The Methodist Church - Leeds (North East) Circuit

Preacher Development

From 2000 until about 2014 the Local Preachers' Meeting of the Leeds North East Circuit worked at developing a new approach to Continuing Local Preacher Development (CLPD) tailored to their own needs. Out of that process there emerged some significant new thinking. This website was part of the process as well as a product of it. The programme declined when a new superintendent had other priorities, and then a circuit reorganisation that brought in preachers who had not been involved in the earlier development brought it to a halt.

The website and the book Sustaining Preachers & Preaching remain as a valuable legacy and a witness that there are richer and better ways of revitalising local preaching than any that the Methodist Church has yet produced.


Growing Preachers

This website is

  • dedicated to the development of all preachers, lay and ordained, through the exchange of experience and information of locally conceived and organised in-service training and events.
  • a follow-through of an ongoing 10 year CLPD programme in the Leeds NE Circuit.

The website’s AIMS are:

  • to share this local programme in order to kickstart, prime and encourage the growth of similar approaches to in-service preacher development
  • to encourage widespread sharing of experience and insights
  • to serve as an exchange and mart about preacher development
  • to show ideas for developing local self-help training programmes.

The website’s FOCUS is

  • on in-service and continuing training (and not initial training or study courses).

The website DESCRIBES ways and means of starting from where experienced lay and ordained preachers find themselves and developing self-help, in-service training sessions and programmes.

It ENABLES preachers to improve their preaching practice and nurture their spiritual growth, by, for example,

  • focussing on new things they wish to do,
  • things they wish to do better,
  • problems they wish to crack,
  • knotty biblical, theological problems,
  • preaching to congregations differing widely in belief and Christian commitment,
  • using PowerPoint presentations as aids to preaching and worship.

So, the website is about how preachers feel they could preach more effectively and with greater satisfaction if only they could understand, or do this or that and not an introduction to preaching. It is about getting preachers themselves active in designing and carrying out training programmes tailor-made to them and their needs and local context. It explores in detail how to facilitate these processes.

You may well have been engaged in such processes possibly without articulating your practice theory. In this website we describe the praxis (i.e the theory of practising) of preaching and illustrate it through the experience described in Leeds NE CLPD.

These approaches to preacher development are an application of approaches and methods associated with the non-directive approach to church and community development. They are designed to get individuals and groups actively engaged in their own development. This, the first application to preacher development programmes of this approach, has proved to be effective.

We would be glad to hear from other circuits who have interesting ideas to share about CLPD. Any articles, news reports or comments will be considered by our editorial group. Suitable materials will be added as additional pages to the website, or links will be made to other websites where such materials can be found.


Sustaining Preachers & Preaching

Click to enlarge

On Wednesday 26th January 2011 a new book on preaching was launched at Lidgett Park Methodist Church in Leeds. The authors were two supernumerary ministers, the Revd Dr George Lovell and Past President of Conference the Revd Dr Neil Richardson. The book grew out of a decade-long process of dialogue and reflection among the local preachers and ministers in the Leeds North East Circuit, which generated a dynamic new approach to continuing preacher development. 

Sustaining Preachers and Preaching: a practical guide is published by T & T Clark (ISBN 0567507858), at £19.99.



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