Changing Lives Conversations


Our Diocesan strategy Changed Lives → Changing Lives focusses us on the life-changing love of Christ which we have experienced, and points us outward to consider how we can make that love real for others.

The genesis of these conversations is the national Reform and Renewal initiative Setting God’s People Free. If we are to engage more fully with our world, addressing urgently the need for discipleship and leadership in the everyday is essential.

We are seeking more than ever to encourage and initiate support for churches and worshipping communities to move outside our church walls; and to express God’s love more intentionally in our work places, school playgrounds and shops, with our neighbours, friends and colleagues.

Running through all of these conversations is a golden thread; if we want to share something of our experience of how Jesus has changed us, we need to be able to honestly speak of our experience of God and faith. But many of us, both ordained and lay, do not always feel confident about ‘God-talk’ outside church on Sunday. We feel we don’t know enough, or that our experience isn’t ‘holy’ enough, or that we wouldn’t be taken seriously.  As a result, we don’t talk about God, or about how faith in Jesus Christ has changed us.

Changing the Conversation

If you're looking to change the culture of your church, we think that changing the conversation is a brilliant place to start. Read the Revd Hugh Nelson's experience of these risky conversations here. 

You may also find this facilitator's guide helpful as you consider how best to use the CLC questions with your church or group. 

The following two questions are probably best used with a pre-existing group or where a good level of trust is present. They work really well at the beginning of a meeting for a ‘warm up,’ and as a lead in to prayer. Adapt the question according to what makes sense for your group and setting.

  1. How is knowing Christ/God changing your life now?
    In pairs, take 4-5 minutes to share a recent personal experience or perspective on this question.
  2. How can we best support one another to be 7-day-a-week disciples?
    In the same pairs, take 4-5 minutes to set up actions with one another.

Feel free to use the questions in whatever way suits you, but if you'd partoicularly like to explore taking part in CLCs as one our more formal pilot groups please email Peter Ingrams.

Learning from the Questions

Learning how more confident faith develops in our communities is key to the Changing lives conversations. What helps and hinders this growth?

Review questions are provided for each group to learn what affects the way confidence is grown or diminished. Individuals and groups might identify further learning or actions that can help consolidate and embed new discipleship practices within the life of their community.

We don’t know what actual effect these questions will have within any community but we hope and pray they might lead to refreshed understanding of God and one another so we might more fruitfully bear witness to his love.

Pilot groups are exploring the effect of these questions and responding to questionnaires that will help us to understand what effect the conversations have on churches attitudes, beliefs, values or behaviours, how might they have shifted over the course of using these questions.  How do these conversations stimulate churches to be more responsive to the call of Christ in this present time?

Could you be a Changing Lives Conversations Champion?

The purpose of the advocate is to take responsibility for utilising the questions in a group they are part of, and hopefully demonstrate that you don’t have to be a vicar to ask these questions of one another.

CLC champions or advocates come in all shapes or sizes, sometimes unlikely candidates. Look around at the folk who might be eager to listen to others stories about their own life and faith for the purpose of affirming them.

Who are the people who with a little encouragement might set an honest tone about what following Jesus is like for them and who is prepared to ask and share with others how we can help one another to follow Christ more fully, with all aspects of our life. You might find the person emerges after engaging with the questions. This set of questions might be helpful also.

Resources for taking the questions further

If you find people want to know more or encouragement to explore what faith can mean in everyday discipleship, this is just a small sample of the resources that you might find helpful: .

  • Apprentice – a daily discipleship resource for individuals and groups helping them to explore the life of Jesus more fully, designed by the Church Mission Society (CMS).
  • Discipleship Explored - a course described as providing a ‘discipleship kit'.
  • Emmaus – the Way of Faith disciple kit
  • Freedom in Christ – thirteen week discipleship course for every Christian
  • Life on the Frontline – Whoever we are, as Christians, we each have a ‘frontline’. Six week course for small groups
  • Pilgrim
  • Holy Habits - a course from the Bible Reading Fellowship. 
  • Deepening Discipleship – an eight week course helping groups of disciples to deepen their understanding and following through on what it means to be a disciples every day of the week
  • intentional Discipleship – a six session group over 3-4 months exploring more fully how God guides us, shapes us and equips us for more resilient discipleship

What other resources have you found useful? Do contact the CLC team to let us know what other resources you have found useful, or if you want to talk through what options might be most suitable for you.