As it’s early in January this is a good time to be thinking about medium and longer term plans. So, I’d like to encourage you to consider this invitation.
One of my priorities is to see people trained and equipped for urban church planting. There are two parts to this. First, I believe that if we are going to reach into our inner cities and onto our estates then we are going to need to be smaller, swifter and simpler in our church planting. Instead of waiting for a large church to identify an area, create a budget, appoint a staff team and find 30-40 people to join them, we need to be finding potential pioneer planters who either already live in a neighbourhood or who are willing to put down roots. I expect new church plants to be small and to at least begin by meeting in homes. A plant could start with between 2-6 people ready to commit.
Secondly, I also recognise that those who are going to be at the core of such plants will need to access training for Gospel ministry. This will include training and teaching in Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, pastoral care, and leadership. However, for all kinds of reasons, it is likely that those who most desire and need training won’t be able to access traditional sources for such training (i.e. Theological College). So, one of the aims of Faithroots has been to make such training and teaching readily available, for free to whoever wishes to benefit from it.
So, here’s the invitation. Would you like to come and join us in Birmingham and begin exploring planting with others. The idea is simple. You would only have to ensure that you are able to cover your living costs whilst here. You would commit to a 2-3 year period initially (similar to the commitment for a theological diploma or degree). You would move into a specific neighbourhood and you would begin to get to know the community and share the good news of Jesus, opening up your home.
Whilst you are doing this, you will be able to access Faithroots training, both through continuing to use the online sources but also meeting up with me regularly for mentoring, coaching and tutorials. You would also have access to other resources here in the city including fellowship and encouragement from existing churches and participation in the Birmingham Collective, a group of pastors and planters with a desire to see Jesus glorified here in the West Midlands.
I realise that some people would prefer to have a formal certificate/diploma at the end of their training time and so we will look at linking those who wish to pursue this option with a formal training programme such as Crosslands.
To find out more about urban planting and training, check out the pages here. If you think this could be you, then please get in touch using the contact form.