Lucy ran a great session outlining some of the stuff they have been doing in her church in Portsmouth to reach out to the community. They had very few children, a small number of church families, yet locally five primary schools. They realised there were 3 options:
– Holiday clubs
– Mid-week groups
– Attempting to reach whole families

They decided to try a ‘fresh expression’ of church. Sunday was still important, but here was another church congregation, not a feeder into the Sunday service. They run once a month for approximately 80 children and adults, including games, crafts, ‘service’, and meal.

Messy theology
There are messy edges to the church – people’s spiritual journey isn’t straightforward. They are irregular in attendance and could go either way. This can be reflected in life and in God – life isn’t straightforward it messes up the simple ABC conversion that we talk so often about; and God has not created an exact or symmetrical world, e.g. the trees don’t match they are one huge mismatch.

An opportunity for all ages to worship together – have to work hard not just to focus on children. A lot of people want to worship but they need to teaching how.
Help people of all ages feel they belong to church and each other. There is no huge community sense these days so it is great to affirm people through knowing their names etc.
Help people have fun and be creative together. Not the be all but a key part of what being a Christian should be. As Christians we can be very boring – let’s be more engaging.
Introduce Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories and worship. People need the love of someone else first.

Lucy then spent the rest of the session outlining an average session and then looking at some of the key questions to address – both at the start and then a few days down the line. Definitely something that we are spending more time thinking about here in Brentwood.

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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