Discipleship is what we do to follow the way of Jesus. It is therefore at the heart of our faith.
It is about our daily relationship with Jesus and how, like any relationship, we can help that to grow and flourish. It is a life-long journey, one that constantly challenges our priorities, our habits, our values and our attitudes, as the Holy Spirit works in us to transform us more and more into the people God wants us to be.
In the Gospels, the first disciples learnt from Jesus as they spent time with him. It is the same today. Jesus calls us to put our faith and trust in him, to spend time reading the Bible, spend time in prayer and spend time learning and sharing our faith together.
Our Growing as a Disciple course offer ways to help you grow in your own personal discipleship.
We all need to find the right help for where we are on our journey of faith.
This course is about deepening our personal faith and raising our awareness of how God might be calling us to contribute our abilities and time to our churches. We hope that it will also generate enthusiasm and confidence to express our faith as we seek to live as Christ's disciples in our communities, workplaces and in the wider world.
In Growing as a Disciple, we delve into the Bible, getting the big story of the way God has worked in the lives of very ordinary people to bring about his purposes and our salvation. We zoom in to look at particular stories and ask, where are we in this story, and what about our journey of faith?
The course is made up of ten sessions each lasting two hours:
Session 1 - Introduction to Growing as a Disciple
Session 2 - Prayer: The Language of faith
Session 3 - The Old Testament story of faith: Abraham to Joshua
Session 4 - The Old Testament story of faith: Joshua to the exile
Session 5 - The Old Testament story of faith: Exile to John the Baptist
Session 6 - The New Testament story of faith: Jesus
Session 7 - The New Testament story of faith: The gospel explodes
Session 8 -The church: The community of faith
Session 9 - Mission: The response of faith
Session 10 - The next step: Living as fruitful disciples
Read the introduction to the sessions, which gives more detail as to the content and aim for each session.
The course is usually run consecutively on a weekday or evening, but sessions can be combined for five Saturday mornings, or a mixture of these formats. Please do contact us to discuss the pros and cons of these different ways if the course is being run in your parish.
What is expected of participants?
Each participant will be given a course book with all the notes. The sessions are a mixture of input and discussion, either as a whole group, or in smaller groups. As a participant you are encouraged to go over the session at home and read ahead in the notes for some sessions. Course facilitators will understand the pressures on your time in daily life, but the more you are able to work at home, the more you will get out of the course.
We ask everyone, including facilitators, to participate respectfully and sensitively. Because the experience of faith and life that you bring to the course is an important contribution to the learning of the group, we encourage commitment to the whole course. Groups are kept quite small to enable good discussion.
The diocese is underwriting the cost of this course and is providing all the resources, training and help for facilitators, who are usually LLMs (Readers) or clergy. There are two facilitators per group, which helps to ensures no session will be cancelled.