A new resource for children

We are pleased to announce the publication of a brand new gospel booklet for children. Born Again offers an engaging retelling of the story of Nicodemus, helping children to understand what it means to become a Christian, be filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to live differently. Fun fonts and specially commissioned colour illustrations help to bring the story alive, and the conversational style draws the reader into the story and opens up questions for reflection and discussion. Children will enjoy reading the story alone, with a parent or teacher, or in a small group.
We hope the booklet will become a standard resource for Sunday Schools, children’s clubs, outreach events and missions – it’s designed to stand alongside our Decision booklet which explains the gospel to adults. Born Again comes as an A6 booklet specially shaped for smaller hands, and is available from our publications page for a modest £1.50, with a discount for bulk purchases.
If you minister to children and families you may also be interested in Roger Morgan’s short book Growing Younger, which identifies a number of simple steps that can be taken by any church wishing to grow its ministry to families. It’s been used fruitfully in many places now, and it’s worth a look if you are among the growing number of churches concerned about the increasing loss of children and their families from our local churches. Also available from our publications page.
To find out more about how we can help you develop and strengthen a ministry to families click here.
Posted 2nd May 2022

A return visit to the Diocese of Kitale, Kenya

We have published a blog post on the recent Rooted in Jesus conference to the Diocese of Kitale in Kenya. The team from the US, UK and Kenya were well received and well cared for, and the 195 conference participants and 40 local facilitators participated with enthusiasm. Team leader Richard Morgan has produced a short video which you can view by clicking on the image to the right. The blog includes some encouraging highlights shared by team members, as well as a request for ongoing prayer from Bishop Emmanuel Chemengich:
  • “We praise the Lord Jesus for the successful RinJ leaders conference. Pray with us that Christ’s grace will abide with the newly trained leaders so they move with urgency and passion to establish RinJ groups across the Diocese, and for the existing leaders to be re-energized and keep pressing on with this vital discipleship program for growing our members to be more and more like Jesus.”
We are grateful to the team members who gave their time and resources to the people of Kitale, and to the group of faithful intercessors who prayed daily for them whilst they were away.
Watch Richard Morgan’s video report on the conference here.

A Post-Pandemic World

Life has changed a lot during the last two years. We are still aiming to bring the gospel to many African countries through our Rooted in Jesus programme, and still supporting church leaders in the UK and helping them to grow their churches. We are thankful that despite the challenge of a global pandemic we have been able to adopt new ways of working, to strengthen and even expand both Rooted in Jesus and EQUIP. But nonetheless the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have been very frustrating.
But the situation is now changing. As the last remaining Covid restrictions come to an end in the UK, arrangements are being made for visits from our teams, all on a scale that would have been unthinkable a year ago. In the UK, a team will go to Slough for a week of mission at the end of June; teams will lead weekends on prayer in Whitfield and Sutton Bonington; teaching on worship and evangelism will happen in Oxford – and new plans are coming on stream all the time. In Africa, we have accepted invitations to send Rooted in Jesus teams to run conferences in 14 dioceses this year, with more to follow in 2023.
Meanwhile we have just published the Rooted in Jesus Annual Report for 2021. 2021 was a significant milestone for us : Rooted in Jesus completed its twentieth year of ministry! During that time it has been introduced to 100 Anglican dioceses or denominational networks, trained 17,558 leaders in 142 conferences in 18 African countries, and provided materials in 48 languages. Often it’s been the first discipleship programme people have ever had, and almost always the first in their own language. It’s been a humbling journey, and one which we look forward to continuing in the years to come.
The full report can be downloaded from the Rooted in Jesus website here.
Posted 21st February 2022 by The Mathetes Trust

Discipleship training in DR Congo

We have just published our first Rooted in Jesus blog post for 2022! It comes from the Diocese of Aru in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where CMS mission partner Peter Wyard is working with a team of local facilitators to renew and deepen the Rooted in Jesus programme.

Delegates in Kumuru make pastoral commitments to care for their groups

The Diocese of Aru is located in the far north-east of the country, not far from the borders with Uganda and South Sudan. DRC is not an easy place in which to minister, and this area has suffered from prolonged political and social instability.
Rooted in Jesus was first introduced to the diocese ten years ago, and over the last year Peter and his team have been working tirelessly to translate the leaders’ booklets into a new series of local languages. They have also formed an ambitious plan to train a new generation of leaders through a series of archdeaconry conferences.
The new groups are going well – and Peter shares some encouraging testimonies. You can read his report on the blog here.

Posted 27th January 2022

“And they shall name him Emmanuel”

Nativity by Domenico Gagini, 16th century
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’
Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1.

A window of opportunity

Even as the Covid skies cloud over again, we would like to share some good news! Following the easing of international travel restrictions in October, two long-planned Rooted in Jesus conferences have just taken place in the Dioceses of Aweil and Wanyjok in South Sudan.
The difficulties of travel were more than compensated for by the huge welcome and hospitality which greeted the little team of four intrepid travellers as they finally reached their destination. Over the next fortnight more than 200 men and women, lay and ordained, were trained to lead Rooted in Jesus discipleship groups, and a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit left many saying their lives had been changed for good. The books had been painstakingly translated into Dinka Rek, coordinators were appointed and groups have already started.
It was an immense privilege to serve again in a place where trouble has been great but faith is strong, and we have committed ourselves to continue in prayer as Rooted in Jesus becomes established in these two dioceses. To read the full report do check out our blog post here.
In the meantime we prepare again to celebrate the coming of Jesus, remembering the words of the apostle Jude: “Build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; and look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”

Posted 13th December 2021

The Promise and the Light

If you are wondering what to read for Advent, or what to give your children in their Christmas stocking, we recommend a beautiful new book by Katy Morgan. The Promise and the Light is a retelling of the nativity story. It’s written for children aged 8-12, but it’s pretty good for adults too! From the very first page Katy pulls us right into the story, introducing us to Mary, Joseph and Zechariah as they experience the events of the first Christmas – not as cardboard characters but as real, living people with their own thoughts, feelings and voices.
The story is told in 25 short chapters, ideal for reading during the 25 days of Advent. It’s been very well received:
  • “Fed up with school nativities and sentimental Christmas cards? Then The Promise and the Light is for you. It’s a fantastic retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of those who witnessed it first-hand. It’s historically informed and beautifully reimagined. The result is an engrossing tale through which the message of Jesus shines.” – Tim Chester
  • “If you’re looking for a family read-aloud this Christmas, or for a book for your kids to read for themselves, this book captures the wonder of Christmas while retaining the power of the biblical narrative” – Courtney Reissig
  • “Fire your imagination with a story full of wonder, amazement, confusion and shocks” – Ed Drew
Katy Morgan is an Editor at The Good Book Company, which is dedicated to helping Christians and local churches grow. She holds a master’s degree in classical Greek literature, and previously worked in a ministry role as part of a school chaplaincy.
The Promise and the Light can be ordered direct from the Good Book Company here. Or listen to Katy talking about the book in a ‘Faith in Kids’ podcast here. “It’s not preaching about Christmas,” Katy says; “it’s immersing yourself in Christmas.” The whole podcast is great – and Katy comes on about 7 minutes in.

Be Bold! A new resource

Roger Morgan writes:
I share the leadership of our EQUIP ministry with John Benson, who spent many years running a very effective Anglican mission in Singapore. From time to time we each write EQUIP booklets aimed at helping church leaders, and these are available from the Mathetes Trust. John’s latest booklet, which he calls Be Bold, seems to me to be particularly relevant in the present times.
John begins with Habakkuk 3.17-18:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Though the Covid restrictions continue and the churches are struggling, though restructuring brings no improvement and our mission bears little fruit, though the churches are nearly empty and there are few children or young people, though synods make ungodly decisions and people see no need for God or the Good News, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Starting from there, John calls us to recover the dynamic boldness that was a prominent characteristic of the early Church. He includes a Bible study which directs us to the boldness of Peter and John in Acts 4.13, to Paul’s description of the outcome of his bold preaching described in 2 Corinthians 3; and to many other places. Filled by the Holy Spirit, Paul, Peter and John were bold to speak the word of God at every opportunity, and bold to approach God’s throne and pour out their hearts and appeal for his power to accompany their preaching.
Bold to preach, bold to pray; needed for our churches in our times just as boldness has been needed every time the church has been overwhelmed with difficulties. If you would like a copy of John’s booklet please get in touch, and we will be pleased to pop one in the post for a nominal donation of £2.50 to cover costs.
To find out more about our EQUIP programme click here.
Posted 1st November 2021

Back on the road!

As we move into the new academic year we rejoice at the new opportunities opening up to us all as we re-engage in face to face interaction with one another. Here in the UK we have a series of training and planning events in the diary for the next few months. New EQUIP groups are starting up, and face-to-face ministry is once again possible. We have a growing team of people who travel with us, and an Easter mission is being planned – it’s a good time to be giving thanks for what we have, and building new foundations for the future. If you would like to find out more about what we can offer, please do drop us a line or give us a call – our contact details are here.

Back on the road in DR Congo

As Covid restrictions begin to ease dioceses are now beginning to hold Rooted in Jesus discipleship conferences. We were particularly pleased to be invited by Bishop Elisha Tendwa to send a team to help him prepare the new missionary Diocese of Lake Tanganyika in DR Congo. Having used Rooted in Jesus to prepare a new missionary diocese in DR Congo a few years ago, Bishop Elisha Tendwa has now been asked to do it again, this time working within the Diocese of Bukavu. The conference was planned in partnership between RinJ UK and RinJ Tanzania, with team members travelling from Tanzania and Burundi. The conference was opened by the Archbishop and attended by 110 pastors, Mothers Union leaders, Youth leaders, representatives from neighbouring denominations, and the Diocesan Secretary and other central staff members from the parent Diocese of Bukavu. We have posted a full report on our blog here.

Putting down new roots in Tanzania

Two Rooted in Jesus conferences have also been held in recent weeks in Tanzania, one in the Diocese of Biharamulo, the youngest in the country at just 4 years old, and one in the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza, which is rejoicing in the appointment of a new bishop after a long period without one. The report can be found here, where you will also find a short devotional message shared by Revd Leonard Giligwa, the Rooted in Jesus coordinator in the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza, Tanzania. Leonard knows from first hand experience that life can be tough – and he offers us God’s love and encouragement as he meditates on a tree in his village.
As travel restrictions begin to ease, we are looking forward to further mission trips – starting with two conferences in South Sudan in November.

Posted 29th September 2021

Now is the time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven, wrote the sage of Ecclesiastes – and on with the famous passage, a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to gather what is planted, a time to tear down and a time to build up…. For us, August is perhaps a time to draw breath, to take stock, to renew our energy and our courage, and to prepare for the new season of ministry which lies ahead. We give thanks in particular for some recent developments:
  • Our EQUIP ministry has come through the pandemic with increased numbers: 9 groups will start up in the autumn, mostly face to face but with some on Zoom. One local mission is planned, and three others are under discussion.

  • We have just published the first Swahili translation of the Rooted in Jesus Team Manual, which was first created twelve years ago to enable teams of Rooted in Jesus facilitators to provide enjoyable and effective training sessions for new group leaders. It’s been revised and updated over the years, but until now was available only in English. We are delighted to announce that it is now also available in Swahili. It takes its place alongside the Rooted in Jesus Junior Team Manual which was translated into Swahili last year.
Otherwise, the ups and downs we have all experienced over the last 18 months continue to encourage and challenge us:
  • We have been inspired by testimonies from group members in South Africa, where the Diocese of Natal has just hosted an online training course for Rooted in Jesus. One group member said:  “RinJ has taught me from the Bible how to forgive, how to move on, to be a different person.” Another shared: “I have got so much closer to God through Rooted in Jesus, and I have found a family. It has transformed my life.” Both came from a group which began by meeting in person, but changed to meeting by whatsapp during the period of restrictions.

  • And we continue to be challenged by the seemingly ever increasing difficulties of ministry in rural England. One of our new EQUIP groups aims to support clergy leading multi-parish benefices, with all the challenges of scattered rural congregations, high parish shares and the burden of maintaining ancient buildings. Ministry is never easy…
But in all this we remember Jesus’ words to his disciples: ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you.’ That is our desire and our determination.
If you would like to catch up with the news on Rooted in Jesus in more detail, visit our latest blog. And if now is the time and you would like to join our EQUIP programme, please do get in touch!

Posted 11th August 2021