I’ve been writing over the past few days encouraging readers to consider partnering with us as we seek to reach the urban West Midlands with the Gospel primarily through encouraging and equipping pioneer church planting. We really appreciate your prayer support and gifts. But ultimately our desire is to see people here, whether it’s on a council estate, in an inner city area or what I’m increasingly referring to as “the urban normal”, living your lives alongside your neighbours, opening your homes and sharing your faith.
Now, there are three types of people I’m particularly looking out for. First of all, there will be some people who are considering Gospel ministry and know that your calling is to an urban context. However, you’ve never received any formal ministry training and you are aware that you need equipping for service. In fact, I’m particularly keen to connect with people in your shoes, especially if you are likely to find that there are significant barriers to pursuing traditional seminar training. I’d like to encourage you to consider coming and training with us.
Training will mean
- That you are linked in to an existing local church for encouragement and feeding
- That you will receive mentoring and coaching
- That you will experience vocational training through a mixture of in house training, on the job experience and as appropriate through teaching modules from external providers
- That you will be encouraged to develop ministry experience primarily through serving your local community and bringing the Gospel to them
The initial commitment would be for three years. At the end of the three years, it may be that you decide that God is moving you on to a different context or that it is right to stay and continue to plant. It may be that there is evidence of fruit beginning to emerge, perhaps you’ll have built up a few good friendships, maybe you’ll have seen some conversations and perhaps you’ll be beginning to gather a small community of believers and enquirers regularly. Whatever the outcome it will not be time wasted as you’ll have had the opportunity to train, to learn, to share your faith and be an encouragement to others.
There will also be a few people reading this who have already trained for ministry and may well be experienced pastors and/or church planters. We would love to hear from you and to see how we can help you hit the ground running here. Whilst you will not be looking for training, we hope that you will benefit from a two-way Gospel partnership where there is mutual encouragement and learning. You may also appreciate having fellowship, mentoring and coaching.
Finally, I’m looking for people who are already here. Especially, people who’ve grown up and lived all or most of their life in a community. We’re not asking you to “come” as you are already here. However, you may well have been wondering about how you could do more to reach your community. We’d love to help you and that might include through mentoring, coaching and training. You may also be interested in the “Church in a box” aimed at resourcing people seeking to reach their neighbours by opening up their own home.
Please get in touch if you want to find out more.