Saturday, 13 September 2008

Beacon Update

I figured it was high-time I let everyone in on how things are going since we moved from City Church Canterbury to the Beacon Church in Herne Bay...'s still early days, of course (we moved at the end of April) but it's been long enough to see stuff happening. The whole idea behind our move was a definite sense between ourselves and the local New Frontiers leadership that God had plans for Beacon and that, in an otherwise predominantly older and smaller congregation, the time had come for a younger generation to join and knit in, ready for the future. We joined with no role in mind, nor any defined either, but simply to help lay the foundation for the future. Thus far, there's two significant areas that we've been concentrating on, for others to be focused on later:

1) We've begun a parent & toddler group - "Coffee and Chaos"; the City franchise grows! - which has been heavily invested in financially, and the Beacon folks encouraged to get involved in personally with weekly duties to be shared out on a rota basis. C & C kicked off yesterday, with 7 mums/carers plus about 8 or 9 kids arriving. A fantastic start, without being deluged either! Our own friend Bev (not from church) worked wonders, bringing 3 others with her, and she's been handing out C & C business cards here there and everywhere. Good girl... The idea is simply for Beacon to make friends with the community around us and build quality relationships from there, sharing our faith as we go...

2) We are spending the entire next term training Beacon (everyone!) in Cell as a new small group structure ready to be launched in the New Year. Helping them understand the ethos of the Cell structure over 6 specific sessions with the weeks in between to fellowship, pray, and consolidate together will be invaluable for all the members as well as new Cell leaders. "Getting" cell can take years - that it is Bible-based values that underline it and not a formula, and that it is about building genuine, outward-looking and inclusive community to further the Gospel. Jennie and I have been involved in leading and overseeing Cell groups for best part of a decade and know how well it works WHEN IT'S DONE WELL. We're in this for the long haul and firmly believe this is a specific foundation that needs implementing well (to clarify: we're not talking "Cell Church", which can tip the balance away from the Sunday services, but church life that invests hugely in both the small group community AND the ship's rudder of the corporate worship/teaching/fellowship of Sundays)

There's more stuff on the horizon, which I'll keep under my (enormous) hat, but I'll divulge more as time unfolds...

In the meantime, please pray for:

1) The new small group "revolution" to be received well and enthusiastically.
2) For Coffee and Chaos to progress from strength to strength, and for the wonder and Truth of Christ to be preached through our relationships with the parents we're entrusted with. Each one is a gift from God to be treasured.
3) For more younger Christians to join us quickly. We are more than expectant for growth through preaching the Gospel and subsequent salvation - God's sovereignty is a great reassurance for us - but we do also need able Christians to mentor, lead, disciple whomever will come our way. In a lot of ways, a complete church plant may have been easier, because there tends to be a younger chunk of gifted folks that are available for various roles. Jennie and I have been grieving our City family - which is natural, and expected, of course - but we would now like some more fresh faces to help pave the way for God's purposes here. He is sovereign and we're trusting Him - He is definitely in this - but we need to be realistic and accept that a bit more help would be wonderful. I don't say yes to everything, because I need to protect our family time more and more ruthlessly (especially now Amy's at school) as more responsibility comes my way. And everybody wants more friends, eh? Wanna join us? (*)

(*)I'm serious! Does God want you to come and join the Beacon explosion?

1 comment:

Jason Reid said...

Praying for the Beacon explosion! I sense your tactics are spot on, pursuing blessing the people around you whilst structuring the Church ready for growth that will come in the New Year.

This verse seems to be for you guys Psalm 71:
20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.
22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed.

I sense that Jesus is going to raise you up in a new and miraculous way, comforting those who have suffered in and out of the church. There will be a great deal of praising and rejoicing in the Beacon Church, with much to thank God for.