It was great to have Jeremy Noles from St Lukes church on Highwoods come to speak to us at our monthly all-together gathering at Victory Hall.
Jeremy shared his own story old of leading St Lukes over the last few years. He took over a good strong church, planted by a successful church, with a great building, less than mile away from where St Lukes meet, in a community centre.
Jeremy felt that God wanted to take St Lukes down the route of establishing missional communities in place of the cell structure of small groups. Each missional community would have a 3 fold emphasis of UP, IN and OUT.It is the OUT that is often the missing ingredient. One model that they came across was of church being like a life boat which could save people rather than a cruise ship which was enjoyable to travel on but ill equipped to rescue those who were drowning.
After much prayer, teaching and discussion, the existing cell structure was shut down and people were realeased into new missional communities.
At our meeting Jeremy was joined by Janine, Tim and Gillian who are involved in leading some of the missional communities. Each missional community has a name, so we had the Oak Tree Coffee House community, LOL and Calendar girls represented.
There are also missional communities called Men Behaving Boldly, an art group, a messy church Alpha and the Js.
It was great to hear from Janine, Tim and Gillian about how natural their groups felt to lead and be part of . They are doing activities that they enjoy, with people they enjoy being with and it seema normal to invite people to events linked to their existing passions and interests as opposed to a “cell”.
It was so encouraging to hear from a church very a similar background and age to our own, who are on a similar journey.
From discussions afterwards it was clear that the visit had stimulated some new ideas and creativity.