From the vicarage July 2012

Midweek ministries – an end in themselves or a means to an end?

On Saturday 26th May, twenty-three ministry leaders and helpers from church went away together to a charming local village, known as Tipton. We met in Grace Community Church with George Fisher, the diocesan missioner, to review church life at Holy Trinity. We wanted to remind ourselves that we must never do things just because we do them or because we’ve always done them. We went to see the big picture and to try to get everyone working together toward the mission and vision God has given us at this time, to plant a small group bible study on every street in the parish.

Holy Trinity Church is a busy place. There is lots going on. We have midweek ministries in the church hall for children and grown ups alike. We have hundreds of contacts with people in our community. The question we put to each ministry was: “how can what we do be a stepping stone on the pathway to faith, fellowship, teaching and even leadership for the people we know?”

We took Ephesians as the theme for the day, where the message of Jesus Christ had created a new a deep unity in a highly multicultural first century community. We sought to change or tweak what we do to lead to that sort of unity, drawing people together from all the different cultures who live in our parish, in West Bromwich.

George Fisher spoke about the way the view of God had altered in society. George showed statistics on belief which reveal that people still believe in the existence of God but no longer believe in the personal God of the bible who can be known, who should be feared and loved and who has made it known how we should live for his glory. The new belief is in God as a life force, a spiritual presence. And so, it is into this culture that we take the message of Christ in a culturally appropriate way (see last month’s letter from the vicarage).

George also spoke about new ways churches are meeting, new patterns of mid-week meetings, and how the need to change is often resisted by churches which have grown comfortable in their style and meeting times and have lost sight of the call to mission.

Leaders from Kids Klub, TNG, social afternoon, coffee morning, cake and chat, Men Aloud, lunch club and Trinity Tots all worked in groups to reflect on what goes on now and what needs to happen to make that ministry a stepping-stone to small group membership.

The result has been a sense that we need to be more focused on evangelism, fellowship and teaching. Each ministry has thought about small changes which can be introduced to put God’s Word on the agenda.

Please pray for any ministry in which you are involved. Ask God to help the changes take place, but also think about what ongoing changes might make a difference.

May God bless us all


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