Friday, 6 June 2008

SMC Changing... some FAQ's (frequently asked questions)

What is the plan?

  • During the Summer of 2008 reoccupy and resettle the SMC Centre/Hall.
  • During the Autumn 2008 begin to focus on two main organised worship gatherings with children's work, worship, teaching and ministry per month.
  • The intervening times we will begin to explore, envision and develop MSC's (medium-sized/mission-shaped communities).
  • We will seek to appoint a Pioneer Leader to work especially amongst children and tweenagers from September 2008.
Here are some of the things I would say in answer to questions that people may find they don’t always get time to ask/reflect on regarding what we are doing/developing at SMC...
Why don’t we just continue to do what we are already doing?

  • there is a town to call back to God and generations of people (especially younger people/children) who are open to God
  • what we do at present is good but not missionary - we are able to do UP and IN to some extent but we are less effective at doing OUT.
  • our focus is primarily Sunday based and service orientated – designed to attract people but in a limited way
  • we are finding it hard to resource a Sunday by Sunday service pattern and don't want maintaining a Sunday event to be the be-all and end-all of SMC
  • we don’t want to grow on the back of transferring Christians from one church to another
  • 24/7 discipleship is not being promoted and encouraged adequately
  • it seems that the loss of identifiable church buildings has positioned us to do a new thing and take advantage of a new and unusual opportunity
Why MSC’s?

  • because this medium-sized grouping enables us to be large enough to compete but small enough to care
  • because MSC’s can be mission focused in a way that larger gatherings often can’t
  • because MSC’s offer a primarily social feel thus enabling a higher degree of participation and ability for people to belong on this level that they can’t on other levels
  • because MSC’s can be flexible and gather in all sorts of different types of places and ways
  • because MSC’s embrace what is best described as ‘biblical congregation’ – the kind of grouping that St Paul was setting up, teaching and serving e.g. Corinth
  • because the thing I have most often heard from the Lord as I have prayed regarding direction has been regarding being a tent community with a tent mentality - and MSC's have the potential to be such things

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