Church growth statistician Bob Jackson has famously said that if you want your church to grow the key is to do something, rather than nothing; ‘it is those who intend to grow the church who grow the church.’
We have just had an email from Revd Justin Randriambelotsoa. Justin is a retired priest in the Diocese of Fianarantsoa, Madagascar, and Justin is doing something rather than nothing. Having planted and built up a church of 500 people in one place, he has now moved to another. And Justin’s retirement project is to plant the first Anglican church in this new place. He has a simple strategy: he uses Rooted in Jesus with a group of adults and, following the training conferences last summer, Rooted in Jesus Junior with their children. And Justin’s new church is growing. Meanwhile his colleague, a much younger priest named Pez Raobison, is doing the same thing in another town, where he baptised his first new Christians last year. This is how Fianarantsoa has grown from a single church plant to a fully functional diocese in just thirteen years; step by step, in place by place. To find out more about Justin’s new church click our new blog post HERE. Justin asks for our prayers.
The same holds true here in the UK; we have to do something rather than nothing – and it doesn’t need to be clever or complicated. As Bob Jackson is fond of saying, ‘it’s not rocket science.’ A growing number of churches are now using The God Who is There, which is our UK version of Rooted in Jesus. It’s a simple, interactive discipleship course in three parts. At St Lawrence, North Wingfield the whole church has been working its way through the three books; their faith has deepened and they are now planning a parish mission, which Roger will lead in June. In March we will support a mission in Dover, and in October in Bedworth. Don’t forget to let us know if you would like to join a team, either for a parish mission in the UK or for a Rooted in Jesus team in Africa – for you too, doing something will grow your faith! If you would like to find out what others say about going on teams take a look at Ian Cripps’ testimony, or visit the Rooted in Jesus team page.
If you haven’t come across Bob Jackson’s down-to-earth books you will find synopses on the books page of Alison’s website.
Posted by Revd Dr Alison Morgan January 12th 2018