How are Setting God's People Free, Everyday Faith and missionary disciples linked?

Setting God's People Free

The 2017 General Synod report 'Setting God's People Free' identified the need to equip the whole people of God - the 98% of the Church of England who aren't ordained - in our mission and ministry, influence, leadership and relationship with Jesus in all parts of our lives, not just church-based ministry on a Sunday. The vast majority of people who attend church on a Sunday spend the rest of the week outside of the church. We want to equip everyone to live out their faith wherever they are and whatever they're doing. That could be in a shop or an office, field or factory, at school, sport or any other activity - the normal rhythms of our lives.

'Setting God's People Free' is the name of a report; it then became a strand of work based on the two culture shifts called for in the report:

  1. Equipping all people to find and follow God confidently in every part of life, and
  2. Recognising the gifts and callings of all people, both lay and clergy, and encouraging all people to use these skills for the good of God’s Kingdom.

 

Everyday Faith

The term 'Everyday Faith' grew out of the 'Setting God's People Free' report as a phrase to help us think about faith in our everyday lives.

Everyday Faith is about how we live out our faith wherever we spend our time, Monday to Sunday. It encompasses how we are sent out by Jesus to be his witnesses and ambassadors first to the people we naturally meet in our everyday lives in God's world, and then beyond.

Everyday Faith also covers Faith at Home, aimed at families and young people seeking to grow in their faith, and Faith at Work, aimed at people in the workplace or volunteering. We want the hundreds of thousands of Christians who attend church to show and share the love of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives, wherever they are, Monday to Sunday.

 

Missionary Disciples

The Church of England's Vision and Strategy for the 2020s was recently launched. It includes three priorities: becoming a church of missionary disciples, growing younger and more diverse, and being a church where mixed ecology is the norm. 

We believe we are called to be a Church of missionary disciples, building on all that we have learned over the last decade through Everyday Faith, Growing Faith and Setting God’s People Free, because we see Jesus in the Gospels calling and sending missionary disciples to transform the world in the power of the Spirit. All are called to live in this gracious and life giving rhythm of coming together to be with Jesus and being sent out (Mark 3.14).

God calls every one of us to be a missionary disciple. In the New Testament the same twelve who are named disciples are also called apostles. There is no point when they graduate from one to the other. They are always those who gather around Jesus and follow him, and they are always those who are sent out by him. It must be the same with us. We are called to gather around Jesus in worship, prayer and fellowship. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we are sent out by Jesus to be his witnesses and ambassadors in the world, in all parts of our lives, Monday to Sunday.