Our time with Bearwood Chapel is coming to an end and I will complete my time with the church on the 31st December 2020. You may be aware that due to severe financial constraints, the Chapel has had to make its staff team redundant. There is a reminder there of the constant challenges that even medium sized churches in inner city type contexts face. Even numerical growth is not necessarily accompanied by an improvement in the financial situation and such churches are often dependent upon a small group of people for support. I intend to return to this point in another article.
However, today I wanted to share a little about what potentially lies ahead for Sarah and me. It might be helpful to let you know that we had been aware throughout this year that God might be moving us to consider new ventures. We had begun to cautiously explore possibilities. I am now able to write a bit more publicly about this and hopefully you’ll be able to join with us in prayerful discernment.
I have always had a concern to see urban contexts reached with the Gospel. This is both about a desire to see Gospel witness into our toughest estates and inner city areas but also a recognition that there are what people might consider “ordinary” contexts in our towns and cities, not necessarily deprived but at the same time a long way away from the prosperity and profile of suburbia and a long way from the attention that University and Graduate contexts receive.
My passion and concern for this has grown over the past ten years and in the run up to COVID-19 I was able to be involved in a small way through:
- Hosting a church planters’ forum for those involved in urban church planting and disciple making.
- Partnering with Jose Galindes to support the planting of Nueva Vida
- Working with the EFCC to find a revitalisation team for West Smethwick Congregational Church
- Encouraging the Chapel to multiply congregations in order to better reach our local neighbourhoods.
Whatever happens next, we will remain firmly committed to the vision of seeing churches planted and revitalised in urban contexts away from the glamour. Part from that will potentially come from developing the Faithroots site a bit more to provide teaching, training and discipleship resources.
We are praying about the next steps in terms of church calling. We have been looking at a couple of possible pastor positions. However, we have also been praying about the possibility of taking a step into pioneer planting to start a church from scratch in an area where there is an urgent need. We are aware of a couple of possible areas to look at.
This means that I’m also starting to put feelers out to see if there are others willing to partner with us in such a venture (obviously dependent upon location). So, I would love to hear from you if any of the following applies:
- You have a particular area on your heart where there is a need for church planting or revitalisation and you are looking for people to come and work with you.
- You would be willing to commit to regularly praying for urban planting
- You might be able to help financially support a church plant.
- You would be willing to join a church plant within the next 6-12 months (dependent again on location).
To get in touch please either DM me on Twitter, message me on Facebook or get in touch via the contact page here.
Here’s a video version of this statement