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Sutton Vineyard

What do you do when people lack the confidence to share their faith with people they connect with day-by-day?

Denomination: Vineyard

Context: Sutton is an urban area in south-west London

How they describe themselves: "We believe that the purpose of our church is the investing of our lives together with God for the welfare of others."

Size: 375 adults, 170 children and young people


Confident culture

We have realised that our people are deeply and widely connected to people outside of church, but they lack the confidence to share their faith with those people. For the next three years we want to focus on the factors that stop people sharing their faith and encourage people to pray for their friends, build friendships, develop affinity groups for relationships, and bring friends to Alpha. We want to create programmes that help us to share our faith; so that we develop a culture where faith-sharing is something we do normally and confidently – regardless of programmes. 

Confident leadership 

While we are good at identifying, training and releasing leaders, we are not good at our leaders being able to release other leaders. The same few people recruit and train most of our leaders. This is a major obstacle to growing beyond where we are at present as a church. We are therefore going to introduce a church-wide apprenticeship process (newthing.org). It’s a way to help all our leaders train other leaders and at the same time release those leaders to train their successors.