I want to try and answer my own question from the last post in this sequence: "do we provide a context within which people can enter in all sorts of different ways?"
Four different 'shapes' - and recognising that we are all a blend of them: active experimentation ('doing'); concrete experience ('feeling'); reflective observation ('watching' - actually I think 'imagining' is better); and abstract conceptualisation ('thinking'). Let's call them earth, water, fire and air ;o) And of course - and essentially - they all feed into each other.
So what we'd need, to have a healthy environment within which people can grow as disciples, are places where:
- we can get on with the 'doing', eg serving the community - classic example: soup kitchen;
- we can get on with the 'feeling', eg pastoral care - classic example: home visiting;
- we can get on with the 'imagining', eg creative arts and liturgy - classic example: the eucharistic liturgy; and
- we can get on with the 'thinking', eg doing theology - classic example: bible study.
The questions, therefore, are: do these characterisations work to sum up how people can get involved in the faith (these are the different paths by which people can come in - have we covered all the bases?); and - and here's the kicker - what do we have in place by which people can do this?
Here on Mersea, my initial thought is that we are pretty healthy (tho' not perfect!!) on the latter three, but there's quite a gap with the first.