Being disciples and helping others to be disciples is core to the calling of the church of Jesus. The church glorifies God as it pursues the goal of maturity in Christ, that is, every person finding their place and making their contribution to the body of Christ, so that the nations are blessed. The role of leaders in the body of Christ is to facilitate this, demonstrating and teaching Jesus’ followers to do Jesus’ work in Jesus’ way.

The pandemic has shown us that whilst we don’t need thousands gathered in order to do this, we really do need each other. We can’t arrive at maturity through a screen, but only as Jesus is shared in the sharing of lives together.

How do we do this in a world that is always looking for “the formula” or programme?
How can the church avoid the dangers of pursuing “success” through programmes and technique – and the inevitable failure and disillusionment that follows?

Over the two network sessions at EQUIP 2021, we will consider:

  • How do we define “success” in discipling God’s people – what do we reward and celebrate?
  • What are the dangers of pursuing “success”?
  • How does the church wrongly define and reward success?
  • What does Jesus have to say in the beatitudes about what it looks like to follow Him?
  • How do we teach and model this?
  • What should churches of people following Jesus look like in 21st Century Britain?

It’s essential that we allow Jesus to shape our thinking and practice. Whatever we are aiming for will shape our leadership practices and the culture of our churches, so we need to be careful that we’re aiming at the right things! What might it look like to do “Jesus’ work in Jesus-ways”?

The stream’s sessions at EQUIP 2021 will be:

  • Session One (Online) | Thu 23 Sept 6.30-7.30
  • Session Two (In-person) | Sat 25 Sept 10.00-11.10 – Held at Highfields Church, Cardiff

EQUIP 2021 Network Speaker

Mark Stirling

Dr Mark Stirling

Mark Stirling is a former medical doctor who pioneered work amongst university students with the Navigators in Edinburgh from 1998 to 2004. In 2007 he completed an MA in Exegetical Theology at Covenant Seminary in St Louis and in 2011 gained a PhD in Biblical Studies from St Andrews University, his thesis examining issues of discipleship and maturity in Ephesians.

Network Facilitator

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is married to Lisa and has three children. Originally a Tredegar boy, he studied and lived in Cardiff, where he first got involved with the Navigators, and was a Chemistry teacher for 14 years. After moving back to the valleys, Paul and Lisa became part of Hope Church Merthyr. They have led small community groups since 2010, helping others in growing to maturity as disciples of Jesus. Paul has been part of the leadership of Hope for the last 9 years, pastoring since 2013, and also teaches science two days a week.