Offa Mission Area - Archive

Minutes of the Mission Area Meeting, 7.00pm Tuesday 3rd March held at Chirk Parish Hall - pdf

Rural Ministry

Jerry Marshall C E O Arthur Rank organisation, speaking to the Dee Valley Deanery Conference, in St Chad's Church, Hanmer, on Monday 14th September 2015.

The organisation provides resources for leadership training and rural mission, with a special interest in multi-church groupings. They have supported many new rural enterprises and provide training sessions for start-up rural businesses. They provide resources to help with community use of buildings and changes to buildings to enable wider use. Material is available on the Web under www.germinate.net

The future of our churches is collaborative (lay led with ordained ministry oversight), has a focus on discipleship, and is ecumenical. There is a model for leadership based on Jesus. Directive (Mark 1.15-18), Coaching (Luke 12.32-36), Consensus (John 15.12-17), and Delegating (Matthew 28.18-20). There must be willingness to take risks as Jesus did and try things. A good leader will spot the opportunities and use existing ideas and schemes. In preparing for action there will be 'Vision casting', which involves talking with those who are key influences and writing a 'one page plan'. It is important to work in partnership and to be a catalyst so that others take action. Get started and do persist as it will take longer than you initially think. Try to enjoy your new schemes. Do one audacious thing each year even though it is a bit scary to do so. And remember that people keep with leaders who are creative and fun.

In answer to a question about young people Jerry identified Messy Church and links with schools as his chosen way forward.

In answer to a question about ownership of vision Jerry saw a need to start locally and improve communication.

In answer to a question about farmers Jerry urged us to take an interest in the problems of farmers, become aware of their issues, and then be relevant with Plough Sunday type activity.

In answer to a question about villages without a school, a pub, or a shop Jerry suggested identifying one thing which can be a relevant initiative. Tackling loneliness in such a community could be one such need which could make 'Cafe Church' possible, and a 'Welcome Pack' a real community service.

Jerry ended by asking all to ponder three questions.
What is God doing in your community?
What could be a vision for your church?
What are you doing to move to that vision?

I hope that this imperfect summary from my notes taken at the meeting might remind those who were there of a few points and be of some help to those who could not get to the Conference. Bill