One of the most challenging decisions facing church planters is the selection of a venue. Churches must navigate the tensions of ambiance, accessibility and capacity. We spoke to three church leaders who have recently moved into new venues about their decision making process, unexpected wins and any advice they have for those considering a venue change.
Responses from Chris Knight in Auburn Washington; Iain Kennedy in Glasgow, Scotland and PJ Smyth in Washington DC.
This year Catalyst will be planting a new church into the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. In 2018 God spoke prophetically to leaders in the Catalyst team about church planting into towns and cities in the north of England, and Wakefield was the first place where He was clearly directing. Wakefield is a historic city of approximately one hundred thousand people, but the wider borough, which incorporates towns such as Pontefract and Castleford, makes it one of the UK’s larger cities with a population of over three hundred thousand. It is a fast growing city and has a large scale housebuilding project underway.
Last month hundreds of leaders from across the Newfrontiers family of churches gathered together for a day of prayer for the nation. The venue for the day was the wonderful Westminster Chapel, right in the heart of our capital. Westminster Chapel is now home base for Guy Miller who leads the Commission family of churches.
What was memorable about the day was the sense of togetherness, of being reunited with family from across the nation and the nations. Across the room you could see many happy reunions as we spotted friends and caught up on news!
Are there days in your life when you look around and wonder, “How did I get here?” Sitting in a brothel in Mumbai, India on January 22, worshipping Jesus with a room full of prostitutes led me [Carla Rogers] to exactly that question.
But let me back up.
On the first Sunday in December 2018, New Frontiers Church (Portsmouth) hosted “Freedom Sunday.” Speakers shared about the great injustice of human trafficking in the world and the Dressember movement. I spoke specifically to the issue of sex trafficking of women from Nepal to India and told the story of a Nepali couple named James and Sylve, who have been ministering to sex trafficked women in Mumbai since 2001.
We are happy to announce that our 2018 Advance Annual Review is now available.
Looking back on 2018, our faithful heavenly Father has outworked 1 Corinthians 3.6-9 amongst us:
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow… … For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Photo Credit: Michael O’Brien of Miracle Photography
Andrew and Julie Greenhalgh have been members of Jubilee Church Wirral since moving to Wirral in December 2004. They are Life Group and youth leaders at Jubilee and in the next few months are moving with their four children (Benjy, 17, Elizabeth, 13, Eva, 10 and Sammy, 8) to Kitwe in Zambia to work on a new primary school, a street-feeding project and two orphanages.
We are excited to announce that the entire Advance conference recording archive is now available in your favorite podcast app.
The archive includes recordings from the earliest Advance gatherings, including Global conferences and continental gatherings. There are even recordings from a number of hub events and training seminars.
We wanted to start a series of articles which focussed in on some social action projects which are going on in our nation. Many of these will have been launched by from churches who are part of ChristCentral, others will be of interest because of the sort of work they are doing or the sort of business they are modelling. You can find more articles in this series here. If you would like to see your project featured click here to find out more.
UNREACHED is becoming our annual connection moment in the UK for people with an interest in cross-cultural church planting, especially in dangerous, exciting and pioneering places.
As Catalyst, we are an international family of churches. But because a lot of the places where we are working are risky, we can’t share a lot of news online. The problem is, a lot of the most remarkable stories come from those places. So how can you hear these stories? Come to Unreached19.
Following on from our first ever Leadership Conference two years ago, we are returning to Milton Keynes for this year’s Conference from 21st-22nd June 2019. It’s two days of leadership training, workshops and worship to help you embrace a fresh vision for God’s Kingdom, for those leading both in the workplace and in the church. Our theme this year is ‘Wells not walls’, where we’ll be looking at how to live and thrive in a post-Christian culture, and we are going to be joined by three fantastic speakers for our main sessions. Here’s a bit about each of them: