1 Corinthians 12:21-27
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:26-27
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
A Measure of Success
Use these questions as a starting point in relation to your chosen group or project, and use planned informal conversations with others, or a formal meeting to explore questions of success and progress.
- What is the vision/ purpose of the group/project?
This refers to a way of listening that keeps you engaged with your conversation partner in a positive way. It is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgment and advice. There is lots of information on the internet about this and suggested practices -so do find out more.
Already at Work
This is about the importance of believing and trusting that God is already at work in the lives of others and you are just ‘joining in’. This realisation can radically alter our relationship with others and how we think about our influence in their lives.
Bible meditation is when we take a short passage of scripture and spend time in prayer, allowing the issues in the text and God's spirit to move us, and teach us. It can sometimes involve using our imagination to enter in the story - to open us up further to what God is saying.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Disconnect and Unplug
For this activity you are going to spend time away from your devices….. Smart phones enable us constant connection, entertainment and distraction. This can be really useful but also can be a barrier to us hearing and responding to other voices and prompts. Other devices can similarly be the focus of hours of our time and attention that could alternatively be spent doing other things that are more life releasing; this might include more sleep, more creativity, more work, or less work!
Doorway, diary and calendar
Use Psalm 143:8-10 as a regular prayer. Print out or write out verses 8-10 and stick them to your front door frame, your calendar, your diary or any other place you associate with making plans, decisions and stepping out. After doing this for a while notice what difference it makes to be frequently asking God for direction and guidance.
Ecomaps are characterised by circles representing individuals and groups and linked in various ways.
Start by drawing a circle in the centre and writing your name in it. Then add circles to represent your relationship to people in your community around it.
Then draw lines between yourself and them.The linking of the circles provides an indication of the relationships between the systems. A solid line indicates a strong relationship. A dashed line indicates a tenuous or fragile relationship. A jagged line indicates a fractured or stressful relationship. Choose whatever coding makes sense to you.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Read the Inclusive Church vision statement (link https://www.inclusive-church.org/the-ic-statement/) and consider the ways in which your church is inclusive/ exclusive. It might help to organise your thoughts in table, a mind map or on an annotated photo of your church building/ family.
Exploring relationships - pray it through
Ask God to speak to you about each of the people and relationships you have mentioned. Be open and expectant to the promptings of God’s Spirit as you lift these people and your relationships with them to God. If there are a lot you could make a timetable and don’t try and do this all at once!
Exploring relationships - talk it through
Meet up with someone who will maintain confidentiality, support and advise you about your relationships and help you identify areas of strength and any areas of concern.
Exploring your role - pray it through
Ask God to speak to you about your role and the context you work in. Be open and expectant to the promptings of God’s Spirit as you lift this to Him in prayer.
Exploring your role - talk it through
Meet up with someone who will maintain confidentiality, support and advise you about your role and help you deepen your understanding of your workplace or ministry context.
for this activity you will be inscribing your strengths, skills and talents in an outline of your hand to help you consider how uniquely and wonderfully handcrafted you are by God.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Helping us in our struggles
If you or someone you know is going through a particularly difficult time, commit to praying for someone and use Hebrews 4:14-16. to inspire your prayers trusting in Jesus’ love and power to bring healing and hope in all circumstances.
Photograph or draw imagery that represents and makes connections with the key words and themes of the verse. By the activity of seeking to express it in others forms you will be seeking to understand it more deeply.
Does good conversation help you explore life? If so, ask someone to ‘interview’ you! This interview could even be a live or recorded element of your church service!
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 55: 1-3
Come, all you who are thirsty,
It does what it says on the tin?
Find out the mission statement of your church and then try to match the activity/ practices with the statements. It might help to visualise this in table, a mind map or on an annotated photo of your church building/ family.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry...
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
Journaling with Paper and Ink
Doodle, scribble, write and sketch! You may already keep a journal of some kind or you might like to start one as you participate in this Award. It can be a helpful method of processing yours thoughts and experiences, capturing insights and a way to keep track of how things (and you) have changed, and if prayers and questions have been answered.
Listening with Creation for the Holy Spirit
In this activity you will go for a walk in nature and engage with the Holy Spirit.
Listening with Song for the Holy Spirit
In this activity you will choose one or more worshipful songs that speak of the character and work of the Holy Spirit.
Listening with symbols of the Holy Spirit
In the Bible the Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove, a flame and as a wind. In this activity you will choose one of these symbols to reflect on.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Put very simply, we ask you not to refer to any other individuals by name when you complete your reflections or posts during your studies.
Make your own podcast or video
If you have been inspired by the Ridley Award podcast conversation so far, perhaps you could record your own? Or even video interview -one to one or with a group.
Making my soul sing
For this activity you will be identifying and spending time in ways that bring rest and regeneration to mind, body and soul. There are many different ways to achieve this: well known ones include time in nature; walking, gardening, time spent being creative; cooking for pleasure, playing an instrument, arts and crafts, time spent being active; swimming, playing sport, exploring new places.
Using a time-line or mind-map, chart/ map the key moments and people in your life in relation to sport, church and faith.
esus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 6: 33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Go for a walk or a run allowing the rhythm of your pace to help with the flow of the words. As you become familiar with it try emphasising different words in the verse and notice how that changes your understanding of it.
Mood Board / Scrap Book
Loved by designers and creatives of all kinds this is a very hands on way of arranging and presenting concepts through imagery, colour, text and more. Start by finding/ scanning/ printing out/ cutting out images, words etc. (From magazines, newspaper, books & the internet). Arrange all your material on a large board/ piece of paper and when you are happy with the arrangement stick them down.
Pass it on
Sharing an encouraging bible verse with thought and love can be a great blessing to others in our lives. There are so many ways you could do this: in a card, via email or messenger, in person, in song…
I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Phone, video or in person
Not everyone finds it easy to start a conversation about God and faith with people -it’s much easier to talk about the weather. But for the purposes of this activity you can say you have to do some research for your studies!
Research and collect a range of artwork and images depicting Jesus from different times and cultures.
Pinterest is great a platform for finding, organising and sharing collections. Once you have an account you can start ‘pinning’ images, quotes and ideas from a huge repository saved from webpages. You can make your collections public or private and you can save images from anything you find on the internet.
Power under control
Read or listen and respond to Philippians 2:5-11.
Practice being more encouraging
Endurance racer Robyn Benincasa said “You don’t inspire others by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” If we know others believe in our skills and abilities we are far more likely to use them and grow in them.
There are many ways we can be encouraging to others, with words and actions. Focus on noticing, praising and thanking the efforts and achievements of others however small. Encouragement can be a simple as a smile or as costly giving someone your undivided time and attention.
Try it for a day -or a week…
Practice being more merciful
It’s so important to create a culture in your groups where it is ok (and normal) to make mistakes. As you focus on being merciful to others you can also model this by admitting your mistakes, and being generous and gentle when things don’t go perfectly. Try it for a day -or a week…
Practice being more prepared
It’s important the importance of being sensitive and thoughtful towards others in your teams and groups, in every aspect of your ministry from planning, time keeping to every part of communication and interaction. As you focus on being more prepared spend more time thinking about how you can be more sensitive to the needs, backgrounds and circumstances of others
Practice being yourself
Authenticity is about being honest with yourself and others about who you are and where you are at now rather than and idealised version. This can be harder in certain contexts than others but always valuable. If we want to get to know others we must be willing for others to get to know us...
Prayer for seeking new opportunities
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance...
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
You make known to me the path of life;
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Put it out on Social Media
Social media platforms are relatively easy method of asking a question to a geographically dispersed group of people. You can also give people the option of publicly or privately responding or commenting to your question.
For this activity you will be adding words to a mirror to remind yourself how others see you.
Remind me about 'Listen'
The first part of each session is always a Podcast. Simply listen to the podcast and then join in an existing discussion, add a new comment or, if you prefer, take time to reflect on what you have heard in your own time. When you are ready, click through
to part two (Make Connections).
Remind me about 'Make Connections'
Simply choose one of the activities that feels most relevant to you. Then, once you have completed your chosen activity, return here to complete the questions before moving on to part three of the session 😀
Remind me about 'Share-it!'
Click 'New Blog Post' on this page to create your post. You could upload a poem, picture or reflection that captures your thoughts. Maybe you would like to create a video or a sound file? Let your creativity run lose! Be the first and inspire others! 😎
Resources and Sustainability
In relation to your group /project and using the download, complete a sustainability assessment. You can do this by yourself or together with your team.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Share a Cuppa
This is a team/ group activity to share and build a sense of calling and encouragement about how each member is especially skilled, gifted and appreciated.
Share the Journey
Ask others to pray for you and with you as you discern the next steps on your journey in ministry. It will help them pray if you share some of your hopes, dreams and ideas and anything you think that God has already been revealing to you. Pray with expectation that God has plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Social Media 360
For this activity you will be reviewing your social media presence and practice.
Spiritual Diet Plan
What we feed ourselves has a direct impact on our health. In this activity we will look at and listen to has a direct impact on our spiritual health.
Spiritual Exercise Plan
In this activity you will select from a range of Christian spiritual practices to ‘build your fitness’.
Starting Out Prayer
God of love and wisdom,
Plant roots provide strength and stability, and vital water and nourishment to a plant. Consider the ways in which being part of your church is helping you develop strong roots (bringing strength, stability, nourishment and refreshment to our faith) and the ways your engagement is contributing to the growth of others. Annotate this download to help visualise your thoughts.
There is an app for everything and lots for journaling -from very simple daily prompts to ones that let you include photos and posts from your social media feeds, add in reminders and search previous journal entries. Find and use one* that
will help you process yours thoughts and experiences and capture insights. Ideally it should also be a way to keep track of how things (and you) have changed, and if prayers and questions have been answered.
Perhaps you are the kind of person that loves to write -on your phone, laptop, tablet or PC? There you can document and organise your thoughts and have to hand to read back edit and refer to. If this sounds like you then this might be a good way of processing yours thoughts and experiences, capturing insights and a way to keep track of how things (and you) have changed, and if prayers and questions have been answered.
Make your way to a place with a high viewpoint (top of a hill, mountain, building) and spend time there in prayer and reflection. Think about the ways God has been at work in your life during and through this Award. Ask God to speak to you about the next step, the next part of the story. Listen for guidance. Keep journalling.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing