Many moons ago, in 2007, the church conducted a Mission Audit, after the Diocese asked churches to.  Used a CPAS resource to process this.  Not just experience but what you learned from it.  Had a wealth of material come in, recorded it all, and John was down to do it all.  Lots of statements of aspiration.

Wanted to reflect on this experience and reflect on how God has led us in the last 5 years.  Giving you everything that came back, some of which we engaged with, and some of which we haven’t and have done other things.  This is what we intended, what we thought the Lord was leading us to, so we can learn how the Lord leads churches in five year periods.


Encouraging at how much we have done, and the things we haven’t done still stand.

2.2.1 Fully Bible-based, Spirit-filled and Prayer-Supported

  1. Lay leaders aren’t trained – but often the activities are very poorly attended.  Possible issues about training for new leaders to activities.  What on-going training and support does the full-time staff get?
  2. Preaching series’ are good, but specific evangelistic services don’t happen with the exception of the
  3. Healing ministry – want to pick up on young peoples experience through Soul Survivor, do it through prayer ministry team if requested but a franction of congregation.
  4. Training hasn’t been developed apart from home visiting team, use a Lent Course to explore other faiths, or co-ordinate across home groups to explore themes.
  5. Mission with faith sharing team nearly happened but was postponed.
  6. Parish weekend away happened at Lee Abbey but nothing in-house which we need due to cost and children.
  7. What is it – is it coming together for social and prayers – several home groups now pray monthly as a group.

2.2.2 Active and in the heart of the community; visible – welcoming – serving

  1. Practising what we preach – we try! and sometimes succeed
  2. Not had a pet service!  Haven’t restructured services but we could and should be looking at that now, e.g. Cafe Church; 10.30am service can be too full.  Opening the Coffee Shop before the service.
  3. Communication strategy – much better – but could still be worked on.   Good practice.

2.2.5 Can respond to and meet everyone’s respective spiritual needs

  1. Prayer ministry, use chapel as well, doesn’t happen as can’t be seen so is this not appropriate.  This causes a blockage for many people, especially men, and youth.  Why not on a 2:1 ratio do prayer ministry elsewhere.

Street Pastors was a real highlight but not on the original form.

Feedback from other groups:

This list was a list of aspirations from home groups in one form or another.  Hopefully you’ve seen how much we’ve done.  Not intending to get another great big list, but your reflections on these areas as we looked at last time.

  • Anthony Mizen: Want more focus on home groups so led from the centre, possibly linked to the sermon series.  In-house parish weekend to be more inclusive want to recommend we review that.  Prayer book – want to allow people who use the centre to engage with it through the Coffee Shop and prayers.  On nearly all issues communication is key.
  • Sandie Spanton: Feel the presence of the church at Little Haven is well received, but definitely a church feeling at that place.
  • Alison Alcock: Active in the heart of the community – felt done a lot there – communication through the website and sermons on the website is very helpful.
  • Colin Tatchell: Don’t all know what is happening, as so many groups and activities.  The fact that it is going on is a strength.  Communication is difficult, but maybe it doesn’t matter so long as those who are targeted know what is happening.  Training of leaders – home group leaders etc. seems like we could do more.  Developed Alpha, Youth Alpha, Pastoral Care – Streetwise fizzled out but Street Pastors came in.  Increase in electronic communication has been good.  Opening of the Coffee Shop could be a good opportunity.
  • Sue de Jong: lots to celebrate, CAMEO lunches, 40th Anniversary, J John, Adrian Plass.
  • Lynn Dunkason: Highlights of achievement especially in 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 and 2.2.5
  • John Balchin: remarkable what has been achieved
  • Peter Toller: training in other faiths is critical.

Got quite depressed as there is an expectation for more, possibility of discouragement and disappointment.  When at Sarah’s licensing, Bishop Stephen Cottrell spoke on John 15:1-5 and living and abiding in the Vine (God) and God being the gardener cutting off the dead bits, and cutting back the fruitful bits.  Something about priorities not a task list.  There has to be a means of discerning priority and focus so we don’t simply follow our own particular enthusiasms which allows us to see and defer something bigger.  There is something different between good ideas and what God calls us to do.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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