Creating Strategies (The Grove's Strategic Visioning™ Model)

Whether you're looking to deepen the spiritual journey of your congregation, pioneer innovative evangelism methods, or cultivate a culture of prayer and spiritual maturation, you'll find valuable tools and insights here.

From structured discipleship pathways and specialised training initiatives to inventive expressions of church and community outreach programmes, we hope you will find something to suit the needs of your parish, regardless of where you are in your visioning journey. 

Browse our Mission and Ministry Team's curated library of resources


To talk through which resources might be best in achieving your strategic objectives, contact Revd Chris Dobson, Adviser for Discipleship and Evangelism.

  • Suffolk Discipleship Pathway - Based on ‘Sowing, Reaping, Keeping’ model from Lawrence Sunglehurst’s book, the Suffolk Discipleship Pathway helps churches and small groups to think missionally about how they can provide stepping stones to faith for the people they are in contact with.
  • Children’s Faith: A Whole Church Approach to Family Ministry - This new resource from Care for the Family helps think about your church culture, mission and discipleship from the cradle to the grave.
  • We are Making Disciples - An assessment tool for churches, small groups or individuals interested in going deeper in discipleship and spiritual formation.
  • Holy Habits - Produced by Bible Reading Fellowship and described as a whole church discipleship approach, this provides small group video resources.
  • Jesus Shaped People - A comprehensive and all-embracing whole church discipleship adventure for those wanting to reshape their vision and priorities, building on five key priorities in the life and ministry of Jesus.
  • The Bible Course - An eight week interactive course giving an overview of the world’s best-selling book to equip in reading the Bible and seeing its relevance to daily life. It can be run online or in groups.
  • Small Group Essentials - This course, written by Chris Dobson, is currently being piloted in the Diocese and will be available from September 2024.
  • Lyfe - Resources help individuals and small groups to discover a deeper life with God.
  • Seven Shifts to Inspire Sunday to Saturday Faith - Guidance for church leaders to make small shifts which help their congregation to see their part in God’s plan for the world.

Supporting Discipleship in the Workplace / Wider World

Although discipleship in the workplace or community may seem irrelevant to the life of the individual parish church, this is where Christians live out their faith and where those who are not Christians see the impact of faith on daily life. God wants the Kingdom to permeate the wider world like salt adds flavour to an entire stew! It is easy for church leaders to feel that they cannot easily impact the workplace or home life of church members, yet their encouragement is vital and has far-reaching consequences. We also notice that our life within the church congregation and our life outside it are connected: confident faith in one area tends to overflow as confident faith in the other. This area is supported by various Mission and Ministry Support team members, please email them for more information.

  • Workplace Wayfinders is a group for Christian adults who are trying to find the way to live out their faith in the workplace, and who are willing to known as Christians in the workplace. They meet once per month by Zoom to support one another, pray, and learn about God’s purposes. This area is supported by various Mission and Ministry Support team members, please email them for more information.
  • Seven Shifts to Inspire Sunday to Saturday Faith - Guidance for church leaders to make small shifts which help their congregation to see their part in God’s plan for the world.
  • Eight Shifts for Churches to Support Everyday Faith - More guidance for church leaders from a slightly different perspective to the above Seven Shifts! These shifts are not about adding new things, but more about doing the things we already do in a slightly different way.
  • LICC Fruitfulness on the Frontline - A course which can be run at church level to help the congregation live out their faith in their daily Monday to Saturday lives - whether in paid employment, voluntary work, community involvement or the family.
  • 6M People - Another resource by LICC which helps Christians to see six purposes for their daily tasks of Modelling godly character, Making good work, Ministering grace and love, Moulding culture, being a Mouthpiece for truth and justice, being a Messenger of the gospel.

Mission and Evangelism

  • Reaching the Nones - Resources to equip the church to become missionary disciples so that those calling themselves non-religious can hear the good news.
  • Growing Faith Church Army - Free resources offering training in sharing faith.

Free resources offering training in sharing faith

  • Envoy - A Church Army resource that offers a step-by-step coaching community developing evangelism and effectiveness in living missionally.
  • Nurturing a Faith Sharing Culture - A resource that nurtures a faith-sharing culture and congregation, making evangelism central to the life of a church rather than something done on the margins.
  • Alpha - Called the most effective ecumenical movement in the world, this video based programme has been updated in the Alpha Film Series and Alpha Youth Series.
  • Pilgrim - A discipleship resource from the Church of England helping local churches create a place where people can explore faith together and how it can be lived out each day.
  • Five Steps to Faith - A book offering a short course on the basic Christian story useful for baptism and confirmation preparation and any new enquirers.
  • Faith Pictures - A free Church Army resource to help Christians of all traditions talk about their own story of faith with confidence.
  • Discovery Series from Our Daily Bread Ministries - A compilation of over 150 topical studies for spiritual growth.
  • TalkingJesus - A resource put together in partnership with EA, HOPE, and the Church of England.
  • Living and Telling - A course from Agape UK to encourage, train and equip faith sharing as a way of life.
  • Urban Theology Union - Discipleship training for those in urban contexts.
  • Kingdom Evangelism Pack - A Kingdom Evangelism Pack aimed at lay and clergy to explore evangelism and intentional outreach.
  • - A website with answers about the Christian faith, run by the Christian Enquiry Agency (CEA) which could be used on the bottom of church websites or literature.


Lay Training

Sometimes the laity (and clergy) need encouragement to grow in their gifts and their understanding of the goodness of God. The following are available (or being developed) by Bristol Diocese. Please email Mission and Ministry Support for more details. Contact Dr Stephanie Hayton, Advisor for Lay Ministry (Warden of Readers) for information about Lay Ministry.

  • Exploring Christianity - Bristol Diocese’s theological formation course over two years for maturing Christians in different parishes, email Mission and Ministry Support for more information.
  • Gift Discovery - A range of great courses, quizzes and tools for the whole church to discover their unique gifts, passions, abilities and personality including Your SHAPE for God’s service.
  • Benefice Worship Leaders - A 5 session course run jointly by the Adviser for Lay Ministry and local church leaders (clergy or LLMs). After the training, participants can apply to be a commissioned Benefice Worship Leader. By using local leaders, the training is flexible to the context and builds the team of worship service leaders. Contact Mission and Ministry Support to find out more.
  • Young Preachers is for young adults aged 16-25 who are investigating a gift in preaching but, due to other life commitments, cannot apply for licensed ministry. The course is ongoing but low intensity and supports discipleship as well as training in preaching and Bible understanding. Other lay training for commissioned pastoral carers and lay evangelists is being developed.

Fresh Expressions

Contact Revd Lee Barnes, Adviser for Curacy and Fresh Expressions of Church, for information about Fresh Expressions of Church.

  • Fresh Expressions - A growing movement of ordinary people across all denominations who are passionate about connecting with those who don’t know Jesus and forming new communities of faith with the people they meet in the places where they meet them. From new housing to rural, urban to suburban, messy church and third age to forests, coffee shops, beaches, pubs, barns, online and even church buildings!
  • GodSend - A practical toolkit to help you form new Christian communities with people who were not previously attending church.
  • Greenhouse - The Church of England’s approach to establishing and growing new Christian communities, (sometimes called ‘fresh expressions’), is a process that anyone can join in with to help them make their mission plans a reality.
  • Pioneering Parishes - Provides tools to help parishes become more outward looking, enabling parish priests and their churches to extend the care of souls into all the parish. Pilot running in the Diocese from March 2025.
  • Pioneer Spectrum - A tool to shape constructive conversations around pioneering mission in every place and space.

Children and Under 18s

Contact Dr Sarah Wattley, Strategy Enabler for Under 18s, for information about Under 18s.

  • Creative Family Focussed Expressions of Church Made Simple
  • Going 4 Growth - Church of England resource hub to support work with children & youth with a particular focus on the Church’s year, intergenerational worship, faith in the home, prayer, the Bible, sacraments and spirituality.
  • BRF Ministries - Contains books, online teaching guides and a resource hub.
  • Bubble Church - Puppet service aimed at under 7’s & their families - training needed prior to start. Currently held monthly at St Anne’s Oldland Common (Vicar – Bruce Goodwin, Youth Worker – Izzy Brown).
  • Messy Church - The definitive guide to all things Messy Church – resources, training, masterclasses, directory.
  • Parenting for Faith - Resources, podcast, free courses for parents & youth leaders.
  • Godly Play - This provides training & guidance on how to set up Godly play in church settings. To see it in action, contact Youth Worker at St Anne's, Eastville and St Mary's, Henbury, Lucie Hudson. Or for more information, contact Sian Hancock, Director of the Centre for Family and Childhood Studies at Bristol Baptist College.
  • Muddy Church - Free resources (donation requested) to engage with God in the world around you, following both the natural and the Church year. Sessions held monthly at St Mary’s, Henbury (Youth worker - Lucy Hudson).
  • Care for the Family - Christian charity providing support & resources for all styles of family. Provides guidance on running 'Who Let the Dads Out?' parenting group - directory, merchandise, training and support on how to connect with fathers. Sessions held monthly at St Mary’s, Yate (Youth worker - Charlie Blackett).
  • Wild Church - Fresh expression offered by the Woodbridge Group & North Wiltshire mission area in partnership with Hazelnut Community Farm.
  • Roots - Ecumenical partnership providing weekly resources to enrich learning & worship. Follows the Church’s year & aimed at a variety of age groups. Subscription required to access all resource material.
  • Together at Home 
  • Foundation Stones - Wide selection of resources for youth & families ministry. Some free resources available.
  • All Age Worship Resources - 'Tried & tested' free wide range of all age resources and prayer station ideas from Anglican minister, Rev Jane Hulme (Diocese of Coventry).
  • Faith in Kids - Free resources aimed at youth workers, families & church leaders – downloadables, books, podcasts, videos.
  • Celebrate Trust - Roman Catholic resource site aiming to equip people of all ages to live an authentic, Christian life. Online family packs, prayer stations, walks etc.
  • Mainly Ministries - Supporting churches to provide programmes which aim to combat social isolation.
  • Mainly Music - Christian based music/play groups for pre-schoolers (Group available at Sheldon Road Methodist Church, Chippenham).
  • Diddy Disciples - Worship and storytelling resources for babies, toddlers & young children. Endorsed by the Diocese of Southwark.
  • Resources for School Visits from St John the Evangelist, Mansfield - Teaches children about items found within traditional church settings.

Community Action Resources

  • Growing Good (Church Urban Fund)This free six session course helps churches explore the connection between social action, discipleship and growth. It encourages work currently being done and challenges churches to try new ways to do things as they grow in knowledge and love for their local community.
  • Cinnamon Network - A charity dedicated to helping British churches impact their community by developing Christian social action projects and offering support to leaders and volunteers.
  • HeartEdge - A network of practitioners, mentors and supporters who offer support and share ideas, resources and stories to help churches navigate change and grow with an innovative skillset relevant to their context.
  • Together for the Common Good - Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, T4CG seek to revitalise churches across the traditions through the meaning and practice of the Common Good so that churches can fulfil their vital role in civic renewal. They do this by providing thought leadership, relationship building, hosting public conversations, partnerships and offer resources on common good thinking for church leaders, congregations, and schools.

► Go to stage 6 - Implementing change

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