Making Room for Others
Twenty Three | Twenty Four
We want to join God in what he is doing
For over 6 months we have been experiencing some growing pains – outgrowing spaces, struggling with connectivity, becoming more organisationally complex.
These are all wonderful problems to have.
But we want to make sure we have room for whomever Jesus would send our way. So in preparation for this, we want to multiply ourselves in some ways, and prepare ourselves for the Lord’s multiplication in the future.
Below is an outline of what we shared at our recent Vision Sunday, with an invitation to participate in a special offering on Sunday 15th October.
Tom & Ashleigh
increasing pastoral care
As we’ve grown it has become apparent we are more pastorally stretched. Though we encourage much of our pastoral care to happen in our Communities – and it does – there are people who are being missed out.
To help us make room for incrased pastoral care, but also to help newcomers to identify with pastors other that Tom and Ashleigh, we are seeking to appoint 2 sets of Associate Pastors. We’re delight to be able to say that the first of these pastors are Andrew and Sarah Masson.
In due course, as the Lord makes clear, we’ll inform the church of the additional Associate Pastors.
making room midweek
DOT TO TOT
Dot to Tot is out midweek stay-and-play session for pre-schoolers. For over a year we’ve generously been able to use Raunds Methodist Church, but have outgrown the space. From September, Dot to tot is moving to Saxon Hall, for a little more space and increased car parking.
With this move comes an increase in costs (est. from £1,400 a year up to £3,000). We’ll be seeking some small amounts of funding to help with this cost.
Our youth have been gathering at Saxon Hall on Thursday for some time, but have outgrown the space that’s available. Alongside this, we’ve seen an increased number of “non-church” young people come along, which we love!
To help make room to grow, Youth in moving to Fridays from 7.30pm-9.00pm – with the first hour being a youth drop-in with games etc, and the last half an hour dedicated to exploring life with Jesus.
MAKING ROOM ON SUNDAYS
Since February 2023 (arguably November 2022) we have been struggling for room on Sunday mornings. We’re regularly having an attendance of around 130 people, which is wonderful. However, we have noticed a decrease in the number of newcomers feeling like there is space for them – we call this ‘stickability’.
Aside from overall attendance, we’re also having to cram 21 young people (plus leaders) in to the smallest room in the building, which really has become unsuitable!
from sunday 22nd october, our sundays gatherings
are moving to manor school
This move gives us greater capacity in the large meeting space, plenty of rooms and spaces for kids and youth, and also is a significant cost saving.
We do have some things we need to consider and invest in:
Improve Organisational Health
As we grow we become a more complex “organisation”. Church isn’t a business, or a social club – it is a people. But, we still need organisation! To help with this, we would like to:
Employ an administrator
As a church of around 210 people, we have two employees. Tom, who is employed full-time in the Senior Pastor role (whilst his wife Ashleigh is also “included in the package” as Senior Pastor), and Liz Harris, our Kids & Youth Pastor, who is employed 1 day per week.
As we grow, we need administrative help! We would like to find the right person who can take us forward.
To make this a reality, we need to work oun whether we can financially support the role. We are working with our Trustees to identify whether this is yet feasible and to then go forward with this aas we are able. We estimate that in the first year this role will cost £16,000 – with subsequent years in the region of £14,500.
Some of the reason for seeking somebody in this role, is that we need to…
Focus oN Leadership DevelopmenT
To plant churches in the Nene Valley, and beyond, which is our hope as we seek to make Jesus-shaped disciples who make disciples, who make disciples… we need to get good at developing leadership potential and character in people.
As we look to help on the administrative side, some of Tom’s role will shift to this task – how do we develop leaders well.
Our first step has begun – we’ve invited a number of people to take part in Vineyard Leadership Essentials – a first step/general leadership programme that spans 2 years.
Press in to prayer
We believe God cares for the Nene Valley. We believe God has plenty to do in our midst, in our families, our neighbourhoods, towns and beyond.
We want to press in to prayer. We’re starting as we are able – with a handful of small gatherings each week.
Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
Special offering - sunday 15th october
On Sunday 15th October we want to take a special offering for the year ahead. We know we need to buy a van as a priority, but otherwise this is to prepare for all the Lord has ahead for us. He is our provision.
But we want to call folks to prayerfully consider what they may bring. This is an additional offering to normal giving/tithes, so it really is up to each individual household to seek the Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”