The MLG Pathway

The Missional Leadership for Growth pathway provides incumbent with teaching, equipping and support through two residentials, peer to peer ‘Action Learning Sets’, skills and personality assessments and coaching from Ministry & Mission specialists to support clergy in developing a local mission team and project in their parish.

Mission teams are invited to workshops to share and learn from other parishes in the hope of collaborating, sharing new ideas and encouraging one another in the task of reaching our communities.

The MLG journey takes around 12 months and is designed to enrich and extend the mission of each church in a way that is responsive to the gifts and context of each parish.

1, Preparing the ground

Following a personal invitation from the Bishop to participate, each participant receives a pre agreed confidential phone call to introduce the nature of the MLG and give the gift of attentive listening. The phone call locates the opportunity and process of the MLG journey within the context of their ministerial vocation and call and provides an early taste of the tone of the MLG programme which is contextualised, collaborative and missional.

Ahead of the 1st residential every MLG participant attends a preparation day which provides a valuable opportunity to meet the MLG team, meet their cohort, begin the Action Learning Sets and together explore the MLG process.

In preparation each participant completes both an APEST assessment and INSIGHTS survey providing valuable insight to both their vocational and personal strengths, which together can be instrumental in reshaping their engagement with mission to be both fruitful and engaging. 

2, Exploring: Reflecting & Sharing

Including input from both the Durham MLG team and visiting speakers, the 1st Residential focus participants on the need for change, and on the associated task of mission & leadership. Action Learning Sets provide a context for community, collaboration and support during a carefully constructed time of retreat which provides space for reflection, rest, fellowship and learning and is underpinned by a philosophy of valuing clergy, valuing mission and drawing out ‘the wisdom in the room’ whilst drawing upon the latest thinking on mission from around the world.

Following Residential 1 participants visit another parish and begin to identify a mission team locally and are invited to continuing meeting their ALS with Diocesan support to finance and facilitate this.

3, Learning & Planning

Building on the Residential 1 themes of change, managing conflict, missional experimentation and a vocation to mission, Residential 2 provides input on themes of mission, evangelism, team building and planning and normally includes a visit and input from Bishop Paul to share the wider Diocesan vision for mission and to meet and encourage Clergy.

Alongside continuing work in Action Learning Sets Residential 2 provides an opportunity to discuss and reflect on early ideas for mission projects and teams and to draw on the support of colleagues, the MLG team and experienced visiting practitioners.

4, Envisioning & Engaging

In the 4-6 months following Residential 2, clergy begin to develop their ideas with a local team of lay people and to explore some of the MLG themes with their local church through Sunday services, homegroups, sharing resources or engaging an MSP to help their PCC or congregation explore the themes of and possibilities for mission in their local context. Every participating church develops a local project, sharing their experience with the MMS team and supported by the MLG MSP staff to create a positive experience of mission and outreach with an emphasis on valuing experimentation, and encouraging every local church to engage with the Diocese wide priorities of Children & Young People, Poverty and Growth

Every team produces a project proposal document to capture their aim, plan and success markers which is submitted to the MLG team and provides a basis for advice, support, encouragement and accountability

Throughout this time Mission Support Partners are available to help parishes develop their plans and projects and to help with training in mission, to explore ideas or facilitate development.

5, Report, Share & Celebrate.

Around 4-6 months after the 2nd Residential every participants, together with their local project teams, gather together to share their experiences, celebrate their efforts and learn from other Parishes. The MLG Follow up Day provides each Parish with an opportunity for encouragement and reflection and an important opportunity for the wider Diocese to chart its progress and learning and support local teams to continue their Missional efforts longer term