Towards Multisite: Advice from PJ Smyth.

Wed, 17/08/2011 - 13:10

Steve Boon brings us what we anticipate being the last blog post on how CCK has moved towards becoming a multisite church. In less than a month about 120 CCK members will be re-focusing on our new Shoreham site helping run their 2 week ‘dry launch’ Sundays before the doors open publicly on September 25th. That will leave the rest of us at the New England Site which is also re-launching on the 25th September. Then, just over 3 months later, New England will send yet another 100 members out with Stephen & Emma Dawson to the East Brighton Racecourse. We will get to pray into all this again at our September prayer nights on the 21st and 23rd, however a number of you really appreciated PJ Smyth’s message to us when he visited us last month, so it seemed fitting that we sign off with a few words of wisdom from him.

We need to look at what it means to be a Biblical Church and this means truly being a community on mission – we only need look to the Holy Trinity to see the perfect example of how community is done. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to make us a family, one community together and a missional people, but we do need to strike a balance between being a community and being on mission. The Biblical church didn’t find it easy - Jesus was forsaken and overlooked at his most crucial moment of mission. The reality is that there are difficulties when there is an emphasis on community as this can lead to frustrations of there being a glass ceiling of growth and leadership development. Equally, an emphasis on mission can lead to people feeling overlooked. In a time where the church is in a season of advance, the people most likely to feel neglected and undervalued are those who have been around in the church for a while. So what are the solutions here? Not to abandon the mission. We need to liken ourselves to an ambulance rather than a hospital – we give great care but we are always moving forward. Increase honesty. We need to be honest with each other and with our leaders. Make others aware if you’re struggling with anything or anyone and don’t just suffer in silence. Try to do this in good spirit but if you can’t, do it with a bad one - it’s important to be honest, and those that listen to you will respond graciously. Increase organisation. In a small church, too much organisation can be damaging to relationships but in a large church like CCK that’s going fast, too little organisation can be damaging. Increase number of leaders. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and in a church like ours, growth can be held back by a lack of leaders. God will only give the harvest when there are enough leaders to care for those He brings. A great strategy it to ‘treble it’ – for example, if you are a small group leader, choose two other people to take with you to Zone team meetings to train them up and get them committed – later on you’ll have leaders ready for when small groups multiply. It’s important to remember that mission creates community and community fuels mission. Increase responsibility – are we involved or committed? Think of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed! A good tip here is that when things are asked of you, just keep saying yes! Increase spirit. Be spirit-led in leading and pastoring people and when you think of someone who might need special care or encouragement, call or text them. Increase faith. Have faith for one another in Christ (Romans 15:14) and for the CCK mission and vision– when each individual has faith, it pleases and moves God. We also need to increase our faith into our giving, don’t excuse yourself as we each count. Increase hospitality. We must be hospitable in our spirit and in our homes.  Hospitality is huge in the Bible and is a requirement of us as Christians. It’s helpful to look at Church on Sunday like your lounge at home – you can relax and feel at home and welcome those who are new like old friends, give yourself completely to being loving and accepting. Increase playing to gifts. As we go multi-site it is especially important to maximise on what people are gifted in and use it well.

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