Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Growing a church - Mission - just do it!

I believe in local church-based evangelism.  I also believe that mission has to become central to the life of the church - if you want your church to grow and see evangelistic breakthrough, then mission has to be the primary focus of your church.  The priority of mission in the life of the church affects issues as basic as the church diary and prioritising what happens on a Sunday.

When I first came to King’s the church programme was shaped by my diary and my availability, not around the purpose of mission. For example, ‘I can’t be here on that Sunday as I’m on holiday so we won’t do the mission event there…’ We soon worked out was that was the wrong way of building! We decided - mission comes first.  I think in everything we do now, right through the philosophy of the church, mission is primary and then we build in behind that priority - the church programme must reflect this philosophy.  

Mission at the heart of church life particularly affects our Sundays - our Vision Sundays which we do twice a year, one in September and one in January, (and which I always do as the team leader) always includes an aspect of growth presented within it.  It will always include an appeal for new people to step in.  It will always include telling some of the King’s story.  Mission will be explicit in our goals and what we are reaching for over the next 5 years - that will be very high profile.  I’ve got this evangelistic thing in me (although I am not an evangelist – I realised that when I met one!) which makes me instinctively think that’s the way to grow.  So in our prayer meeting, if I’m leading, we will pray for other areas including pastoral care but I would probably always lead us into vision and into praying about growth.  I just do that.