On Sunday 10th April, St Peter’s church in Stanley is going to launch a 15 week course entitled ‘Jesus Shaped People’.
Jesus Shaped People looks at the life of Jesus in a fresh way. It asks ‘What would happen to our church if we based everything we do on the life of Jesus?’ It is a radical way to look at the Gospels, and will hopefully lead to a transformation of our church.
For this reason the core programme lasts for 15 weeks. By setting aside 15 weeks, we will allow ourselves the time and space to think in new ways about the teachings of Jesus.
And, of course, that means more than Sundays! At the heart of the programme are small groups, which as many people as possible will be encouraged to join, to meet with others to explore the themes each week. The small groups will be using detailed resources with bible study questions, interactive exercises, prayers, activities and much more.
Small groups are already meeting during Lent to discuss follow a special Lent course about John the Baptist, and the intention is that these groups will reconvene for the 15 weeks of the JSP programme. At present, these groups are meeting on:
- Tuesdays at 2pm at church
- Tuesdays at 6pm (location to be advised)
- Tuesdays at 7.30pm (to be advised)
- Thursdays at 7.30pm at the Vicarage
These days and times will be confirmed before the Jesus Shaped People programme begins and anyone is very welcome to come along to these small and friendly groups. Please contact the vicar or the church office for more information.
The Jesus Shaped People programme that we will be using on Sundays and in the small groups builds on five key themes from the life of Jesus with each theme taking up three weeks within the overall 15-week programme:
- People: Jesus wasn’t a ‘buildings person’. He was the original ‘people person’, someone who went out from religious institutions and met people where they were.
- Teaching: Jesus teaches people in a down-to-earth practical way. Using illustrations from real life, his teaching is challenging, but not condemning.
- Team Building: Right from the start Jesus was looking for a group of people with whom he could share his life and mission. And he gave quality to time to that group, building relationships and equipping them for what was to come.
- Prayer: Despite being mega-busy, Jesus made a priority of carving out time for prayer. And he spent time teaching and showing others how to pray
- Prophetic Challenge: Jesus often found himself in conflict with the authorities—particularly the religious ones! He never shirked that conflict, but responded with a powerful message.
Jesus Shaped People hasn’t come from a classroom or a college, but from a parish church on a tough and disadvantaged estate in Bradford. Having been extensively tested in other parishes, and following a lengthy process of improvement and development, the programme has now been used successfully by many churches, including All Saints, Normanton.
This is not simply another course. St Peter’s is embarking on Jesus Shaped People in order to bring about a transformation in how our church operates. In essence, it will encourage us to read the gospel and ask ourselves: “What would happen if we actually did all this stuff that Jesus talked about?”
As well as resources for Sunday worship and the small groups, there are also special activities for children and young people to fit in with the Jesus Shaped People programme. These will be used in the Sunday Gang meetings during every Sunday morning service.
Please join us as we embark on this deeply enriching process which we hope will bear much fruit in our church, community and relationships with one another.