Mission Action Plan 2014
As a church, we recently re-formulated our Mission Action Plan with a special focus on our goals for the coming year. This has yet to be approved by the PCC in its final form, but it seemed to be worth sharing with you some of the main themes that emerged from our review. One of the most striking things about this process was that we felt compelled to alter one of the main components of the five year plan. In the three things that we have seen about our church, the plan used to say that we are an ageing congregation. Now we feel able to say that we are a growing congregation and our age profile is getting younger. This is really good news and deserves to be trumpeted from the roof-tops to counter the frequent media narrative of churches in inexorable decline. Another significant alteration was made in our priorities for the next five years. We felt that we could move beyond the good objective of becoming a more welcoming congregation to the rather more ambitious objective of becoming a more missionary-minded congregation. In other words we are finding the courage to be more outward looking.
Now let us turn to the four goals for the next year or more. We came to this review in the aftermath of the somewhat disappointing failure to appoint a Pioneer Minister, after our preferred candidate decided to withdraw from consideration. Nonetheless, one of our four goals remains to engage more actively with the residents of Great Denham by recruiting and supporting a Pioneer Minister. We shall be re-advertising for this post very shortly and we hope that the new parsonage house in Great Denham will be ready by September. We also hope to expand the men’s group so that it also meets somewhere in Great Denham. For the moment, we have decided to defer setting up some sort of informal café church in Great Denham until the arrival of the Pioneer Minister, who will be able to give more attention to the needs of the area.
Secondly, we shall be seeking to deepen the spiritual life of the church by broadening the Bible Study Group to include prayer for the parish and for individuals in need. Prayer, worship and the study of the Scriptures must be at the heart of our life as a church and indeed is the pre-requisite of any long-term, sustainable growth. I would urge all members of the congregation to get involved in Bible study and prayer.
Thirdly, we will be equipping our congregation for mission by engaging with some of the Diocesan training courses to inspire church members to be more effective in mission. We will be looking at these courses over the summer and consulting with Diocesan officers as to what is particularly appropriate in our situation and with respect to the gifts of those who are keen to take this up. Hopefully we will be able to set something up in the autumn.
And finally, we will aim to improve our communication by targeting our advertising on young families four times a year. We are doing a lot of this already and we just need to review what we are doing and then see if we can improve its effectiveness
All of this does mark a decisive shift in our church life towards mission and outreach, which has already started to happen. It also constitutes a change in emphasis towards equipping all the members of our congregation to share in the work of ministry, so that such work is no longer restricted to those authorised for ministry either as priests or readers.
As a postscript to all of this, may I remind you of Celebrate 100, the day of celebration of the centenary of the Diocese in its present form at Keysoe on Monday 25th August from 10.00am until 5.00pm. And may I wish you all a very happy, fulfilling and relaxing summer when hopefully you will all be able to find the opportunity for rest and recreation.
Categorised in: Church News
This post was written by Simon Smith