What does discipleship look like in your setting? Bishops from around the world share their experiences.
On the 7th and 9th September, the third round of Lambeth Conference Bishop’s Conversations will begin.
The session focus is on being ‘Called to Mutual Love’. Based on 1 Peter 1:22 to 2:5 bishops will explore what discipleship looks like in their setting.
Some bishops from around the world have shared some of their reflections in a short film or article that accompanies the session.
The Rt Revd Moon Hing – West Malaysia
The Rt Revd Moon Hing, is the 4th Bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia, and the former Archbishop of South East Asia. He has been involved in church planting and discipleship for several decades and is now the coordinator of the Anglican discipleship initiatives for the Anglican Communion.
He talked to the Lambeth Conference team about what discipleship means to him and how it is more important than ever to live out the Christian faith, so that it can be an example for others to follow. “I believe discipleship is the main focus for all Christians. And especially in this time of pandemic, and in times of struggle, and in in the time of uncertainty. The best form is to go into discipleship and disciple-making. There is no other better time than this.”
The Rt Revd Nick Drayson – Northern Argentina
The Bishop of Northern Argentina says he’d like to see the culture of the Anglican Church changed so that discipleship is part of its DNA. The Rt Revd Nick Drayson is the Bishop of Northern Argentina and the Primate of the Anglican province of South America, which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. He has exercised most of his ministry in South America, having been ordained there as a deacon more than 40 years ago. “There’s a quote we often use which I find very challenging that says, ‘If you make disciples, you will always get the church. But if you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples.’ Put the other way around, you can make churches without necessarily getting disciples. But if you really make disciples, you will definitely get churches. So, let’s set our discipleship to Jesus’ standards of holiness, love, learning and commitment.”
The Rt Revd Eleanor Sanderson – Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Rt Revd Eleanor Sanderson is a bishop in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and is an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Wellington. In the Diocese of Wellington, the Bishop said that creating places where people have the opportunity to live in community and share their lives together deeply is really important. “I live in an intentional residential community with students at our university. And we live in a rhythm of life together; a life of sharing food and fellowship, a rhythm of daily prayer and weekly discipleship across our different community houses, and a clear pattern of mission together that we’re involved with through the chaplaincy at the university. For me discipleship and community are inextricably linked.”
The Most Revd Howard Gregory – Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
Archbishop Howard Gregory says he is still searching and growing as a disciple after 20 years as a bishop. The Most Revd Howard Gregory, is the Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies. He said discipleship within today’s changing culture and context presents a range of challenges, both in the West Indies and also in other parts of the Communion. “The COVID experience is one which speaks to transition, because we’re talking about the new normal. We’re talking about where we are going – we’re not sure. COVID has made us aware of the fact that some of the old ways of doing things will no longer work. As we move, for example, from face to face, it has curbed us as a community, we are also seeing a change in our understanding of what really is church. Because where the congregations couldn’t come together and they’re online, some people are saying that they’re not sure whether they want to come back to face to face. For me, this is part of the transition that we have to deal with. And I don’t believe we can ignore that the online ministries are here to stay.”
Read more about discipleship
You can read more articles about Discipleship – the theme of Lambeth Conference Bishops’ Conversations during September – here.
With thanks to our contributors
- The Rt Revd Nick Drayson is the Bishop of Northern Argentina and the Primate of the Anglican province of South America.
- The Most Revd Howard Gregory, is the Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies
- The Rt Revd Moon Hing, is the Bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia, and the former Archbishop of South East Asia.
- The Rt Revd Eleanor Sanderson is a bishop in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and is an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Wellington.