Personal discipleship plan

A man talking about the difference a Personal Discipleship Plan has made.

Identifying your gifts and developing a Personal Discipleship Plan

People grow in their faith when they are able to take responsibility for their own development and develop a helpful structure within which to grow.

Gifts for Everyday Faith will help you to think through where your gifts are strongest.

If you're keen to feel more confident and equipped to live out your calling, a Personal Discipleship Plan (PDP) builds on the questions in Gifts for Everyday Faith.

Discussing my PDP has been inspirational and confidence building… enlightening and supportive. At the same time as helping me to focus, I have somehow been enabled to also see a bigger picture. I am enjoying the experience and feel very supported.

Fiona Fieldhouse

What is a Personal Discipleship Plan?

The PDP is an accompanied faith journey to take with a local minister or encourager that explores six questions to help discern what God is doing in your life, and what you might be called towards. 

  • Core gifts – What are my gifts? How am I sharing them?
  • Attracted by – Where may God be calling me?
  • Listening – Where am I being guided to gain experiences?
  • Life – What else is going on in my life now? What is my ideal future?
  • Experience – What energises me? What challenges me?
  • Discipleship – How am I deepening my daily spiritual life and faith?

Developed here in the Thames Valley, thousands of people have now embarked on a Personal Discipleship Plan.  Is the next person you?

Resources you can use

Gifts for Everyday Faith can be used on its own, or as the first step in a Personal Discipleship Plan. The answers you provide to the a series of simple statements in the document will help you to think through where your gifts are strongest. It's a surprisingly insightful tool!

Download Gifts for Everyday Faith (PDF doc)

A Personal Discipleship Plan will help you to feel more confident and equipped to live out the good news of Jesus in all areas of your life. Many of our churches have people who are trained as PDP ‘Encouragers/mentors.’ Talk to your vicar about the support available in your parish.

Download a Personal Discipleship Plan (PDF doc)

Find out more

Check out the FAQs below or contact Joanna Gallant, Head of Discipleship and Social Justice, to discuss how a PDP might work for you. 

You can also listen to Bishop Steven chatting with Tina Molyneux, former Head of Discipleship and Social Justice, about Personal Discipleship Plans. Or watch Paul talking with Tina about the difference a Personal Discipleship Plan has made to his faith walk

How long does a PDP last?
The first PDP conversation is normally about an hour. After this you would arrange a follow up conversation every 3 or 4 months. At each meeting you discuss the 2/3 next steps you agreed and plan further next steps. There is no end date on a discipleship journey.

It is recommended that after two meetings participants should be asked how it is going and have the option of a new encourager or a break. It is likely that over time different ‘encouragers’ may accompany, support and inspire you forward according to your calling.

Who leads this in my church?
The Personal Discipleship Plan process is overseen and supervised by your vicar.
Can I use PDPs in a small group?
Yes! PDPs also work in a small group setting. Look out for our Called resources a little later this year to help you do just that. If you'd like to start something sooner, drop Joanna Gallant a line and she'll be happy to advise.
Parish info: How do I start PDPs in my church?
Step 1. Your church leader/ minister should have a conversation with Joanna to talk it through.

Step 2. Arrange the Encourager Training through Joanna Gallant. You invite a group from your church who may be interested in becoming ‘encouragers’. The initial training is 2 hours on Zoom, and timings can be arranged to suit your own group.

Step 3. The ‘encouragers’ have their first conversations with each other to experience the process

Parish info: What makes a good Encourager’?
You are looking for people who are good listeners, mature in their faith, trustworthy and confidential, who are not judgemental. It is likely this will include clergy, licenced and authorised ministers, youth and children’s leaders, small group leaders, pastoral visitors and people who are mentors in the workplace.
Parish info: What safeguarding training is required?
All encouragers would need safeguarding training at Foundation level. Some Encouragers will need safeguarding at Leadership level. All safeguarding training is now available from the diocese online for the coming season. Further details on safeguarding requirements are covered in the initial training.
Parish info: Setting PDPs in context
Alongside the annual Come and See course, PDPs are a key part of the forming and sending disciples focus area of our common vision. Three blog posts by Bishop Steven set the context for this work:


Video: Introduction to PDPs


Paul's story

A richer inner life has helped Paul Armitage from Wokingham live out his faith more fully from Sunday to Saturday thanks to embarking on a Personal Discipleship Plan.

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