Frequently Asked Questions
Stepwise: discipleship development – from the United Reformed Church
Who is Stepwise for?
Stepwise is for anyone who wants to discover more about what being a Christian means in their daily life. It is a programme for deepening discipleship, shaped around your strengths and needs, in the context of your own community and church. So if you are keen to reflect on and develop your Christian faith, ready to be stimulated and challenged and want to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others, then Stepwise could be what you’re looking for.
I have filled in “Count me in” – what happens next?
Everyone who tells us of their interest in Stepwise should receive an acknowledgement from the Stepwise Assistant thanking them for getting in touch and informing them of what will happen next. If you have filled in the form and have not heard from us then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can track you down.
If you told us you were interested a while ago and have not heard back from us yet, this is because Stepwise relies on participants being part of a local group and there may not yet be enough people near you to form a viable group. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
What does it cost to participate in Stepwise?
There will be a small fee of between £5 – £30 on a “pay what you can” basis, payable via PayPal, as part of the formal registration process. We will send you details about how to pay this once you are ready to join a group.
Stepwise is inter-generational. What does that mean?
There is no upper or lower age limit for participation in Stepwise, and groups are formed to suit the local context. There is scope for mixed-age groups and single generation groups, with the common thread of learning through enquiry, activities, and small projects which work for diverse groups. The aim is to nourish and stretch everyone who takes part in Stepwise. You can find out more about the inter-generational principles underpinning Stepwise at http://bit.ly/stepwise-for-all-ages
Why do I need to do Faith-filled Life before embarking upon the other Stepwise streams?
Faith-filled Life provides participants with an introduction to the way Stepwise works at the same time as setting the scene for the Stepwise streams that follow. We believe that it is important for participants to work through this introductory opening stream before beginning the other streams to give everyone a good foundation upon which to build.
What support is there for online learning?
Stepwise is committed to enabling everyone to participate. We are working hard to ensure that the materials delivered online through the Stepwise Hub are easily accessible via any web browser (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox etc.) using a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If you are not online or find technology a challenge, then please get in touch and we’ll try to help.
The local groups will each have a facilitator. Who are they?
An effective facilitator is someone who relishes working with people and can draw out the best from a diverse group. They understand that learners have different learning preferences and varying skills for working in groups. This role is for those who value collaborative learning. Guidance for facilitators is available and there is a system of support and orientation for potential facilitators. To view the Stepwise Facilitator’s Guide click here.
Stepwise depends on mentors and mentoring. Who are they and how are they found?
Stepwise mentors are wise disciples who are grounded in faith. Their role is to accompany participants in Stepwise. Their ability to be a perceptive listener and sounding board is more important than formal theological knowledge or training. Faith-filled Life mentors are recruited locally with guidance and support from synods and the Stepwise team. To view the Stepwise Mentor’s Guide click here.
What’s the role of Synods in Stepwise?
Stepwise is being developed collaboratively and will be delivered locally within each synod. Each synod is encouraged to appoint a Stepwise advocate, although the details will vary in different synods. The advocate’s role is to support, promote and coordinate Stepwise in their synod. Synod advocates will be supported in this by the Stepwise team. For more information about leading and coordinating Stepwise within a Synod click here.
Where can I keep up with the latest news of Stepwise?
Directly at https://www.urc.org.uk/stepwise/ or via the Stepwise button on the homepage of the URC website. Staff and officers in synods are involved to varying degrees in the development of Stepwise and will answer questions as they arise, or forward them as appropriate to the Stepwise team at United Reformed Church House.
The five streams of Stepwise are …
Discovering our place and purpose
We all have a part to play
Being confident in our own faith and building friendships across faiths
Being a church shaped by God’s mission acting for justice in God’s name
Worship for change
Every participant belongs to a local or online Stepwise Group
Your materials are accessed online on the Stepwise Hub
Everyone has a Mentor to accompany them on the course