Forming a Shaping for Mission deanery team

Diocesan Vision Prayer

As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God already at work in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities. We pray for a church that partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope.

What is the Shaping for Mission Team?

  • Shaping for Mission is the work in Lichfield Diocese to strengthen our life of discipleship, vocation and evangelism while facing a significant reduction in financial income. It commences in autumn 2020 with the formation of Shaping for Mission teams in each deanery.
  • The task of the team is to carry out the first stage of this work, identifying the strengths of the deanery and drawing up a vision for the future of the church’s ministry and mission there.
  • You can find out more about Shaping for Mission and how it works at including some frequently asked questions.
  • Shaping for Mission is a big shift for deaneries. Traditionally, deaneries have had two roles: to provide governance for the diocese; and to provide a support network for those in ministry. We are adding a third task: to discern the mission of the church in this area. This task means we are seeking people who might not have previously become involved in deanery life to take part in Shaping for Mission teams.
  • Smaller deaneries will be invited to work in partnership with a neighbouring deanery.
  • The Shaping for Mission team will have the challenge of looking across the whole deanery to look for the gifts, strengths, opportunities and challenges that God has gifted the church with. The team will then pray and work to discern a faithful vision in response. We are seeking faithful, hopeful Christians to work together in each deanery to take on this challenge. Teams must make their own discernment, but will be supported by an external facilitator and are provided with a strong template to guide them on their way.

Why might I join the Shaping for Mission Team in my deanery?

  • I am passionate about the Good News of Jesus and how we best share it and live it out in this area
  • I am committed to, and share the diocesan vision.
  • I feel called to be part of shaping the church so that our mission is visionary and sustainable now and into the future
  • I have gifts and skills around change management or project work that may be helpful in the process
  • I am good at representing and taking into account a range of views and perspectives and committed to disagreeing well.
  • I bring a particular perspective that is not always taken into account in church governance, or that represents a particular approach to mission and ministry, or that offers an important balance to the Shaping for Mission Team
  • I am hopeful about the next phase of the life of the Church and believe that God is at work in our churches and communities
  • I am committed to my local area and excited about the possibility of working with others beyond the parish or benefice and to collaborative relationships across the diocese.

What would I actually be committing to?

  • Being part of the Shaping for Mission Team until July 2021.
  • Joining in five 1-hour online training sessions with the rest of the team, spread between October and May.
  • With the rest of the team carrying out a structured review of the deanery, gathering input from across the deanery.
  • With the rest of the team drawing up a vision for this deanery.
  • With the rest of the team gathering information about the resources we have across this deanery.
  • With the rest of the team beginning to look at what it might mean to put this into action.
  • With the rest of the team presenting this material to Deanery Synod.

How is the team being formed?

The Rural Dean will gather a team of people to carry out the Shaping for Mission programme with, and on behalf of, the deanery. The team will include a range of people and seek to represent the richness and variety of the deanery. The criteria for establishing the team are below. The final membership of the team will be agreed with the Archdeacon and the Deanery Synod.

The Criteria for forming a Shaping for Mission Team:

  • The team will be led by the Rural Dean or someone nominated by the Rural Dean and agreed by the Archdeacon.
  • The team will be made up of a variety of people who between them bring a range of perspectives, experiences, gifts and skills, and a shared desire to see Christian mission flourish in their deanery.
  • Each deanery is different, and the make-up of the team will vary from place to place. However, the SfM Team should include a range of the following:

People with expertise or experience in, or energy for:

  • Chaplaincy.
  • Fresh Expressions or pioneering ministry.
  • Schools / youth / children’s work.
  • Social media / online presence / IT and church.
  • Extensive knowledge of the local area, particularly charities, community enterprises, partners (or potential partners) working for the common good.
  • Knowledge of and connections with other Christian churches and group in the area, ecumenical groups and global partnerships.
  • Project management, team work, collaboration.
  • Recent (last 3 years) engagement with missiology, theology and Christian culture

People who bring a perspective that may be a minority voice in church meetings:

  • Young people.
  • Ethnic Minorities.
  • Disabled or differently abled people.
  • Rural /urban /suburban.

People with a passion for issues and areas core to Christian mission

  • Sharing the Good News of Jesus.
  • Social Justice.
  • Community connections and partnerships.
  • Flourishing of individuals and communities.
  • Climate crisis and the environment.



Page last updated: Tuesday 6th October 2020 2:33 PM
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