Submitted by Sue McWhinney on Fri, 25/01/2019 - 14:36 JSP's plan to provide extended materials that enable churches to focus in on each of the 'Five Priorities' has take a step forward recently with the creation of a 10 week programme on 'Team Building'. St Wilfrid's Church Calverley has been trialling this for us, and we're glad to publish their experience of this below. A final version of the material is being drafted, and will become available on the website in due course. Work is also proceeding with a similar 'extension' to Priority One - 'People'. We at St Wilfrid’s Calverley have very much enjoyed working with the JSP team in developing and pioneering the new Team Building course. This course is going to be great for a lot of churches across the country. The course runs over 10 weeks and is beautifully integrated with comprehensive sermon notes and bespoke readings, collects, and questions to reflect on provided for each Sunday. Together with home group materials and children’s ministry resources designed to complement and develop the theme each week. This means that you have an abundance of resources to draw on that can be tailored to suit your particular context. There is a clear aim and application for each week, which is always rooted in scripture. For us, as a growing church with lots of families, this style meant that we could learn together, with adults and children’s ministry working in partnership. It gave us a clear sense of moving forwards as a whole church. The course has three main sections: Leadership, Vocation, and Working Together. The first section covers three important aspects of healthy Christian leadership: servant-style, Spirit-filled, and sacrificial leadership, and we found the material excellent, with lots of practical application. We used the follow up materials for week one in the context of a whole church mid-week evening of food and worship, which worked really well in getting us inspired and on-board with the purpose and style of the course. The middle section has three sessions on Vocation: every member ministry, identifying the gifts, and responding to the call. This takes us to the heart of deeper discipleship and personal growth, exploring how we hear God’s call, and realising that as we use our gifts and are released into ministry we grow as Christians, and the whole church benefits. Around this time at St Wilfrid’s we had the second of our mid-week evenings over a meal, which again worked really well as we helped each other to identify our gifts, and to be more open to what God might be calling us to. The last section has four sessions on Working Together: oiling the wheels (relationships), fuelling the boiler (spiritual nurture), problem solving, and valuing each other. This was really fruitful as we considered that team working is about: belonging together, healthy relationships, sustaining ourselves, and creating an affirming and positive atmosphere that enables us all to flourish as well as getting the jobs done. Alongside this our children’s ministry teams were provided with age-specific resources for each week including games, discussion starters, and film clips relating to the sermon theme, which worked well as stand-alone sessions for those who couldn’t come every week (as indeed did the material designed for adults). It’s been good to reflect on this course some months after we completed it. It’s been striking how many of the Team Building themes have come into play as we’ve worked with a growing team of lay leaders on developing new Saturday evening family services, children’s mid-week ministry, lay-led youth worship, Messy Church and schools ministry, a growing number of home groups and discipleship courses, a refugee night shelter, and missional projects for the community such as quiz nights, film nights, Ceilidhs, and even pamper evenings for ladies (!). JSP Team Building is clearly the fruit of many years of practical ministry experience, from which we have certainly benefitted, and we warmly commend it!