Sneak Peek inside a JSP Intro Session

Is your church thinking about engaging with Jesus Shaped People? If so, you will start with an Introduction Session for clergy and church leaders. Paul Walker explains what happens by looking at one such event...

Photo of Gordon Dey introducing JSP at Christ Church Lancaster

Saturday September 20th dawned grey and overcast as the Jesus Shaped People team set out from Bradford to drive across to Lancaster. The destination was the parish of Christ Church, Lancaster. An hour and a half later - having driven through stunning countryside of the Dales and the Trough of Bowland - we arrived at Christ Church to be immediately offered coffee and bacon sandwiches! What a great start to the morning...

Host Vicar, Father Phil Hudd had invited a group of around fifteen - a mix of assistant clergy, readers, wardens, group leaders and children's workers - to come together for the morning to hear about Jesus Shaped People. It was an impressive turnout - and the atmosphere was crackling with anticipation as the meeting started.

After the 'welcomes' and introductions, JSP Programme Leader, Gordon Dey opened with a brief meditation and prayer. Moving on, Gordon began to unpack the ethos and vision of Jesus Shaped People. It's essential that participating churches grasp that JSP is more than 'just another course' - but rather a new way of thinking through 'what we are about' as a church. So, its important to spend time carefully and thoughtfully explaining this ethos.

Next up was a 'whistle stop' tour of the various Jesus Shaped People materials, as Gordon began to answer the questions about 'how' the programme is delivered practically. Betty Pedley was on hand to introduce the children's programme, and - helped by onsite WiFi - Paul Walker was able to demonstrate the website.

With a basic understanding of the overall programme it was time to drill down into the detail, and the gathering split into three smaller groups. The preaching team spent time with Gordon looking at the teaching and worship resources. The small group leaders chatted with Paul Walker about the weekly group materials. And the children's leaders were able to get a good look at the kids resources with Betty Pedley.

Back in the big group, it was now time to pull things together, as Gordon explained more about the benefits and blessings of Jesus Shaped People, deftly dealing with questions and encouraging the church to grasp the opportunity that JSP offers.

After a fast-paced morning, it was time for the team to pack up and head back across the Pennines - leaving the church leadership to decide their next step...

Make no mistake, the JSP Church Introduction session is a packed and intensive morning. It's also a lot of fun with plenty of laughter! After a couple of hours together with the team, church leaders and members are fully equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice about whether Jesus Shaped People is a good 'fit' for their church!

If you are a church that is considering engaging with Jesus Shaped People you would find one of our Church Introduction Sessions to be a terrific way to get started. Please get in touch! We'd love to meet with you...