Local Ministry Development (LMD)
All parishes are involved in Local Ministry.
Local Ministry Development seeks better to engage a whole congregation in the mission and ministry of their church, challenging the idea that the vicar does, or should do, everything. LMD offers ways of valuing the ministry already happening within a congregation and developing the gifts and skills of all people who come to church so that they can grow in their discipleship and be fully a part of the mission and ministry to which God calls us all.
Local Ministry Development is not a ‘one size fits all’ scheme but a process supported by 3 key ideas:
1. Partnership: An important vision of the church is found in 1 Cor 12. 12-2 in which we are all seen as the body of Christ. Congregations are diverse groups of people but all have gifts and skills and all are valued by God. LMD encourages clergy and laity to work together as well as partnerships with groups in the wider community that build up the body of Christ.
2. Context: There are many different kinds of parishes in the Diocese from small to large congregations, from very rural to urban outer estate, commuter village and inner city. The ‘Local’ in LMD is about recognising and valuing the particular areas where congregations worship and serve. The LMD process helps congregations identify how God is at work where they are and how they can be a more effective partner in the building God’s kingdom.
3. Learning: The aim of the LMD process is to encourage congregations to see God at work in the whole of their lives, not just in church on a Sunday. Our Christian journey is one where we should expect to grow, develop and change as we learn more about God, ourselves and each other in the body of Christ.
The key way LMD works in a parish is through a Local Ministry Development Team (LMDT), a group where ideas can be explored, tested and ‘lived out’. LMDTs are a sub group of the PCC and are expected to communicate regularly with both the PCC and the wider congregation. Members of LMDTs are also invited to share their stories with other LMDTs, inspiring and encouraging one another, at meetings through the year and at an annual Diocesan Local Ministry Networking event.