Well we’re back! Did you miss us??!!
Seriously though, we had a really productive time away, looking at some of the areas that we believe that God is calling to grow as a church. It was also a good time for the staff team to spend together and consider how things are without a church centre any more. We did one of those “adventurous” walks through fields and trying to get ourselves lost which was good to see how we reacted!
The way forward for some of what we discussed will be that some of these (the ones that we feel are “ripest” and most developed in thinking) will be discussed at PCC on the 16th July. The PCC is a great body to discuss in as it allows a sanity check before rolling things out and part of their role is to test and see if the things suggested are a) in line with God’s call on us as a Church, b) sensible and c) clear and understandable. It allows us to review and refine ideas and make them better and the PCC is such a good cross-section of the church to look at things with.
So, some of the areas that we will be discussing at the next PCC meeting will include such things as River Ministries, Church Centre, Emerge and our working with the wider church. We were able to come up with some good plans in these areas that we want to test first of all with the PCC and then share with the wider church.
Some of the ideas that we came up with surprised us! For example, in the case of the Church Centre we did a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and we aren’t certain that we should go for a Centre at all at the moment! This is one of the areas where it will be good to get feedback from people before any decisions are cast in stone.
There were some things that we recognised that would be sad not to have or that cause problems. These included access to the office, the potential for staff isolation, days of prayer etc. But what was surprising when we considered it was that there appeared to be a whole number of things that might well benefit the church. These included forcing us to focus on people in the community – we have already seen the growing popularity of cafe connect, greater flexibility, having more people using resources for days of prayer etc.
One thing that we did notice was that we know of no-one who has joined the church as a result of having had the centre (although some have come to holiday club or joined Tiptoes). So, one of things that we must ask ourselves is how much is a centre worth to us? The cost of a new centre is likely to be about £10,000 per annum and we need to make sure that this would be good value for money.
So, what do you think? Why do you think that we should or shouldn’t have a church centre?
Below are some photos from our days away (click on a picture if you want to see a larger version)