My desire is to see gospel communities planted into our urban inner city and council estate neighbourhoods in the West Midlands. I believe that if this is going to happen then we’ll need two things. First of all, we’ll need indigenous church leaders from working class estate contexts and multi-ethnic contexts to be raised up, called and equipped for service. Secondly we are going to need people willing to move into some of those areas to plant.
We are not talking about traditional planting by finding 30-50 people from an existing church to begin gathering in an area with a full staff team from day one. Rather, the need is for people who wil move in their ones and twos to an area and begin to get to know their neighbours, seeking to share the good news and then to gather together a congregation of new believers. The aim is to plant from scratch.
In previous posts I’ve also argued that this will require a new approach to ministry training. For most of the people called into such work, the need will not be for 3-4 years at traditional seminary but rather vocational, on the job, in context training.
It could be that as you’ve read previous articles or listened in to some of the podcasts that your heart has been beginning to stir and you are wondering if God is calling you here. If so, then I’d encourage you to begin a conversation starting with your own church elders. I’d also be delighted to hear from you and talk further about what ministry and training might look like here.
To help you and your church start that discernment process I plan to share a few articles over the next few days (beginning on Thursday). These will look at
- A process for discernment in the local church
- Why we look back at past track record when discerning a calling
- A list of 25 questions to think about as you consider a calling.
I’m also going to be encouraging you to consider getting in touch to start the conversation. So why not begin today by filling out the contact form below.