Some weeks ago I published a paper called ‘Reaching our Community’ to encourage us all to think about what kind of a church we should be and how can we be faithful in fulfilling our calling to share the love of Jesus with as many in our community as possible. I’ve been very glad to hear a range of perspectives on the paper and I look forward to the ongoing discussion.
The question the paper asked was, should we just keep doing what we’re doing or are there other things we should try? To promote discussion I suggested a rather radical proposal to make more use of our church building as a ‘community hub’ during the week and then leverage that to try and develop a church service in a style that ‘unchurched’ people may feel comfortable in.
As you might expect, I got the full gamut of responses and I’m keen for the conversation to continue. If we do, down the track, decide to change anything, we’ll want to do it in full consultation with our church family, and we will need to take the time to do that. As I say in the paper, I am not committed to the proposal suggested or even changing any of what we are doing, but I think it’s important to ask the question: ‘What do we think God wants us to be doing for his kingdom in coming days?’
To that end the parish council is meeting next Saturday to discuss the big picture questions of what should be our priorities and how might they be met? Then the following week the pastoral staff will go away for their annual ‘Advance’ to talk, pray and reflect on 2020 and the ministries we’ll be involved in.
So now is a perfect time for you to make a contribution to the conversation and planning that will be going on. If you have any thoughts on the ‘Reaching our Community’ paper, or other thoughts about gospel strategies we should consider, please send me or the office an email or speak to a warden or parish councillor (preferably give them something written down so your voice is heard).
You may also have some ideas or suggestions about other ways we can minister both to those who come to church and those not yet part of our fellowship. Some people have been emailing me ideas and that kind of input is very helpful for our discussions.
Finally, the week after next, at the Staff Advance, we will be discussing the teaching program for 2020 and you may have a request for a Bible book to be preached on, or topics to be taught. Please feel free to submit those requests and we’ll do what we can to fit them in.
At this stage we don’t know what the future holds, but as we share together, pray and reflect, God willing, we will hear God speak to us in how he wants us to ‘Worship God, Grow in Christ and Share the love of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, looking to the Lord’s return’. Please pray for all our leaders, that they may be guided by God’s Spirit, especially in these next couple of weeks, and please consider sharing your ideas with them as to how you would like our church to head into 2020.