'By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you love one another' declared Jesus, in John 13:35. Local churches are called to be examples of loving relationships - but often they fail to do that! One reason is that they are not intentional about putting good and right relationships - with God and with others - at the heart of the purpose and goals of the church.
The following are a series of resources which can help church leaders to move towards becoming more relational in their teaching, fellowship and mission.
'Building Better Relationships' Bible studies
To get started, we have produced this set of six small group Bible studies to help local churches think through how to live more relationally as a way of life and mission.
- Study 1: A relational God, a relational story
- Study 2: Living ‘out of’ relationship with God
- Study 3: A royal priesthood and holy nation
- Study 4: Learning from the relationships of Jesus
- Study 5: A relational community – rest, opportunity, roots
- Study 6: A relational community – money, children, sex
What are the factors which make it easier for good relationships between members of a church to flourish? Building a Relational Church (BARC) is a programme designed by the Jubilee Centre that will help you answer that question. And it provides the tools you need to assess the quality of relationships in your church systematically. Similar tools have been used in the prison service and health service and more recently, Relational Analytics has been set up to license a series of relational tools and metrics to help businesses, public companies, government departments and NGOs measure their relational effectiveness and impact, and indicate where improvements can be made.
Building a Relational Church offers an assessment of relationships within your church, using an anonymous questionnaire -- to be completed by each church member. When answers are collated (the guide tells you how to do this), this simple exercise provides an excellent platform for discussion.
This is a step-by-step guide to help you run the Building a Relational Church Programme in your church. To make that task as straightforward as possible, this booklet provides all the information you are likely to need.
Relational Church Charter
We have drawn up a proposal for what we think are ten characteristics of a relational congregation in a 'Relational Church Charter'. This could be used to talk about your constitution, goals and values as a church.