John P. Bowen
Are you frustrated by the decline in church attendance and ministry participation at your parish? Perhaps you’re hearing the buzz around terms like missional church, discipleship and fresh expressions, but are baffled about what those mean or how they might relate to your own parish. Maybe you haven’t heard of missional church but are curious about a new perspective that might help you and your parish engage differently with the gospel and with parish ministry.
This course seeks to define such terms and to connect them with your experience in such a way as to inspire a new vision of the church that is actually life-giving for us and for the world. The course is for those eager to explore Christian faith in a fresh way that is both ancient and deeply relevant to today’s world. The course may not be comfortable—paradigm shifts in thinking and living are never easy—but it will be rewarding. It will also be demanding, requiring more effort outside of the gathering times than inside.
*Priority registration for this course will be given to teams of three from a parish, including the priest.
What You’ll Learn
This course will introduce you to:
- Core meanings of words like mission, discipleship, evangelism—and even church!
- How to read the Bible missionally,
- The skills of how to read a community, and
- Some basic practices of a missional church.
How It Works
Join our instructor, Dr. John P. Bowen, and an engaged learning community of fellow leaders and missional practitioners live online and in online forums.
- Participate in six two-hour sessions with John and the learning community. The learning community will meet weekly on Tuesday evenings, 7:00p – 9:00p, October 5 – November 16, with a break the week of October 26.
- Practice in your context. Each week, there will be practical assignments for you and your parish team to carry out in your neighbourhood in order to apply what you are learning.
- Reflect within the learning community. Your new knowledge and experience will become more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions within learning community gatherings to further integrate your learning.
Meet the Teacher-Practitioner
Dr. John P. Bowen is Professor Emeritus of Evangelism at Wycliffe College in Toronto, where he taught courses on evangelism, culture, church planting, preaching, and C.S. Lewis. Before that, he worked as a campus minister and evangelist for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. His new book, The Unfolding Gospel: How the Good News Makes Sense of Discipleship, Church, Mission, and Everything Else (Fortress, 2021), is helpful background reading for this course, but is not required. He and his wife Deborah, a retired English professor, have four wonderful grandchildren and are long-time members of St. John the Evangelist in Hamilton.