A Church For The Unchurched and A Church For Children
In my first post about Vision I talked about my Personal Vision,
In my second post I asked: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For The Unchurched?’
In my last post I asked: So what does it mean to be ‘A Church For Children?’
This time I want to ask: Where do I fit in this vision?
After a notice had been up in the entrance to our church building at St Paul’s for a few months I was asked the question by more than one person in our congregation: So where do I fit in this vision?
I think there are two directions this question can come from. The first is saying, I’m not unchurched and I’m not a child so is there anything here for me? How will you meet what I need and want if I don’t fit into these categories? My answer is simple, as you seek to become fully part of a church community with a focus on mission to the unchurched and children you will find all that you need (although you may not find all you want). As Christians we learn and grow far more as we witness than we do as we study. If your desire is to grow as a disciple of Jesus then you will have ‘making disciples’ as the highest priority in your life. We don’t learn in order to witness, we witness in order to learn.
The Christian faith has at it’s heart the incarnation, the willingness of Jesus to give everything for those he loves. I like the Message translation of John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” The character of God is that of giving and generosity. Jesus ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ so that he could become one of us and ultimately live within us. He calls us to have the same character of giving and generosity, for us to become truly one with others so that they too can become disciples of Jesus. The question is not what’s in it for me, rather it is what can I give so that others can experience what I’ve experienced.
The second direction that the question “Where do I fit in this vision” can come from is saying “What can I do to help?” For the answer to that I would suggest starting to look at your family, friends, neighbours & colleagues and asking yourself “How can I share the love of Jesus with them?” This can make many different forms, from handing our free strawberries at a Summer Fayre, to inviting a friend to come with you to Back to Church Sunday, to offering to go to their home and go through the Alpha Course with them. It may mean supporting the Under 2s and Under 5s ministry during term time, or offering to help with our Sunday School on Sunday mornings, or perhaps helping with the Light Party in October.
I started this series of posts by saying that God has confirmed to me a personal vision that I believed was directly related to the church he would call me to lead. I hope that by sharing thoughts about my personal vision I have encouraged and challenged you to think about your own vision.