Skip to main content

Jesus-shaped people - a Good News story from Baildon

Baildon Methodist Church is often seen as a successful church with few needs. That is not how it has seemed for us at closer quarters!  We are conscious that unless we renew our congregation, our building may well become a carpet warehouse in about five years.  So, in January, following six months’ preparation, we started a 15-week programme of study called “Jesus-shaped People”, an Anglican programme designed for estate parishes by Rev Canon Gordon Dey.  The strap line is “Everything you need to be a Christian and nothing you don’t”.  The texts are all from earliest and most authentic accounts of the life of Jesus, largely Mark’s Gospel.

The programme is divided into five aspects of Jesus’ ministry:
  • Jesus was most concerned about people on the edge of society: children, women, foreigners, sick people.
  • Jesus taught in the common language and used illustrations from everyday life.
  • Jesus recognised people’s strengths and used them to develop a team to take his work on.
  • Jesus frequently retired into prayer and reflection to check he was on the right track.
  • Jesus spoke truth to power. He was not afraid to criticise the scriptures or the religious establishment.
We organised fifteen services and chose preachers with the help of the Circuit, and we ran a training course for all group leaders and preachers.  We prepared a booklet with a double page for each week and everyone attending a service, cell group, prayer group, or youth group during the week receives a sticker with the reading and challenge for the week, to put into the booklet.

The whole church is now buzzing with conversation about the life and characteristics of Jesus. Discussion groups after service aim to identify changes that we need to make - unlearning some traditional teachings or changing our ways to become more Jesus-shaped. We aim to follow up with “Affirmation Classes” to prepare for church membership. Attendance is increasing. We no longer concentrate on income and fundraising. Our challenge is to become more Jesus-shaped in all we do, as individuals and as a church.  We commend this programme to others.

Dr Mervyn Flecknoe  Lay Pastor for Baildon Methodist Church<

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pancakes and Poems at Thornton

Pancakes and Poems, what a great evening we had on 13th February (Shrove Tuesday), in aid of 2nd Mile Project.

People were invited to come along for tea/supper and enjoy a variety of pancakes both savoury and sweet.


The selection was most tempting with fillings such as chilli. chicken and avocado, mushroom or cheese and onion. The sweet fillings were too many to mention, but my favourite was fresh fruits with ice cream – yum, yum.

Throughout the evening, many people had brought poems to read to everyone. The genre of this was amazing with funny, romantic, knowledgeable and even a little bit naughty.

It was good to be together with laughter and smiles all round. A special thank you to everyone who came and all who helped.

Elaine B, Thornton

Virtual Worship - 14 June 2020

Call to worship (based on Psalm 100)Shout with joy to the Lord
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Know that the Lord is God
It is God who made us, and we are God’sEnter God’s gates with thanksgiving
Come into God’s courts with praise Give thanks to God and praise God’s holy name.
The Lord is good God’s love endures for ever. Amen.
PrayerLord God, you made us, and we are yours, we are your people, the sheep of your pasture. As we focus on you this morning, and acknowledge that your presence makes the place in which we do this (wherever it is) a holy space, touch our hearts afresh with your love, that our lips may praise you and our lives serve you in all things. Amen.

You might like to sing, or reflect on the words of, Hymn StF 363, which begins, “My Jesus, my Saviour, Lord there is none like you. All of my days I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love”.


Read Romans 5:1-8First silently to yourself, then, if you can, out loud, from the Message Bible. I love the way…

Virtual Worship - 19 July 2020

Service sheet (pdf) Opening sentence:Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God...the Spirit makes you God’s children and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, ‘Abba, Father.
Song:Join in with or listen to ‘Sing of the Lord’s goodness’ (Singing the Faith 65) as we offer our praise to God. Alternatively, use a well-known hymn such as ‘Lord of all hopefulness’ (Singing the Faith 526, Hymns and Psalms 552) as we affirm the presence of God in our worship today.


Opening prayers:Creator God
We come to praise your name today,
We are confident of your love for us,
knowing that you want the very best for us and for your world.
Help us to be a people strong in Spirit
and faithful to your call,
so that the confidence you show in us
may be shown to be well placed.
And encourage us to share in the work of Jesus
that the good news of your saving grace
may be a message of hope and rejoicing
for all creation.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said here.
Gospel reading:Matthew 13.24-30
24 He put before …