The Church (UK)

The Church was planted where the parent church had died and focuses upon reaching the majority Caucasian population. “The Church prioritizes excellence in worship and in all other activities,” says planter & pastor, Jon Gendle.  

The Church advertises in the local cinemas, on billboards and through newsletters – with the invitation, “Come and See”. It is upfront about the priority to build an authentic worshipping group – inviting people to experience a quality worship experience. They involve themselves in community projects and needs, but want people to first and foremost see them as people who worship God. 

As part of this approach, The Church has a developing Discipleship Track as an integrated part of their life. This includes entry and enquiry classes –

 

  • Café Alpha Express (their primary outreach course, focusing on basic Christianity),
  • CrossTalk (small group discussion times),
  • Welcome to The Church (which provides an introduction to the local church, its mission, vision and values) and
  • Reason to Believe 101 (derived from an American course that discusses basic Christian doctrines & introduces Adventist distinctive understandings.

Disciciple classes for believers are taught on Saturday afternoons or midweek, and these include –

  • Network Revised – from Willow Creek Church, for spiritual gifts discovery
  • Evangelism 101 – combining elements from many relational evangelism courses
  • Freedom in Christ – enabling disciples to gain new spiritual heights
  • Reason to Believe 201 – looking at deeper prophetic understandings
  • Reason to Believe 202 – looking at particular Adventist doctrinal distinctives
  • How 2 live with Jesus – equipping the new believer in practical aspects of belief.

"The past year has seen the addition of new prayer and pastoral ministries, LifeShapers and LifeSharers respectively," Jon says.

 

Attendance at The Church is now 20 to 30 – with a healthy level of involvement and giving.  "We have no doubt that God is leading us in what we do and that He is gathering a worshipping group with all the gifts that He requires for the work He will reveal to us," Jon says.

 

The Church seeks the leading of God to find new expressions and involves all. Their biblical mandate is: “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible … I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor 9:19, 22)

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