Shaped by God Together - Ministry Models

SbGT Ministry Models

Each model is designed as a framework for mission and ministry. They are intended to have enough flexibility for local discernment and innovation, but with enough similarity to ensure appropriate diocesan oversight and governance. 

We don’t yet have a sense of the detail of the models – this will be worked out through our conversations and our discernment processes (see the SBGT timeline for details), but we do know that we want to be focussed upon providing a framework for mission, that will enable every church to play a part in our overall witness throughout the diocese. 

Model A: 

Larger groups formed of churches for mutual support, fellowship and learning. The generic term for this model that we are using is of a ‘Minster-model’. A Minster ‘gathers and sends’ for mission embodying a shared ministry. A gathering of the faithful, the whole people of God, not just gathering of clergy/ministers, and a formation of ministry focussed teams (Lay and Ordained) that support and equip the ministry of the local churches. In this model local support is embedded and central support is more of a “training the trainer”. 

A minster church could be; 

A market town minster church serving town and villages.
A resourcing church focussed on planting new communities of faith. A midweek urban minster with large youth engagement.
A schools led minster.
An intergenerational worshipping community at heart. 

What is important is the potential for deepening of fellowship between lay and ordained as they minister alongside each other, and the discernment and support of local mission. The Minster serves to support the wider mission of an area and will need to be tailored to that area. 

Model B: 

Within this model individual worshipping communities (parishes, fresh expressions, schools) are grouped into Mission Areas, where missional discernment and planning takes place. It is a strongly geographical model, which gives the possibility of emphasising the locations of schools, or a community. It allows us to reshape to take account of the developing Leicestershire 2050 housing plan or of the growing populations/new housing areas. 

Mission Areas would supersede deaneries with resourcing churches and intercultural worshipping communities remaining within Mission Area structure. Support is devolved to Mission Area, including administration and specialised support with more central support by necessity. Each Mission Area would have a designated Mission Area Leader, and a further team of ministry specialisms and skills that are shared across the Mission Area. 

A ministry area could look like; 

A group of parishes and Fresh Expressions of Church that serve a geographical area integrating Church, Schools and Households.
A collection of school catchment areas could be the focus for a mission area.
A large new build could be a focus for an area. 

A geographical mission unit could be determined by the accessibility of the local retail area. 

The driver for a Mission Area has to be the discerned mission. Within this scale enables coordination, releasing and energising of mission, and there will need to be a high degree of support and high degree of mutual accountability across Mission Area. Relationships will be collegial and supportive, and the area will seek to support the connectivity of Church, Schools and Household. 

Model C 

This model recognises and releases the primary gifts of each local church or worshiping community. It requires churches to have considered and discerned what God is calling them to be, and do, and to have discovered their own church gifts. Within the network, which could be dispersed over a wide geographical area, worshipping communities will be grouped around a shared missional focus. Each network having an oversight minister and an authorised ministry team. Central support would be focussed on enabling the networks and will require regular missional accompaniment for accountability and support. Mission Networks will enable strategic resourcing of places with clear missional focus, and learning will be shared widely. 

A Network could gather and form around; 

Influencing and engaging with civic structures for missional purposes. Practical action in response to a community need.
Resourcing and planting new communities, rooted in the Anglican tradition. Being an incarnational presence at the heart of our community. Sacramental mission. 

It should not be identified around a particular theological stance or identity. Rather the missional opportunity and gifts of the individual churches and communities (including Fresh Expressions and schools) are released enabling Christian action beyond the local whilst providing a local presence.