From Evidence to Action
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From Evidence to Action

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From Evidence to Action

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From Evidence to Action

Interactive exercises

The worksheets are designed to help you consider how each of the factors which have been associated with growth may be relevant in your context.

Alongside or instead of working through the questions, you might find it helpful to look at the factors and related issues in a more interactive way. The ideas

in this slide pack

are just to help you get started; you may be able to think of other activities and exercises which will help you engage with the issues in a way that is helpful for your parish and church leaders


If you come up with an idea that works well then do consider sending it to us. We are keen to expand this part of the toolkit.


A growing Church is likely to have a clear mission and purpose and clergy and congregations who are intentional about growth

Imagine you are soon to be going on a journey. In a group discuss how you would go about planning to get to your destination. Would you be inclined to make detailed plans and ensure that you have everything that you might need? Or would you prefer to set off and find your way as you go?

What are the considerations that affect how you approach preparing for this journey? What essential things do you need to get there? What else might you like to take with you? What isn’t helpful


Discuss how this is similar to a journey towards growth – in your context what is your destination? What do you need to get there and what won’t be helpful.

Use your conclusions as a basis for prayer and planning for action in the areas you identify.


A growing Church is likely to understand its context, actively engage with it and those who might not currently go to church

Using a large map of your local area, pinpoint your church and identify which groups of people/organisations/businesses/schools/other churches you have existing links with in (you could use post-it stickers to name and locate these).



think about your local area and identify those groups with whom your church has no links as yet. Use different coloured post-it stickers to locate and name these.

Use the map as a starting point for considering how you can engage more with your community and make some plans towards making or strengthening links.


could use the map to remind you to pray for your local area.


A growing Church is likely to be willing to self-reflect, change and adapt according to its context

With others or individually, imagine that you could change your church building to make it more suitable for your ministry and mission – it could be anything from a total redesign/rebuild or extension or something less ambitious like decorating a room, putting in a carpet or improving your church’s coffee area


Draw your dream church and compare your dream with other people’s ideas – use your ideas as a starting point for what might be possible or to identify how small changes might help your church be more welcoming, or more useful in your context


On a large plan of your church building group members could be invited to draw or mark up changes to the building that they can

remember having

taken place in the past


List any good changes which have taken place in your church or area in the last 5


How does thinking about change in its widest sense make you feel


Use this as a starting point for prayer, maybe asking God to guide you as you consider change and also to help you be always open to positive change and not fearful.


A growing Church is likely to have lay people as well as ordained clergy active in leadership and other roles

List all the ways in which lay people are already involved in your



Are there other things which could be taken on by lay people


How might we encourage more people to get involved


Write down all the benefits of having a good mixture of people involved in all roles in your church.


A growing Church is likely to actively engage children and young people

Ask group members to think about any particular memories they might have had about experiences of church and faith as a


and young person. For example, if they began their faith journey as a child or young person who was influential in their faith journey?

Watch a video:

– Video “The Look” made by


at St John at Hackney, which involves children and adults speaking about their experiences of church



– XLP charity which is working with young people in an urban environment

Use your different experiences along with what you’ve seen on the video to prompt discussion about how you might engage better with children and young people in your church whatever your context.


A growing Church is likely to be welcoming and build on-going relationships with people

Think of a time when an organisation or group of people that you have encountered for the first time has made you feel warmly welcomed and at ease – either write or say out loud how


felt when in this situation. What did they do well to welcome you and to make you feel at ease


Describe or Imagine a situation in which you felt or feel completely uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone – either write down or say out loud how you


Talk about the things you have written or said out loud to discuss the gap between the two and how people can feel unwelcome in a new or unfamiliar situation


church and what can be done to make the process feel easier.


Building on your thoughts and discussions, pray and take action towards making your church a more welcoming place where people will feel at home and valued.


A growing Church is likely to nurture disciples (encouraging people to explore and deepen their faith and live it out in their daily lives)


or use a ready made picture of a tree and encourage your group to think of things which a tree needs to grow to full maturity. Then write or draw the things which are needed.Using the image of this tree ask group members to write or draw on it the things which they and others might find helpful for growing (spiritually) in their faith.Think about which of these things your Church does well? What else could be done to encourage people to explore and deepen their faith?Pray about how you can encourage each other and others in your parish, wherever they are in their journey of faith.

A) Nurturing Spiritual Growth


A growing Church is likely to nurture disciples (encouraging people to explore and deepen their faith and live it out in their daily lives)

Encourage members of your group to think and talk about what it means to live out their faith in their daily lives. Ask people to write on a post-it sticker or say out loud some of their own daily life situations, this could include mentioning the people they meet or work with. You could approach this generally or be specific, for example, “where were you at 3pm yesterday?” or “where will you be this time tomorrow?” (see note below *)Encourage people to think widely; answers could include:Having a business meeting with colleagues or a clientCaring for an elderly relative A hospital appointmentDropping children at the school gateGiving an important presentationBreaking bad news to someone at work or homeGoing to the supermarketLooking for a jobMeeting a friend Managing a difficult family situation Encourage any group members who feel able to share something about a situation they’ve written down or spoken of and especially say how their faith has made, or could make a difference to it.Discuss how you as a church family equip each other to live out your daily lives in your own contexts? How could you do this better?Spend time praying together either silently or out loud for the individuals and/or situations mentioned.*This Time Tomorrow is an initiative from LICC which has been helpful for many churches. Churches regularly set aside a few minutes to talk to church members and focus on what they do in their everyday lives or what they will be doing “This time tomorrow”. This is a way of encouraging and prayerfully supporting one another in their daily Christian journey. Link to article here


) Living out faith in daily lives


A growing Church is likely to have clergy and lay leaders who innovate, envision and motivate people

One member of the group is asked to leave the room while the other members think of and make a structure/draw a picture (innovate) of something which the person outside will aim to recreate (You could use everyday objects, craft materials or children’s building bricks?).

The structure/picture will be kept out of sight so the group needs to discuss how they will convey instructions to the other member when they return including setting the scene (envisioning), communicating clearly and encourage (motivating) the person to keep going


At the end of the exercise, discuss how it went and how each person helped in achieving the goal. Now compare this with your church situation. How can you work together in your setting while also identify those with particular skills and qualities which may lead to growth.