Well happy New Year to everyone.
It’s a strange time in the land of vicars leading up to Christmas. Not only do we have the busy service schedule (and grabbing time to buy presents, prepare for Christmas etc) but we also have to be thinking ahead to the new year and planning for the year ahead.
So, what are we planning this year? Well a number of things.
Firstly, we have planned to focus on one of the Gospels (Mark in this case) from the beginning of January until Easter (16 weeks and 16 chapters!). This time we are making the series a “whole church” one with the cell groups and the children and youth groups also studying the Gospel.
Then we have our new All Age structure that we are experimenting with. As of the 5th January we are looking to allow people to respond in different ways to the passage (the first one will be Mark 1:14-28 😉 ). This could be through listening to a talk, holding a discussion group, through arts and craft. In future months we are considering drama and/or dance.
We are launching a number of Missional Community Groups (MCG) in the church with three already identified. These groups are larger than cell groups and will allow us to be more intentionally missional without causing burn-out. It is not the intention for all cell groups to be part of a MCG. There are many cells that are functioning well and reaching out and nurturing people. But in certain cases we can see where a number of like-minded cell groups can make more of an impact together. The ones that we are looking to establish in the next months are one for Roundshaw, one for men and one for our young adults. Over time as we learn the lessons we hope that others can be launched.
Related to this last point we are taking the staff team away with the cell pastors to discuss and plan how to nurture our cells and Missional Community Groups. We are then holding a leaders day away (hopefully mid May) with Darren Johnson from Kings Church, Warrington who is using cells and Missional Community Groups in a very creative way to grow the church. This leaders away day will be held jointly with St Paul’s, Brixton to allow us to share together Darren’s insights.
We are continuing to invest in Emerge as we know that a thriving young adult ministry will benefit the whole church. At the end of January we are holding a weekend away for them and it’s exciting that there is a new cell group planned focussing on those young adults who are now through the college stage of life.
We will be continuing to focus on our life of prayer and worship together in all of this. These are the essentials of faith and we want to continue to grow and encourage our life of prayer and worship together.
So, I hope that we will have an exciting and fulfilling year together, growing in faith and love.