As our churches learn to cooperate more and more closely, we are going use a programme called LyCiG Local that is specifically designed for use on the ground with churches who want to meet God’s call to make disciples and change their communities, but are struggling with how to do it. An important part of getting things right is to get a common vision of where we are heading:
Victoria Ashdown said: ‘The purpose of the course is to help all church members to come to a shared vision to see their church grow… Church growth is not about bigger churches for their own sake, but rather about God’s lost children being found and His world transformed’.
LyCiG: established advisors on growth for a quarter of a century
LyCiG, or Leading your Church into Growth - to give them their full title, are a national organisation which has been around for quarter of century. The course is known for it’s practical, ready to apply, and down to earth character.
Tim Sledge one of the national organisers, Vicar of Romsey (and our Area Dean) said: The essence is that we
]are just parish priests who have done it… the course context has come out of grappling and grasping with issues at local levels.
LyCiG Local for everyone who feels part of one of our churches
LyCiG Local isn’t a course for Church Wardens, PCC members, and a few others. This is a course for everyone who feels like a part of one of our churches. Each of us shape how our work contacts, friends and the people we do business with feels about the church. That makes us all leaders of a sort. Not leaders by position, but leaders of people’s reputations.
Tim Sledge said plainly: If you have been baptised, the course is for you, because you are a leader. It is about how all of us can be involved in the growth and mission of the church.
Our use of LyCiG Local endorsed by Diocesan advisor
The news that the Churches in Ampfield, Chilworth, North Baddesley were going to use LyCiG local was enthusiastically welcomed by the Diocesan Evangelism, Church Growth & Fresh Expressions Adviser Phil Dykes commanded the training commenting that the LyCiG catered for a wide background of churchmanship and theology. He noted that the course he went on ‘was one of the best things I have been to in 30 years of ordained ministry, grounded, funny, deep and hopeful’.
Relevantly to our context he said:
“I realised to process of growing is not as daunting as we first thought, we had already started some of the changes and need to take small steps, many of which have no cost implications, but make a big difference.”…
“I found the course stimulating and challenging. There were a lot of good ideas of how to reach out to the local community and grow our churches.”