After helpful contributions from many of our Church Family on what we feel God is saying to us at this time, we presented an overview of what you have been saying to us at our Annual General Meeting on Monday 21st March at Fordwater School.
There were also a number of prophetic words and pictures given by various people. These are being made available in full to guide us in our praying. The Leaders will gather all of this together in the next few weeks, and present our three year strategy.
Here is the outline:
Listening to God & Developing Strategy,
Immanuel Church, March 2016
Principles: What has God been saying to us about where we’ve been, where we are now and what he’d like us to look like/be?
Home and Identity
Inward and outward elements that potentially shape us.
Both are relevant.
Outward: The building!
Renovation, buying and managing are important to us.
Equally we should be careful not to get so caught up with the building that we lose our sense of community and Christ focus.
We shouldn’t be self conscious about the state of the chapel or apologetic.
Consider the story of Nehemiah and the principle of rebuilding
(relevant to inward and outward)
Inward: Building Spiritual Community. Identity is key!
Recognising our identity is important; we are a hospital church, good at welcoming and offering hospitality. We are recognised for being accepting and non-judgemental of newcomers.
We need to be well equipped for pastoring the broken and hurting.
We aspire to be a real worshiping and praying community.
We need to know we are loved by God.
We need to acknowledge that we have changed over the years and even in the past year.
Mission & Outreach
Where is our focus?
The local area of Winterbourne and Graylingwell is still a special focus
but don’t forget ‘Chapel Central’; being a resourcing and sending church too.
“Neighbourhood Pastors” – looking after the people on our street.
Also spokes of the bicycle wheel, resourcing those in communities where we live around Chichester.
BMO vs Parish Church.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of our church & the use of spiritual gifts are frequently mentioned.
Spiritual Warfare; understanding it and being equipped to deal with it.
The Leadership Team:
The importance of playing to their gifting not slotting them in to particular ministries.
Being more obviously present in the life of our church.
Practicalities: How are we going to work this out? How are we already resourcing some of these key principles?
Home and Identity
Making greater claim on weekday usage e.g. church office in the chapel.
Documenting all our weekday usage.
Writing articles for the CDT newsletter.
Continuing to develop open and effective relationships with the CDT. Committed to being at community events (Sat 16th April, First B’day of The Lodge, party and chapel open).
Not being defined by our past. The 27th Feb was a time of healing from the past and forgiveness with Bishop Richard for leaders and trustees. The conflict is a thing of the past.
Worshiping Community : investing in worship leaders.
Praying Community: invest in monthly prayer meeting. 24 hour prayer on Sat/sun 16th/17th April.
Hilary Ashley leading the Prayer Ministry Team who are meeting monthly for prayer and training. Enabling the team to be more organised and obvious during services.
Mission & Outreach
Neighbourhood pastors suggested
Spiritual gifts: encouragement at Lifegroup level.
Dave & Karen Williams coordinating Lifegroups.
SOAK on Saturday night at Church Weekend.
Monthly SOAK being developed by Paul Dickson and team and a positive and free place to use and explore the spiritual gifts, along with the monthly central prayer meeting.
Spiritual warfare: Freedom in Christ course to be piloted by the Prayer Ministry Team.
The Leadership Team
Badges on Sundays and greater involvement and presence on Sundays.