspired to notice where God is working in me and the world: 100% agree
  • I have been challenged to think about how I live my everyday life as a Christian: 93% agree

What you can do

Personal discipleship
Catechesis