'That this Synod in the light of the priority of evangelism and making new disciples:
(a) support the formation of an Archbishops' Task Group on Evangelism with the terms of reference and timetable as set out in GS 1917 and urge that its members include:
(i) staff of Anglican home mission agencies with expertise in helping local churches engage in effective evangelism and disciple-making, and
(ii) those with a proven record in those disciplines at local level".'
(b) call upon the Task Group to make its first priority a new call to prayer;
(c) commend to the Task Group an initial programme for its work around the seven disciplines of evangelisation as set out in the same paper; and
(d) call upon every diocesan and deanery synod and every PCC to spend the bulk of one meeting annually and some part of every meeting focusing on sharing experiences and initiatives for making new disciples.'
(e) urge every local church in 2014 prayerfully to try tat least one new way, appropriate to their local context, of seeking to make new disciples of Jesus Christ.".'
Bits in italics are amendments added during the debate.
One concern already voiced is that 'top-down' initiatives from the CofE rarely work, and that encouraging evangelism and disciple-making needs to happen from the bottom up. What the top can provide is accountability, encouragement, permission, and reshaping of structures. Sections d and e won't amount to very much unless bishops, archdeacons, clergy and church members all pick them up and run with them. But if they become standard practice, then they could make a huge difference.
I'm encouraged by the fact that both Archbishops have made this a priority, both in Synod agenda terms, and in their own commitment to it - up to 6 meetings a year on the task group for up to 5 years. This is the kind of long-term leadership we need to bring about a change of culture and practices. It can't happen soon enough.