I’ve mentioned this theme a few times over the past few days. It refers to the current focus/desire of the church we are part of to see a greater impact on our city through planting and multiplication. It resonates strongly with what I’ve been praying for, talking about and seeking to encourage and help with over the past decade.
I wanted to say a little bit more about the practicalities of this here and how we can help. First of all, perhaps you are thinking “how could I be part of this?” How can I help with that vision. I want to suggest that there is a level of freedom here, there are numerous ways in which you can join in. One way would be to commit to moving to a specific new neighbourhood from elsewhere with a commitment to build up relationships with neighbours and begin to link up with people in your street. This is something I’ve spent a lot of time encouraging people to consider.
Another way would be to start thinking intentionally about the people and places where you already are. Might there be neighbours on your street who would be interested in connecting with something at your home, maybe inviting people round for a meal with time during that meal to look at the Bible, talk together and pray? Could it be that you arrange to link up with two or three people to go walking and talking in the park/woods. What about commandeering a table at your local Costa on a Monday morning? Perhaps, the best place and time to meet up with people would be at work during the lunch break. Would your boss be willing to let you book out a meeting room? The poin t is that this “swifter, smaller, simpler” approach arises out of a desire to be available to meet people who are hungry to know Jesus whenever and wherever they are available to.
What this also means is that the “whenever” bit means that you don’t need to leap straight into leading an independent church off somewhere else. It’s possible to still gather for worship with your current church family on a Sunday morning to be refreshed, encouraged and fed too.
The other thing I wanted to talk about here was how “Faithroots” can help. One of my aims in running the site is to encourage and equip those involved in this kind of Gospel work. So, there are a few things that I’m offering.
First of all, I seek to offer training resources for people who are seeking to plant, especially in urban contexts. As well as the blog articles which often include practical stuff about planting and pastoring, you might be interested in the resources available on our publications page which are designed to provide accessible theological and leadership training.
I am also aiming to provide more in person training and equipping as we settle into our new home. Watch this space for details of Faithroots Live workshops and the possibility of an urban planters and disciple-makers hub. Or it may be that you would appreciate some one to one coaching and mentoring. Please get in touch if so.
Secondly, you may want resources for when you gather that will take the pressure off of you from having to do everything each week including host, provide teaching, facilitate discussions, look after the kids etc.
Why not have a look at the YouTube and the podcast links which include stand alone talks and discussions as well as teaching series that will take you through a book of the Bible or a theme such as the work of the Holy Spirit. You may want to start off with some evangelistic content -if so check out First Look. All material on faithroot.com is made freely available to use. Please get in touch if you are being challenged about this kind of Gospel work.
 My immediate focus is on the West Midlands but don’t feel limited by that. I’m up for Zoom calls with people further afield too).