We write every so often about Rooted in Jesus, so we thought it was time for an update on our EQUIP programme. EQUIP aims to support church leaders, who are invited to join one of our regional groups which meet 3 times a year for a one day seminar.
After each session the group leader, either Roger Morgan or John Benson, follows up each participant on a one to one basis, usually paying them a visit at their homes and sometimes making a contribution to the church at the same time. What we do in these personal visits varies from person to person, and quite often people have problems to share with us. The morale of church leaders is very important but can be hard to maintain. It is a privilege to support so many people at the coal-face of local ministry.
This year EQUIP has expanded on a number of fronts:
Membership is open to any church leader within easy reach of one of our regional hubs. The composition and location of the groups inevitably changes as people take up new appointments, but this year we have been able to welcome a number of new members. There are now 5 regional hubs, meeting in Kent, Leicestershire, Berkshire, North Wales and Somerset. The Somerset group launched this year and we meet in Bridgwater. 50 church leaders are now involved, up from 40 last year. The groups are cross-denominational, and it is a joy to have Anglican, Baptist and Methodist leaders meeting together to consider the challenges of ministry and to support one another in prayer.
EQUIP is founded on a simple question: “What do church leaders need to be able to do if they are to lead their churches into a deeper experience of God and also into numerical growth?”. Each of our seminars takes a single topic which will help ministers to grow both in their personal walk with the Lord and in their role as church leaders; each participant is given a booklet setting out the main principles and offering suggestions for good practice. Often it turns out that someone has a great deal of experience to share on a particular topic, and when this is so we invite them to take the lead.
So far this year the topics the various groups have covered are: Breathing life into Sundays, Managing time, Prayer Ministry, Revive us Again and Transforming Preaching.
Growth never happens in a vacuum so, keen as we are to help church leaders, we are also looking for practical ways to serve their churches. We love helping churches to plan and run local missions, and of course we are always willing to help lead training courses and to preach. Our most recent initiative is to put together a series of 5 seminars for church members, covering the following topics:
1. The Holy Spirit – the source of life and power
2. Developing a strong prayer life – both individual and corporate
3. Prayer ministry – praying for others
4. Evangelism – ministry to the community
5. Becoming messengers – ministry of the word
We are currently piloting this course in Durrington, Wiltshire, and we are extremely encouraged by the response. The Saturday morning sessions have been attended by up to 26 church members, some of whom have had no direct experience of ministering to others; many say that they have been going much deeper with God than they’ve been able to do before. The Lord seems very willing to pitch in; it’s all about having the confidence to let him!
If you would like to order a copy of one of our EQUIP booklets please let Jessica know – some of the topics are listed below. If you are interested in finding out more about EQUIP, either through joining an existing group or helping to start a new one in your area, please contact us. And if you are an experienced church leader who would like to help us expand our reach please do get in touch!
The following EQUIP booklets can be ordered from the office at a nominal price of £2.50 including postage:
All Age Worship
Breathing Life into Sundays
Delivering the Word of God
Developing New Leaders
Management of Change
Prayer Meetings and How to Lead Them
The Work of an Evangelist
Posted 19th August 2019 by Alison Morgan
New donation facility
We are very grateful to all who support the ministry of the Mathetes Trust either in the form of single donations, or by regular standing order. We had been using BT’s free charity donation facility on our websites, but this has now closed. We’ve looked carefully at the alternatives, and have decided that the service offered by the Charities Aid Foundation is the best one for our purposes. The new donate button is shown below, and it connects to our CAF charity page https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/10163.
If you do not yet support us financially but would like to do so, the CAF page offers various options for both one-off and regular donations.
Making a difference – what we do with your gifts
As a charity we travel very light, but we are nonetheless dependent on your support both for our ministry in the UK and for Rooted in Jesus in Africa. Our ministry continues to grow: in recent weeks Roger and Katy Morgan have run a prayer weekend for a church in Oxfordshire, Alison has spoken at a village outreach evening on Science & Faith in Derbyshire, and Mike Cotterell has taken a Rooted in Jesus team to the Diocese of East Ruwenzori in Uganda. Our EQUIP ministry with church leaders is expanding – we are now working with 50 churches across the country. Richard Scott and Roger are planning a further parish mission in Kent for 2020, and we have other church weekends and preaching engagements in the diary. We have more Rooted in Jesus conferences planned for later this year and for next year, and we are currently working on seven new translations of the Rooted in Jesus books! We have also just published an updated edition of the Rooted in Jesus Team Manual, which is used by team members and host dioceses to introduce and support Rooted in Jesus. News from dioceses already using Rooted in Jesus continues to be encouraging – visit our news page to find out more.
Amazon Smile programme
Finally, we are pleased that the Amazon Smile programme is generating a small amount of income for us. If you buy from Amazon, you can nominate a charity to receive a small donation from Amazon, at no extra cost to yourself. All you need to do is shop via https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ instead of via http://amazon.co.uk/, and choose your charity (just once). They do the rest! Persuading Amazon to make charitable donations has to be good…
We are hugely grateful to all those who partner with us in prayer, in practical involvement, and in financial support – thank you so much! If you would like to join our contact list and receive our news updates by email do let us know – or click to follow this blog using the button on the right.
Posted 2nd July 2019
We have been hugely encouraged to receive recent news about our discipleship programmes Rooted in Jesus and The God Who is There from Southern Africa and Burundi. A full report is on our blog, but here is a snapshot:
The latest newsletter from Growing the Church in Cape Town proclaims: Discipleship takes off in the Anglican Province of Southern Africa! It carries a report on recent training conferences in the Diocese of Natal and the Diocese of Lesotho, facilitated by a team which included members from the Diocese of Free State, where RinJ was introduced last year. Bishop Martin Breytenbach has recently conducted a video interview with Bishop Dintoe Letloeyane, who tells of the impact of the programme in his own diocese of Free State. Watch it on youtube here or by clicking on the image.
Other testimonies include:
“I am totally humbled as I reflect on the weekend—words will never be enough to express what the Lord has done here! It was a wow experience. As Isaiah 43:18 says, “God is doing a new thing.” Several participants heard the gospel for the first time and committed their lives to Jesus. Thank God for Revd Trevor who preached boldly about salvation and gently challenged the people to consider inviting Jesus in their lives.” Joseph Morenammele (Lesotho)
“Each course will be rotating around the diocese over a period of 15 months. We are, with our Bishop’s support, assisting and enabling parishes to evangelize and make disciples. God is good! Three new Rooted in Jesus Adult groups, one new Rooted in Jesus Junior group, three new Alpha Groups and one new J-Life group have been formed at Parish Level.” Bruce Woolley (Natal)
Meanwhile we were delighted to hear from Elisha Acadamy in Burundi that Rooted in Jesus continues to be an effective tool for discipleship in the Diocese of Muyinga. He reports that: “Kiremba village is going to become a new parish as a result of the Rooted in Jesus ministry; in Cibare one group has completed the course and 2 new groups are now starting; the church in Danzuko has expanded through RinJ; many have surrendered to Jesus and given up idol worship in Jarama; a new church is being planted in Mukoni as a result of Rooted in Jesus.” He concludes, “the Diocese began when they had almost 25 parishes. But now after using Rooted in Jesus, more than 5 parishes have been inaugurated. This is a result of the Rooted in Jesus mission. This place is a good place for doing this ministry because many people need to hear about Jesus.” Elisha (below) is currently part of the RinJ team to the Diocese of East Ruwenzori in Uganda.
We have posted a full report from South Africa on the Rooted in Jesus blog, which you can read here. While you are there you might like to sign up to follow the blog, which means you will automatically be notified of new posts! And if you would like to catch up on recent feedback from other places do keep an eye on the Rooted in Jesus news page.
Posted 28th May 2019
Created in 2002, Rooted in Jesus has now been running for 17 years. During this time it has been introduced to some 90 dioceses, denominations and theological colleges in 16 African countries. Over 13,000 people have now been trained to lead Rooted in Jesus groups!
Many of those who have adopted Rooted in Jesus now provide their own ongoing training and support, fulfilling our vision that the programme should become self-sustaining in each province or area. We invite each diocese or network to send us an annual report, and we have been delighted to receive many testimonies to the impact that Rooted in Jesus is having as a tool for church-planting, discipleship training and ministry to families.
To read the Rooted in Jesus Annual Report click HERE.
Or to catch up with the highlights visit our latest blog post HERE.
Rooted in Jesus and the Mathetes Trust
‘Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”’ Matthew 28.16-20
The word ‘mathetes’ is the New Testament term for our English word ‘disciple’, and the Great Commission by Jesus underpins everything we do both here in the UK and with our partners in Africa through Rooted in Jesus.
Rooted in Jesus is used to make disciples in some of the poorest countries in the world. This is made possible through the generosity of those who support the Mathetes Trust financially. If you would like to help please click HERE.
To download the Annual Report as a pdf file click HERE
We support church leaders across the country through our EQUIP programme. EQUIP groups meet three times a year, with up to ten church leaders in each group. Each group has a leader, who commits to visiting each of the members in their own locality between the meetings.
The main purpose of both the meetings and the follow-up visits is to provide teaching, training and encouragement in a number of major areas of church life. EQUIP groups also function as support groups, where people listen to one another, learn from one another and pray for one another.
We currently have EQUIP groups meeting in Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, and North Wales, with a group soon to start in Somerset. In North Wales the group is led by Canon John Benson, and John has sent the following update:
EQUIP IN NORTH WALES
“Making bricks without straw” was the starting point for a recent meeting of the EQUIP group in North Wales. The people of Israel in Egypt faced a seemingly impossible task. Many church leaders in North Wales (and other places) also feel that they face an impossible task. They are given responsibility for an increasing number of small and declining churches. One member of the EQUIP group has ten churches.
These church leaders are committed to doing their best to serve God in their ministry, but it is easy to become discouraged or to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task.
We pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” And then we look at the continued decline of many of the churches. Has the Lord given up on the advance of His kingdom in Wales? Is it possible for Welsh churches to grow and flourish again? What is the Lord saying to the church today? Do we just continue the present track of managed decline? Are there new approaches the Lord intends to bless?
I believe that there is a future and a hope for the church in North Wales and that there will be a harvest of people turning to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour before He returns in power and glory. In the EQUIP group, I have the privilege of working with a group of church leaders who begin to believe that this can be done. They are ready to take some radical decisions to make it happen. We pray, “Lord, what are you doing and what do you want us to do?”
My friend with ten churches has asked me to bring a team of intercessors from my church in Chester to spend a day praying in his area. We plan to do this after Easter. We will pray for the advance of the Kingdom of God. We will pray for the Lord’s blessing on his people. We will listen to what the Lord is saying.
Will you join us in praying for the Lord’s blessing on His church in North Wales?