We are starting the process of renewing our Mission Action Plan. This is a document that states our vision of what we hope we are as a church, says where we hope to be going and sets out some priority actions that we will be taking. In 2016 we said in our MAP that:
“We aim to be a friendly, open-minded church, serving Salford and Manchester City Centre. Here since 1635, we hope to continue to be an uplifting, loving, transformative and sometimes surprising presence in our community.
Our values are: Inclusive, Community, Concerned for justice, Loving, Christ-likeness, Contemplative, Creativity, Mission-focussed, Open to the spirit, Generous, Radical.”
We probably don’t want to change these completely but might want to be a little more succinct. We have made quite a bit of progress on most of our priorities but not all of them. The time has come to freshen up what we’re doing. We are a lively but small church that could be having a bigger impact on our community. Many new people move into our area every week, how can we share the love of God with them? How can we better promote the church and grow stronger ourselves so that we become a more effective Christian presence at the heart of this community?
On Sunday 14th October after our service we will discuss these questions and more. We will decide on our new vision and priorities. We will also have a shared lunch!
Between now and then we hope that people will pray and think about these issues. There will be various ways to share your thoughts and ideas. But first let’s start with prayer.
We will have a clear vision;
We will understand those we seek to serve;
We will be able to share the love of God effectively with those around us;
We will grow.
Jesus put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’
He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’
A Mission Action Planning Prayer
God of Mission
who alone brings growth to your Church
send your Holy Spirit to give:
vision to our planning;
wisdom to our actions;
and power to our witness.
Help your church to grow in numbers;
in spiritual commitment to you;
and in service to your world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen