I was asked to write a report of the recent Elders’ Day Retreat, and hope it will give a glimpse of what we discussed. The time spent together was important, although it was a busy day with questions still needing answers. It was held on 24 March, 2018 and was led by Revd Andy Twilley, Synod Training and Development Officer. He defined 4D CHURCH:

  • Devoted to Christ.
  • Dedicated to one another.
  • Declaring the Kingdom.
  • Demonstrating the Kingdom.

The focus in the morning was on ‘Are we a relevant church that Jesus expected the church to be, when he said, “I will build my church?”’ Jesus was relevant to the people he encountered, in how he lived, related and spoke, and in the issues he addressed, and how he enabled his disciples to grow in faith and help one another and others.

In groups we discussed ‘How are we enabling people within our church to grow in the first 2 categories, Devoted to Christ, and Dedicated to one another.’ and the implications of this in relation to Sunday services, elders and church meetings, and small groups that are open to church and fringe people. We noted the value of our church being open every day, for various activities, and community needs.

After lunch we considered ‘Are we relevant to those in the community, the fringe—called by some as the unchurched? Are there barriers to those who may be interested?’

Andy Twilley introduced us to ‘Turf and Terms’, a way of looking at the range of things a church does, recognising that if it is OUR TURF then there may be rules for safety reasons so that it is also, for a group hiring rooms, on OUR TERMS. In other situations it could be OUR TURF – YOUR TERMS, YOUR TURF – OUR TERMS or YOUR TURF – YOUR TERMS. This can show the relevance of Church and faith to real life issues, and build stronger relationships. This could be the way to Declaring and Demonstrating the Kingdom.

The retreat ended with closing worship and communion.


(Revd. Daphne Topple)

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