In 2010 the founding churches (Holy Trinity Ripon, St Andrew’s Starbeck and Kairos Network Church Harrogate) started to discuss the idea of setting up a ‘year-out’ scheme which would concentrate on training those called to different forms of ministry in partnership with the then Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, specifically within the Archdeaconry of Richmond. In 2011 St Mark’s Harrogate joined the team, and in conjunction with the Council of Reference, have helped to shape Step Up to what it is today.
Originally the plan was to have a ‘year-out’ internship program, aimed at graduates, which would be full-time which included some classroom based learning. However, after trying this for a few years, we felt this was not the direction God was wanting us to go.
It was clear to us. after prayer and discussion with others outside of the management team, that Step Up was suppose to be for everyone and anyone who wanted to commit to a year of intentional discipleship.
It is not about filling gaps in ministry, or developing future clergy, but simply about discipleship and journeying with others in our quest to be ever more like Christ.
In 2014 we saw the launch of our first pilot hub, St Paulinus. It was great to see how the content of Step Up could be contextualised from urban to rural without the key messages being lost. Now St Paulinus is a fully fledged Hub, however, still supported by the management team where needed.
September 2015 sees a new pilot hub starting in Wetherby, helped by the management team and others who support Step Up, with the aim that after a year of seeing the benefits of intentionally discipling others in this way, there will be a fully fledged hub in Wetherby, as well as new pilot hubs across the area.
If you are a church leader and want to know more about starting a Step Up Hub, then please get in touch.