‘Learning faith’, the new issue of Anvil journal of theology and mission, is out now – sharing reflections and insights from a research project into everyday faith in eight locations across Britain.
James Butler, CMS MA lecturer and editor of this issue, explains:
“By turning to the everyday experiences of faith and learning within eight sites across the British Methodist Church, the project sought to develop a grassroots account of what we came to call ‘faith learning’ and draw wider insights for how churches and groups approach the questions of discipleship, learning and growing in faith.”
The significance of the informal
James was the researcher on the project and was struck by the way growth as disciples happened outside of the main structures, courses and programmes of the church.
“It was through life events, big and small, through informal conversations, in the chance encounters that took place, and through the long-term relationships of life lived together that faith was shaped and changed.
“This will not be a surprise to most people, and as we share these insights, people often recount similar stories and experiences from their own lives.
“However, what we have felt as a team is that the significance of the informal and conversational nature of learning is yet to be seriously integrated into the accounts of discipleship and faith formation, and its implications for mission and evangelisation are yet to be deeply and practically understood, in ways that keep them central.”
We hope there will be much to stimulate your own reflections in this issue.