Berwick Baptist Church

...on a journey of renewal

Hub 2 - Mission

Dave Ward writes:

On 24th November, John, Linda, Helen and I went to Durham City Baptist church for the second re: imagine Hub meeting, at which the focus was ‘Mission’, or ‘being a missional church’.

As usual we spent time ‘Dwelling in the word’ around 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21, and sharing our insights from the passage as we allowed the Spirit to speak to each of us.

We followed this with a time of sharing the progress (or lack of progress) that each of the participating churches felt they had made, with time for discussion and comment from the other churches represented. We followed this up with a time when the whole group looked at what we think God is teaching us through the process, what are the lessons we’re learning.

These are the ones from the whole groups list I wrote down, and many of them have relevance to our progress here at BBC.

  • Change is a slow process.
  • The advantage of going slowly is that there is more chance of taking everyone along on the journey.
  • There is a need for flexibility and willingness to adjust, change and even abandon things that are not working
  • There has been a strong sense of teams working together to bring about positive changes in our churches.
  • God gives and God takes away...we need to trust and discern what he’s doing.
  • It’s important to teach the positive advantages of our experiences as shrinking and aging churches, and not just focus on our losses.
  • Keep God in the driving seat...it’s his church and he will build it. Our job is to be, and to make, disciples.
  • We need times of spiritual refreshment, alone and together, as we become what God wants us to be.

Next, we spent some time examining the marks of a missional church and seeing how our own churches measured up.

Our challenge this time around was to examine our mission as a local church in terms of either a Quantitative Challenge or a Qualitative Challenge.

A Quantitative Challenge asks: how can we increase the number of people we are connecting with – with a view to giving them the opportunity to understand more about who Jesus is and what Jesus is like?

A Qualitative Challenge asks: How can we help those we are already connecting with to begin to consider how Jesus might impact upon their lives?

At this point we returned to our original ‘Safe Place’ mind map from the very first session, as we felt that God had clearly given us this ‘vision’ for our church.

We already have new groups that are beginning to meet both those challenges...The ‘Wellbeing Arts Group’ and ‘Time to Talk’. We also talked about starting a Lunch club (Tuesdays, monthly, for elderly people?) and re-introducing a Men’s Group.

John Claydon pointed out that hospitality seems to be one of our ‘gifts’ from God...we are missionally hospitable!