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The goal of this doctoral project is to lead the Bury Methodist Circuit in the United Kingdom into a restructuring of leadership and oversight to enable the circuit and its fifteen churches to better serve the contemporary age in discipleship and mission. This is in line with the tag line of the British Methodist Church—“a discipleship movement shaped for mission.”
The author serves as superintendent minister of the Bury Circuit and is due to retire in August 2019. Serving previously in two other circuits in the United Kingdom and nine years in Hong Kong reveal how the Bury Circuit needs to be reoriented for mission to its local community and to embrace a priesthood of all believers by encouraging and enabling lay ministry. The Methodist Church is in decline and there is a shortage of ministers. In the likely event that ministers leaving the circuit will not be replaced, the traditional solution of spreading ministerial resources over an increasing number of churches has been shown to be a recipe for accelerated decline. This project will facilitate a better alternative that will focus on mission and not maintenance.
The project is divided into three parts. Part One will include an introduction and will share the context of the British Methodist Church and the Bury Circuit, including the development and importance of lay ministries within the Methodist Church. Part Two will present a theology of biblical leadership and spiritual gifts, pointing to the priesthood of all believers, drawing on the works of Paul Bradshaw, Martyn Atkins, Malcolm Grundy, and Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. Part Three will present the alternative thinking arising, the process to restructuring, and the outcomes expected and will establish the target audience, the leadership and training, and the process of implementation and evaluation.
Doctor of Ministry
Mission, Methodist, Priesthood of all believers, United Kingdom
Christianity | History of Christianity | Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Illsley, John, "Enabling the Bury Methodist Circuit to Focus on Being a ‘Discipleship Movement Shaped For Mission’" (2018). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 333.