Connecting social action, discipleship and growth

Written by: Miguel Ferrer on Jan 12, 2022. Category: News

Church Urban Fund is proud to launch Growing Good – the first resource to help churches join the dots between social action, discipleship, and church growth.

Churches which are visible and active are more likely to grow in faithfulness, diversity, and service. This means they are more likely to make a difference in their community.

Building relationships and serving others that can lead to growth as people connect with church and with our faith in God. It can also deepen discipleship as volunteers grow in prayer, faith, generosity and commitment to justice.

Screenshot 2021 11 11 at 14 37 28

Social Action - Connecting with and serving others

The many ways, big and small, that our actions make a difference including, befriending a neighbour, hosting a lunch club, running a toddler group or supporting a food bank.

Screenshot 2021 11 11 at 14 40 49

Growth - Inviting everyone to be part of God’s transforming work

Multi-dimensional growth includes growth in numbers, faithfulness, maturity, service and diversity.

Screenshot 2021 11 11 at 10 05 53

Discipleship - Seeking spiritual growth

A life-long journey of following Jesus, learning from him and growing in his image.

Backed by research, grounded in scripture, developed for churches

Growing Good: Growth, Social Action and Discipleship in the Church of England is the final report of the GRA:CE project, a three year research project from Theos and CUF that explores the relationship between social action, growth and discipleship in the Church of England. The research included interviews with over 350 people in nearly 70 churches in a range of contexts and identified some common themes shared by churches that are growing in faithfulness and fruitfulness. The Growing Good Toolkit is designed to help churches reflect on and implement the key insights of the research.

The researchers found that, although there is no single, infallible way to grow a church, there was a set of characteristics (or themes) shared amongst churches that are growing numerically, flourishing through their engagement in social action, and helping people grow in their faith. Crucially, social action leads to church growth when it enables congregations to develop meaningful relationships with those they would not otherwise have done, or who might not otherwise have come into sustained contact with the church. These relationships are a key mechanism through which the church grows and also through which individuals grow in their own personal faith, but are not always linear or straightforward.

Nadini 14

Ready to try Growing Good in your church?

Lent is a perfect time to start, but the resource can be used at any time of year.