New Resource Released to Boost Church Congregations

A practical booklet exploring eight key themes to help local churches boost their congregations arrives in Christian bookshops this week.

The Ven Bob Jackson, Archdeacon of Walsall, has packed Going for Growth with tips for busy church leaders and members who want to 'get stuck in' to plans to grow their church, by offering ideas for action.

The booklet, designed to prompt prayer, discussion and action by church leaders and committees, offers 'bite size' inspiration for new ways of working that have been proved to boost the numerical size of congregations.

The pocket-size resource contains guidance on using the contents in small study groups. The groups' findings and suggestions can then be fed back to the 'centre' of the local church's organisation to influence future strategy and direction.

The Church of England explains that Bob Jackson's summary is based on eight key themes, each drawn from factors associated with the numerical growth of churches:

• Good practice in worship provision
• Encouraging a culture of change
• Investing in fresh expressions of church
• Developing diocesan policy and fostering shared values
• Reviewing deployment of clergy
• Training for non-clergy leadership
• Sound financial management
• Prompting spiritual renewal

Bob Jackson believes the book has the potential to re-energise churches: "As every church and every situation is unique, then God's way to grow will be different in every church. The book contains stimulus, ideas, options and inspiration for providing favourable conditions for the growth of the Church."

John Coles, Director of the New Wine network of churches agrees, saying: "Going for Growth is not prescriptive; rather it helps church members to tap their existing experience, while learning from other churches and, with God's help, discover their own church's road to growth."