Not gonna lie my blogging has been lacking somewhat and many have started to question whether am I still in youth work and one reader even dared to ask if I am still alive ...
Well the fact that I am typing this I guess answers some of that question!
Truth is I have been busy with a blank canvass and as you budding artists out there will know this presents both a sense of excitement, expectation and hope and yet also a real sense of uncertainty, fear and potential for failure. Starting officially in my new role as Children, Youth and Families Pastor has been a rollercoaster mixture of all of those said emotions. With no youth work to inherit and a mid week children's group with no leaders to sustain it we have taken these last 6 months to start to pray, shape and redefine the values and vision to what it is we are seeking to achieve as a Church family.
Firstly we have put in place a new junior Church and crèche teaching plan. This sees all our younger members of the congregation studying the same biblical scripture as the adults in the congregation each week. Encouraging a shared learning opportunity and hopefully building conversational bridges across the age divide of the Church. Like many Churches we have a thriving ministry amongst the older generation as well as a growing number of young families with the gap inbetween the two seemingly widening before our very eyes. Studying the book of Daniel over this last term in this shared way has started to build the foundations of the bridge between the two. Feeling strongly the desire to be a cohesive Church we look forward to continuing to study the word in this pattern and will be journeying through the Armour of God together in the Autumn term.
Secondly, building on the desire to be cohesive we birthed a new youth club with the age range of 0 - 90 years old, yep that's right, anyone can come! Thursday nights we pull out the table tennis, the table football, the pool table and all the regular trappings of a youth group but we have lifted the age restrictions. The whole church (and their friends) are invited to join us for the evening, sharing in a simple meal together, in the experience of playing games and building relationships that are intentionally intergenerational. The onus is on the whole church to disciple and mentor the younger, or newer, members of the faith and for intimate relationships of this nature to be born out of a place of natural social connection considered by Searchy and Thomas. We hadn't intended to birth this, as with all God breathed plans it kinda just happened and we are simply riding the wave the spirit seems to be leading us on. In the first few weeks over 75 different church members have attended and we are set to build on this with some creative Messy Church style parties to celebrate key festivals. The primary focus of this is not outreach however outreach has already occurred and we expect it to be a by product of as a greater sense of unity and deeper sense of family is built.
So that's what I have been upto, its been a whole heap of praying, lots of thought showering, tons of prepping and masses of relationship investments. What about you? What have you been upto? What does your canvass currently contain? What are you reshaping or adding to? Or perhaps even rubbing out?