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Jun 21, 2011

Does Your Church Pass the Ten Tests?

[ACNS] The Diocese of Liverpool in the Church of England has set ten 'tests' for any proposed initiatives to help churches avoid hindering the work of God's mission.


The diocese, which has 250 churches in both rural and urban settings in the north of England, is said to be working towards "a sustainable, led and transforming Christian presence in every community in the diocese to enable all to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God."


Liverpool’s Church Growth Team Leader Linda Jones explained that the list should be used to measure the value of any proposed initiatives:


Does each area of work or initiative:

  1. encourage growth numerically or in spirituality?
  2. support and reflect the church that we wish to become?
  3. affirm mutual support and collaboration within the diocese?
  4. strengthen relationships between congregations?
  5. recognize the ethos and the characteristics of the diocese (reflect the diocesan vision and mission)
  6. take appropriate account of the sustainability and viability issues of church buildings and congregations?
  7. provide for accountability throughout every step of the initiative within the diocese and beyond?
  8. present an appropriate stewardship challenge?
  9. provide appropriate support for local decision-making?
  10. is the proposed system or process transparent and easily understood?


"We are now in the process of applying these 10 tests to any initiative that we are thinking about," Jones explained. "Hopefully it will encourage us to think collaboratively, look wider and apply the concept of subsidiarity to enable us to be good stewards of God’s giftings for the building up of his kingdom."


Jones added: "Ultimately we are aiming to see healthy churches at the heart of healthy communities; excellent church schools promoting Christian education; Christian disciples growing in faith, hope and number; outstanding Christian leaders for today and tomorrow; and vibrant and inclusive mixed-economy churches in and from all traditions. We think that, with God's help, the ten tests will help us achieve just that."


Jones is a member of the Anglican Communion’s Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative that is a network of people across the world who together work to promote church growth and evangelism in Anglican and Episcopal churches across the globe. Further information is available here: