We've been saying this a fair bit lately, but because we are a church plant we can't say it enough: nearly everything we're doing is being created as we go.
It's with a huge sense of pride that I get to write this blog today to fill you all in on some of the latest things we have created together, as a result of our journey through Lights and Lampstands.
Firstly, together we have found what we are compassionate about
As a collective we got together, prayed and asked the question: "What are we compassionate about in our city?" As a result of the conversation and brainstorming that evening, we ended up with three areas:
- Local Poverty - this includes the homeless, the hungry, the rough sleepers and the isolated individuals of all ages in our city.
- Mental Health - the rising health issue in our culture and generation.
- Political Disengagement - this isn't about supporting a particular party, but the fact that people are apathetic in engaging with their local government, politicians and voting.
Secondly, we found some missional expressions
"Faith without deeds is dead" taunts James in his New Testament letter, and so it is with being a lampstand in this city. Just being compassionate is not enough, it must move us to action. And so here are the things we are going to start doing as a result of those three areas of compassion:
- A collective "pass it on" rhythm - we want to support the various agencies and groups that are already doing a great job working with local poverty in our city, so at Central Vineyard we are going to start a monthly collection where we collect the suitable items for a certain group and then "pass it on" to them.
- A conversation at ANI - we want to discuss with the school about how they are seeing to the mental wellbeing of the students and ask what we could do to serve them to improve mental health in the school.
- Begin meeting local government - we want to start to introduce ourselves and meet with the local government around us and ask how we can serve the areas of brokenness they see in the city that they are trying to address.
There are more ideas than that too, but this is where we are starting for now...
Thirdly, now it needs you
Being a part of Central Vineyard means you play your part in serving our city. These expressions will just be invisible ideas unless people embody them and get them activated. So here's what we would love you to do:
- Pray and read through that list again.
- Ask Jesus to show you which you have compassion towards.
- Get amongst it as these expressions start to get started.
We're so excited to be able to articulate the expressions we are starting to live towards, and we want to express a big "thank you" to those who came to the Light and Lampstands evenings to help us discover all of this – we could't have done it without you!