How Jesus Shaped Are We? (August 2016)

As Christians, we are used to talking about having Christ-like attitudes in our daily lives.  But, if we are honest, how much does that really impact what we do as individuals, or as different groups in the church?  The PCC is considering adopting the Jesus Shaped People programme for Holy Trinity Church.  What does this mean?

Jesus Shaped People is a ‘whole church discipleship adventure’ for churches that want to make Jesus’ ministry the key model for their mission vision and development. It offers both a VISION and a METHOD to churches that enables them to do this.   JSP was born in the Parish of Tong and Holme Wood in Bradford in 2006, and developed there in subsequent years.

In 2011 the Vicar retired, and in 2012 he became House-for-Duty Mission Priest in the Diocese of Bradford, tasked with exploring whether JSP could benefit other churches with social housing estate communities, and more widely. Five churches in areas of heavy social disadvantage in Bradford initially adopted JSP from September 2012.    Since then many other churches in different social areas, different denominations, and in a variety of Anglican dioceses have begun using JSP as a model for their mission vision and work.   


Jesus identified himself as ‘The Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14.6).

This key strategic statement forms the background vision for JSP.

The Way: Jesus had a clear vision for the establishing of the Kingdom of God. It was this vision that determined his priorities, which he transmitted to his disciples, and which became the foundation of their future work. The early church became the people of ‘The Way’ (Acts 9.2).

Faithful discipleship requires that churches identify and own the vision and ministry priorities of Jesus and make these the foundation principles for their work. Jesus Shaped People is particularly concerned with ‘The Way’. 

The Truth: Jesus reveals the truth to us about God and human beings.  His unique work on the cross brings this strongly into focus, and reveals the need of the rescue and peace he offers every person.    It will be a vital priority for churches that they ensure that they communicate this well.  Nurture programmes like Start and Alpha will often be of benefit in providing this.

The Life: Jesus made clear lifestyle choices, and urged his followers to do the same. Recognition of lifestyle changes and challenges that stepping into the Christian life involves is vital.   

The Sermon on the Mount is a good starting point - here we see how Jesus expected his disciples to adopt the new lifestyle that his mission demanded. 

Jesus is the Way: JSP is concerned to help churches focus of the first of these statements. In doing so it enables churches and church members model their discipleship on Jesus' key priorities and infuse them at every level into their church life. 

Jesus Shaped People summarises these ‘priorities’ as five key themes: 

• People-focused with special priority for those ‘on the edge’. 

• Teaching that is story based, principled and visionary

• Team building that enables his followers to be equipped, challenged, and united

• Prayer that focuses on his mission, seeks his Father’s will, and celebrates Kingdom progress

• Prophecy that challenges hypocrisy, evil, false values, and injustice.

The key question we would have to ask ourselves, about everything we do as a church, is ‘How Jesus shaped are we?’

In September, the PCC will be thinking about this again, so in the meantime members of the PCC may ask for your views about it.  Please do discuss it with them, as your opinion will help us to decide whether to proceed with using this in our services, and in every group that happens at Holy Trinity Church.

You can find out more about this at

Tina Upton 

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