Examples of growth
Examples of growth from individual applications
For a local project
Numbers of disciples
These are measures of size
- 10% growth in the number of those who have joined the worshipping communities in the past year (net of those who have left) (from 100 to 110).
- Over 3 years to double the number of assemblies or interventions in local secondary schools.
- An increase in the size of the core group of 10-14 year olds to keep the flow through the youth work going. We currently have 10 people in this age range and would like to get to 18 or more of them.
- Three new families a year becoming part of the church family 10% increase in follow on engagement from baptism families.
- We would like to see an increase in families coming to faith throughout the four parishes as a result of building relationships and working alongside families over a three year period.
- A new Fresh Expression of church emerging amongst a particular group of our community.
Depth of discipleship
These are measures of depth of faith
- 2 young people per year stepping up into a position of leadership.
- 10% growth in the number of baptisms and/or confirmation from local ‘partner’ school.
- Increase of 2 new volunteers per year in the volunteer base within all three main churches.
- 10% growth in vocations to ordination and authorised lay ministries.
- 5% growth in the number of people with leadership responsibility who were not Christians five years ago.
- 5% growth in the number of worshippers who give through a planned giving scheme (or other regular giving).
Loving Service of the World
These are measures of service. Examples are also more difficult to give as they tend to be very specific to context and project but might include:
- 10% growth in the number of recently bereaved seeking ongoing care and support
- 15 people per year being freed from debt using a church run debt counselling centre
- 5% decrease in recorded crime in the vicinity of a church-run youth work project or Street Pastors/Angels initiative
- 10% increase/year in those serving in Church outreach groups (from 10 people to 13)
- Each year, 20% of people attending groups or courses (e.g. Toddlers or Parenting Course) to be from outside the church
- Meaningful opportunities to pray for users of the Foodbank as a result of missional conversations
St. John’s, Enderby received three years funding which helped turn occasional youth activities into long standing relationships with young people and with local schools.
“The long term funding has allowed us to grow professional links with the school and have a long term commitment to it.” There is now an established presence in the local secondary school. The quality of this engagement has led to requests from the school to help with pupil support and to more missional opportunities with pupils in the school.
A Christian group ‘RIOT', has recently started. Young people share a meal together and are encouraged on their Christian journey. Buoyed by this, young people have become agents of social change promoting social justice projects and taking up more leadership roles in church.
St Chads Church is an Anglo Catholic Church in the Inner City Leicester. As a result of the support of the Growth Fund they have been able to appoint a Community Missioner.
The heart of their vision was to place the church at the centre of community life in an ethnically and culturally diverse area and to use this process as an opportunity to missionally engage with people.
The Community Missioner is central to the success of this project, as it seeks to use the capital resources that the church has (mainly the church hall) in an area that lacks access to community meeting spaces.
This engagement has transformed the church hall, both physically (with a new lick of paint!) and spirituality, as it is now a place of welcome. Nearly 12,000 different people have been welcomed into the church in the first year
For a church with 32 people on its electoral role this is a significant achievement. This includes ward councillor meetings, a drop in cafe which is a safe space for a variety of people (including those with mental health issues), other faith community groups and even wedding celebrations.
The key to this role is not that the building is open, but that the Missioner is a constant presence. It would be very easy to have a similar role that opened the building from an administrative presence, but that wasn’t welcoming people into Gods love.
The Missioner’s role is to engage with those hiring the hall in the in-between times as much as it is to lovingly serve those on the fringes of society at other times.
A recent report said that St Chad’s centre “is slowly being recognised as a place of hope for those who are finding life hard. We have been able to demystify some of the erroneous assumptions about Christian festivals and this has given us opportunities to talk about our faith through natural conversations and to ask those of other faiths about their traditions and so make bridges.”
St Luke’s, Colchester. According to reviewers on Trip Advisor the Oak Tree is ‘the Best coffee House in town!’ When one unit in a parade of six shops on the outskirts of Colchester became available St. Luke’s saw the potential for community outreach.
The work of refurbishing the former Estate Agents into a community hub was substantial and would only have been possible with the aid of a diocesan mission grant. The unit was turned into a popular coffee shop during the day specialising in Fair Trade products and selling local crafts. In the evening the space is used by the church to run money management, parenting & Alpha courses.
This is a great quality venue and when combined with generous hospitality often leads people to come back for other reasons. This includes current work with young adults where Friday football leads back to the Oak tree for discussions on life & faith.
The cafe is grounded in the community and always has openings for volunteers. Involvement with The Oak tree has recently led regular customers to ask for baptism and for volunteers to develop closer links with the worshipping community.