It's been 6 months since we became a church, and to celebrate we took this Sunday to reflect on where we've been and where we're heading. You can listen to the talk here, but I wanted to jot down a bit of a list too for those who like to read and consider. #introvertsunite
In Matthew 7, to land the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to "build your house on the rock." As a church that is unashamedly pursuing Jesus, this is exactly what we have been trying to do. We don't want Central Vineyard to be a flash-in-the-pan – we want it to have longevity and health, and so we have spent the first part of this year digging particular foundations that this "Rock" would have us build on:
- We wanted to get back to the roots of what church is: a gathering of witnesses (rather than a service to attend).
- We wanted to be a church where everyone knows their own story is important and powerful. We continue to hear great stories every week as we have learned to keep asking people the question, "What's your story?"
- We wanted to be a church that would bless our city, so we have created our missional expressions together in collaboration. We have launched our first mission expression, Forward.
How is it all going? Well, pretty good actually. Our church has grown substantially over these first 6 months while still holding tightly to these foundational values we have wanted to live out. It's grown so much that we have moments of feeling like the structure we have in place around it all is a bit strained, so we have some exciting developments:
- We have been able to give Amber Osborn (operations administrator) and Emma Breetvelt (children and family ministry co-ordinator) small part-time salaries for their work in our church team.
- We have decided that having to finish our Sunday gatherings so promptly at 11:30am (due to having to pack up and hand over to the next hall booking) is now robbing us of moments with God and with each other, so we are prayerfully looking for a new building premises.
- We are seeing the fulfilment of several prophetic words that have been given to us over the last two years.
Where to next? Well we want another foundation at Central Vineyard to be that everyone knows they are gifted by the Holy Spirit to contribute, bless and play their part in what God is doing. So we have a new journey ahead which is called "Gifted", a series that will explore what it is to be natural, ordinary people of a supernatural, extraordinary God.
Just a note on this; on Sunday we opened up some space for people to listen to God at the end of our gathering and several words were given and emailed in afterwards – it seems our series has already begun!
Watching the church that was in our hearts for the last couple of years form into the Central Vineyard we have today is one of the most exciting things I have ever had the privilege of seeing in my life. Gab and I love where this is all going and we will continue to prayerfully go wherever God's presence is leading us as a family, and keep our hand to digging good foundations for the future.