This district policy arises following the 2013 Statistics for Mission report and a desire not to be a static district, but one, which grows and develops to meet missional and evangelistic priorities.
We have based our five priorities on the framework set out by Bishop Robert Schnasse of the United Methodist Church in his book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.
Nottingham and Derby District Mission Statement
The purpose of the district is to advance the mission of the church of Christ, where possible with our ecumenical partners supporting, resourcing, encouraging and engaging with our churches, circuits and wider society.
Five priorities for the Nottingham & Derby District
The district will help circuits and churches engage in a wider mission to society and to develop whole life discipleship:
- Supporting Radical Hospitality
The district celebrates and prayerfully commends the radical hospitality already taking place in our circuits and churches. Radical Hospitality demonstrates an active desire to invite, welcome, receive, and care for all so that they find a spiritual home and discover for themselves the unending richness of life in Christ. Radical describes that which is drastically different from ordinary practices, outside the normal, that which exceeds expectations and goes the second mile.
- Encouraging Passionate Worship
The district rejoices in the many and varied forms of worship in our churches and desires all worship to be excellent, exciting and vibrant, and honouring to God. Therefore we seek to develop passionate worship from our smallest chapel to our largest church.
- Resourcing Intentional Faith Development
The notion of growing in faith is central to Methodist practice and John Wesley talked of maturing in faith. Christian faith is not static, but dynamic... Wesley was as passionate about Christians maturing toward the fullness of faith as he was about inviting Christians into the beginnings of faith. Therefore the district is committed to developing whole life discipleship that will equip our members for mission, ministry and witness in their daily lives.
- Supporting, Encouraging and Resourcing Risk Taking Mission and Service
The district will encourage the development of community projects that will make a positive difference in people’s lives, so the evangelism our churches engage in becomes contemporary, effective and contextual.
- Engaging in and Supporting Extravagant Generosity
The district will develop an environment where resources human, structural and financial are shared in extravagant generosity. Extravagant generosity means graciously and responsibly placing ourselves and our resources in service to God.
Next Steps - Making Priorities into Reality
Recent reports from both the Methodist Church and the Church of England have shown that significant growth is coming through Fresh Expressions of Church and Pioneer Ministry. Currently, in Methodism there are over 100,000 people involved in Fresh Expressions.
The District will
• employ a person to work with circuits and churches in Fresh Expressions development and Pioneer projects (by Sept 2016)
• through district grants, resource and support Pioneer projects with priority funding (ongoing)
• encourage and enable circuits to write stationing profiles and job descriptions for pioneer appointments (ongoing)
Connexionally the Methodist Church has emphasised through ‘Our Calling’ and ‘The Priorities’ the need for growth in discipleship and, through evangelism, to make more followers of Jesus Christ. The phrase is often used that we are a ‘Discipleship Movement Shaped for Mission’.
The District will
• resource, encourage and create an environment for whole-‐life discipleship among all ages. This is much more than aspirational and will be facilitated through current and future district appointments (ongoing)
• encourage circuits and churches to increase worshippers over the next 5 years by at least 10% (this takes into consideration all forms of worship, traditional, contemporary, Sunday or Midweek). The district will resource circuits and churches through training, grants and shared experience (by 2020)
• develop ways of resourcing ‘Chaplaincy Everywhere’, especially in line with the very good resources available Connexionally (by 2020)
The District will
• make effective, efficient and prayerful use of human and financial resources (ongoing)
• provide a database of skills that is accessible to all (2016 ongoing)
• identify underused buildings and release potential for mission (2020)
• distribute grants that fall in line with district priorities (ongoing)
• help circuits to creatively assess ministerial appointments for the purpose of mission and evangelism (ongoing)
• support and resource circuits in times of ministerial vacancies (ongoing)
• rigorously challenge any reduction in ordained staff in circuits (ongoing)
• to work with the DMLN in implementation of their work plan in this district (yearly review)
• review and continually monitor all our communications so that they are of the highest quality and achieve fullest coverage possible (2016 ongoing)
The District will celebrate our shared faith with our World Church partners by:
• sharing stories.
• extending links, including visiting and welcoming partners.
• exploring traditions.
• encouraging financial commitment by individuals, churches and circuits.
The District will comply with the requirements of Methodist and legal legislation