Earlier this week we successfully handed back the Missional House to the Diocese. This involved a considerable amount of effort from a lot of people. A big thank you to all who helped.
So, I wonder what we can learn from the Missional House? There are certainly a lot of lessons that we need to take on board for when we start the next one at some point in the hopefully not too distant future. Mainly on the ‘trellis’related aspects , for example; the setting up, the management, the monitoring, the feedback, and crucially our support of the Missional Team involved.
These four young men, just in their early twenties, have committed their lives to the service of God. Just stop and think about that for a moment. I think I might be forgiven if I admit to envying that commitment. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I, well perhaps I won’t go there just now, but suffice it to say that these young men have my respect, and they have earned it.
Look at Ben Biscoe, now on the other side of the world. Yes, he’s working in an affluent western democracy, but helping to catch souls as they fall through the safety net. Helping to pull them out of the spiral of drugs, gangs and despair. Look also at Joe Hemmings, closer to home, but committed to stepping up into sharing leadership roles at Highway Church. Both these young men are ministering to the needy and trying to live by tent making. There are some strong biblical precedents here. Joe May and Sam Williams also continue to evolve in their ministry roles. For all four there will have been invaluable lessons learned during the last 12months in the Missional House.
What about the work they have done for Bicester’s youth, and at Elmsbrook? I completely expect that in years to come each of them will feel numerous taps on their shoulders from influential Christians of the future, thanking them for the ministry they received from them whilst at the Missional House. They may not see the results of their work straight away, but as good and faithful servants, they will be rewarded when the time comes.
92% of Bicester’s population are unchurched. That’s over 30,000 people. The conventional model for the church needs to evolve or to be supplemented in some way to be made accessible and relevant to the 92%. The Missional House model is just one such method. Whatever the methods are that we adopt, we need to encourage young men and women to step out in faith. There is so much to do!
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:1-2)
Do we feel the urgency?
Let’s ask the Lord to help us to encourage, raise up and equip seventy-two more workers, then seventy-two more!