Part of the challenge of sending 50-70 people from Holy Trinity to a new church plant is that these people come from across 5 gatherings at the Trinity City campus, as well as from the Trinity Hills campus. Rather than all turn up together on February 21, and hoping it all works(!), we are planning to take as many of us away as possible for 16-18 October. Other than the 12 core team members, my hope is that the group at the weekend away will form the basis of the pioneer starting team for Trinity North East.
These are the things that I am looking forward to:
1. Hearing Paul Harrington open up 2 Peter and unpack how this letter applies to our church planting plans and dreams.
2. Having fun with people from across different ages and stages. For many people, being part of an all age gathering is part of the attraction of church planting … it certainly is for me!
3. Seeing people get exciting about the plans and possibilities for serving God’s people and our local community next year.
I need to get working on an advertising postcard for the launch of Trinity North East for February 21. The aim would be that it would be:
1. arresting (in the nicest possible way!)
2. attractive (so that people will want to read it!).
3. linked to the overall theme.
4. simple. On the front a single image and a short ‘tag-line’. On the back some basic details about dates/times/map etc.
The theme: because we are meeting in a hospital, I am going to preach on Luke 5 where Jesus says ‘it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick’.
Any brilliant ideas? Actually, any ideas at all… I will consider anything?!
I really like Steve Kryger’s list of ideas about how to engage with the local community. Here is his top 10:
1. Host a fair trade market (selling fair trade coffee, gifts, toys etc). Check out Tribes and Nations. My church hosts three or four per year. We also give away free cupcakes and fair trade coffee samples.
2. Host a free community lunch. My church runs one of these every 6-8 weeks, and between 20-40 from outside church will join us.
3. Get a decent website with quality, regularly updated content. Sure, this is my hobbyhorse, but people will check out your website once your church starts to gain a bigger presence. You don’t want your website to turn them off.
4. Run a fitness session in a local park with a personal trainer. My church be doing this as part of our 125-year anniversary celebrations later this month.
5. Hand out bacon and egg rolls to commuters on their way to the nearby train/tram station or bus stop.
6. Volunteer your church to doorknock for a charity (e.g. Red Shield Appeal).
7. Hold a church service outdoors (e.g. in a local park). This will make it easier for people to see what a church service is like, without the fear-factor of venturing into an unknown building.
8. Encourage the people in your church to participate in a ‘invite your neighbour to lunch’ Sunday.
9. Sign-up your church to Outreach Posters.
10. Send a media release to local media each time a new event is run. Read more…
Recently I have been reminded of our neglect of deliberate one-to-one Bible reading. William Taylor, Rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, talked about reading the Bible with six people each week: 2 non-Christians, 2 young Christians and 2 potential leaders. Paul Dale, at Church by the Bridge in Sydney, similarly reads the Bible with a whole swag of people. The latest issue of the Briefing I got in the mail the other day also included a couple of articles on it.
I wonder if we have lost a key plank in fulfilling Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28 to ‘make disciples’ if we neglect one-to-one ministry. Most ministers and leaders that I have spoken recently, are honest that they have dropped the ball in one-to-one ministry. There are certainly plenty of catch-ups or pastoral chats, but not a whole lot of intentional one-to-one Bible studies going on.
My hunch is that we have placed a whole lot of energy into small groups ministry recently, to the expense of one-to-one ministry. Not that is should be an either/or issue. In fact, organizing one-to-ones is logistically a whole lot easier, albeit more threatening!
Now here are my questions. If I am correct about our failure in this area,
1. What do you think is the value of this kind of ministry? How have you benefited from it?
2. Is it worth re-thinking our commitment to this kind of ministry? If so, how would we make this part of the DNA at Trinity North East?
2. What sort of training and considerations are necessary for people to take up this ministry?
Connecting with people who don’t go to church is really why we are church planting. We aren’t too interested in shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, but actually introducing Jesus to people for the first time. This involves raising awareness in the community before our launch on Feb 21. Of course, there are any number of advertising strategies… radio ads, ads in newspapers, separate ads attached to local newspapers, flyers at bus stops etc etc. A key value for our advertising at Holy Trinity is doing quality advertising. In other words using a professional designer to make stuff look good. This means that people aren’t embarrassed when they invite their friends to something. But as I have been thinking about and looking around for interesting ideas for advertising postcards for churches, I haven’t come up with much. I thought this look like fun… but unfortunately it is a joke?! Anyone seen anything out there that is any good? Or things that you think are worth thinking about?