The purpose of the Mathetes Trust’s EQUIP programme is to provide mentoring assistance to Christians who are themselves committed to serving the Great Commission in the UK – disciples who want to make disciples. EQUIP began in 2010, when Roger formed a small group of mentees in the South West of England. Since then, more and more people have asked to join and today EQUIP serves 75 people who meet regularly in 10 groups. EQUIP is led by Roger Morgan in England and John Benson in North Wales.
Seven of the 10 EQUIP groups consist entirely of clergy; one is restricted to those who serve in an Anglican multi-parish benefice, where one minister has responsibility for several churches. Leaders of multi parish benefices are often under pressure to lead each of their churches in quite traditional ways which, even with outstanding leadership, usually results in ageing and declining congregations; it is our aim to help these leaders find a new approach which reverses these trends. The other 3 EQUIP groups are for lay people. One group is for full or part-time children’s workers. The other two groups are for lay people who are committed to spreading the Gospel in the places where they live and work.
Roger and John both have long experience of making disciples, both as laymen and then as leaders of growing churches. They learned in particular that any church leader who wants to see their church grow has to make sure that certain things happen; if they do not, then those churches tend to decline in numbers. To this end, we have written a series of booklets which set out in detail the steps which should be taken and the steps which should be avoided. We teach these principles through the 10 EQUIP groups, which each meet 3 or 4 times a year, either on Zoom or face to face. Group members are asked to make these meetings a priority. Roger and John then follow up the meetings by individual conversations on the phone and, as far as possible, by visits which enable us to better understand the realities of the situations people are facing in their ministry; we also make ourselves available to share in that ministry.
Roger and John are often invited to preach and, when they do, they offer prayer for healing at the close of the service. A healthy church must have a plan to reach out with the Gospel to the people who belong to the communities where church members live and work; we often find ourselves helping churches to form such plans and walking alongside them as they carry them out. We sometimes take teams to parishes for a week of mission so that churches who may not be used to conversions or healings will see these things happen. Roger has often been to churches to give a weekend of teaching on prayer with the twin aims of helping individual Christians to find a deeper prayer life and helping groups of Christians to pray together. Another aspect of our work in parishes has been training, particularly for churches which wish to offer prayer to individuals on Sundays. Many churches have a small group system; our vision is to see these groups grow in numbers and in spiritual depth. Our vision for our lay members is that they will be fruitful in their evangelism, both at home and by coming with us on some of our visits to other places.
If you are reading this, ordained or lay, and would like to join one of our EQUIP groups, please do let us know. We would expect you to have an active ministry and a desire to make disciples; membership involves both commitment and challenge!
Recent EQUIP booklets – all available from the office.