From the vicarage – May 2012


From the vicarage May 2012

I write as we begin a new summer term. Easter was, for many people this year, including me, a time of spiritual renewal; as who Jesus is and what he has done for us was made real once again. We were helped by dramatically celebrating the triumphal entry of the King of kings; reliving the passover supper with a proper meal; meditating on the cross and celebrating Christ’s glorious resurrection to eternal life. On Easter Day we recovered our confidence before God as we know that He has made holy, perfect and righteous, forever, all who trust in Christ. All this was wonderful, but it begs the question: so what?

The “so what” was answered through our studies in the Lent Course. We have developed a rough idea of what missional communities (church families focused on mission) look like in the UK today by working through the book Everyday Church together.

So, this summer term needs to be a time of joining the dots. First, the PCC, leaders and helpers in our church ministries and Men Aloud are going to spend a day with George Fisher, the Diocesan Missioner, to put our heads together to think about mission. We long to see a growing Christ centred community within our local community. To do this, we need to appoint and enable trusted leaders to run small groups, centred on God’s word, prayer and practical ways of sharing the love of God with each other. These little community groups have the potential to make a significant difference to the lives of many individuals and the streets in which they meet.

We also need all our ministries to work together to bring people together into small groups where they live. As we join the dots in our ministries we should see God joining the dots in our community as people are brought together under God through the love of Christ.

So, please pray about the renewal of West Bromwich though the mission of Christ. And, as you pray, ask how you can be the answer to your own prayer. How will you take your place in the renewed community? Which small group will you join? Can you start a new one with friends from church or from other churches? I believe it is okay for people to worship at different places on Sunday but meet in small groups on their street for now, and there are many local Christians who are expressing a desire to join our small groups. Do you have the talent, time and desire to lead a small group or be a deputy leader? Which of your neighbours is God calling you to pray for and invite to your small group? How will you welcome them? Do you need to learn a new language or brush up an old one to help with communication? Can you find resources, even in a different language if necessary, to help your neighbour get to know Christ? Can you host a meal, even if it is beans on toast? Can you help in a practical way? What will you do to join the dots? How will God use you in your small group to make a positive difference for the glory of God and the spreading of his kingdom?

As we seek to do God’s will, keep these things in mind and look for opportunities.

With love and prayer

Neil

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