Paraclesis: Journeying Together has been successfully piloted in 10 churches. Here are some key questions raised by those who took part in this brand new six-week series …
What does Paraclesis mean?
‘Paraclesis’ is inspired by and built around the Greek word ‘Paraklesis’:
PARA: ‘to be with’, ‘alongside’
KALEO: ‘to call’ or ‘to come’
PARAKLESIS: ‘one who comes alongside’.
In its various forms this word can be found over 140 times in the New Testament.
To summarise: Paraclesis means ‘people coming alongside people’
What does ‘Journeying Together’ mean?
Scripture shows us that it is God’s heart that we should love and come alongside one another:
‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.’ (2 Corinthians 1:4, The Message)
To ‘journey together’ is to take your own experiences of life’s challenges and turn them into a gift of support and care for others around you.
How does Paraclesis: Journeying Together work?
Hidden within your church is a vast resource of life experience. Paraclesis: Journeying Together can help your congregation use this resource to develop their understanding and grow skills to help people come alongside people effectively.
Ultimately, Paraclesis: Journeying Together works by the whole church coming together through the six-week series and saying that they want to see people coming alongside other people. There is a three-fold approach to achieving this:
1) For your church:
Sermons, videos and a Church Leader’s Guide explore a different theme each week of the Paraclesis: Journeying Together series, uniting the congregation and encouraging everyone to support and come alongside one another.
Six weekly themes and sermon headings cover:
- Caring: Who cares?
- Loving: Love comes alongside
- Journeying: The resource of journey
- Living: Choose life
- Healing: Strong at the broken places
- Connecting: Have you ever felt the need?
2) For your small group:
Weekly videos, six small group studies and a Small Group Leader’s guide provide practical ideas to help everyone journey together.
3) For you:
CWR have compiled the Daily Guide workbook for every member of your congregation in order to encourage everyone to fully immerse themselves in the Paraclesis: Journeying Together series through the six weeks. With daily quotes, memory verses, tips, prayers and space for journalling, it provides the opportunity to reflect daily on your journey.
What resources are available for my church?
To make Paraclesis: Journeying Together as user-friendly as possible, we have created a wealth of helpful tools to support your church journey together:
- Sermon guide for church leaders
- Series Organiser’s guide
- Six sermon outlines
- Six full sermons
- Six PowerPoint presentations
Small group and individual resources:
- Small Group Leader’s Guide
- Six small group video sessions
- Six small group studies
- Daily Guide workbook
- Flyers, posters and journey cards
- Kindness box, filled with 40 suggestions for acts of kindness
- A host of promotional material that can be personalised to suit your church
Love With Skin On
To understand the background, heart and purpose behind the Paraclesis initiative and how it can benefit your church and community, we suggest reading Love With Skin On. This insightful companion book explains how Trevor J. Partridge’s own life journey has led him to understand how the Church can come alongside people facing life’s challenges.
A practical workbook that follows the Paraclesis: Journeying Together series over six weeks. With inspirational daily quotes, memory verses, tips, prayers and space for journaling, the Daily Guide helps you to uncover what Scripture says about coming alongside others.
How does Paraclesis change the culture of care in my church?
Great teaching: Starting each week with a sermon that explores Scripture, the congregation learns together about creating a culture of care in your church, unpacking ‘The Paraclesis Principle’ and practices of the New Testament.
Daily: The Daily Guide interacts with the weekly sermons and makes personal study easy. With space to journal and reflect on what you are learning, it also encourages you to put your new knowledge into practice, with personal application for your individual lives.
Encouragement and support: Meeting with your small group to watch short videos that offer advice and practical skills gives the opportunity to share and support each other. A kindness box, full of ways to care for one another, encourages people to come alongside others in practical ways.
How much does Paraclesis: Journeying Together cost?
We have made the six-week series as accessible and affordable as possible for your church. Once you have purchased the Sample Pack and Full Access for £25, many of the resources you need for the series will be available for not extra cost and can be downloaded from this website.
To fully participate and to get the most out of Paraclesis: Journeying Together, there are the following resources that every church, small group and participant will need:
Sample Pack and Full Access is £25
Per small group of 10 people
One bundle of 10 wristbands is £4.50 and one Kindness Box is £4.50
The Daily Guide workbook is £4.99 (when you buy 10 or more copies)
The total cost depends on the size of your church congregation and number of small groups within your church.
At an additional cost and to help spread the word about Paraclesis: Journeying Together in your church, there are resources available to order including posters, banners and flyers. We recommend these materials, available from our partner CPO, as they are designed to help prepare your church for the six-week series.
To understand the background and heart behind the Paraclesis initiative we suggest reading Love With Skin On (RRP: £9.99). This insightful book explains how Trevor J. Partridge’s own life journey has led him to understand how the Church can come alongside people facing life’s challenges.
Can my small group do Paraclesis: Journeying Together on our own?
Ideally, Paraclesis: Journeying Together is followed by the whole church together. The initiative is about creating a culture of care in the whole congregation where everyone learns how to come alongside each other.
Paraclesis is an initiative for the local church, designed to change the culture of care in the whole church, and so it is recommended that it should be led by your church leader.
What is an ||Empowering Your Church to Care|| day?
Empowering Your Church to Care is a great introduction to the Paraclesis initiative for church leaders or those involved in church leadership. You can hear Trevor explain some of the key aspects of the series and how it could benefit your church. You’ll also learn more of the heart and vision behind the initiative as Trevor shares some of his own journey through life, faith and pastoral ministry. The day covers:
- Paraclesis – A pastoral care initiative
- Pastoral care today
- Changes in pastoral ministry
- A pastoral care strategy
- Being a pastoral community
- Setting a pastoral care culture
- Pastoral care and counselling
- Setting up a pastoral care network in your church
There is no cost to attend this day, which includes lunch and refreshments. Find out more about this day here.
My church is not in the UK, can we still do Paraclesis: Journeying Together?
Paraclesis: Journeying Together is only available in the UK and Ireland.