The following is a submission to our denominational prayer letter and will be published shortly. However, I thought I should publish it more widely. Is there anyone else who is willing to consider this ‘Macedonian’/Silhillian call?
There is much to give thanks to God for as we seek to plant a church here in Solihull: a growing congregation (averaging 22 over the last couple of months), and people responding positively to the ministry of the Word. However, there is one matter that has been on our minds and in our prayers for some time, which we have mentioned before, but about which we have seen little movement. It is the gathering of a core group to work with us.
Whatever method is used in church planting (parachute/pioneer, “strawberry plant”), a vital milestone is the gathering of a core group of people who are on Christ’s mission together in their locality. So for us, in addition to sharing our biblical and confessional values, three things are essential to be involved in the Solihull mission:
- to have some spiritual maturity,
- to have a shared sense of vision for the planting of churches in this part of the West Midlands,
- simply to be available (i.e. living locally, making time for prayer and work).
We continue to be on the lookout for such people who are already in the locality.
However, I want also to plant a thought in the minds of readers of this newsletter. Is there anyone reading who is willing to consider talking to us about moving to Solihull to join us in this mission? In suggesting this I am reminded of Ernest Shackleton’s (perhaps apocryphal) advert in a London Newspaper in preparation for an Antarctic expedition:
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.
In Solihull, like Shackleton, we can guarantee no benefits, only the hard slog of church planting with the prospect of “Well done, good and faithful servant” from the Lord Jesus at the end. Core group people need to be content with that.
Will you please pray that God would give us such people, and also whether or not you are such a person that God is calling to Solihull?