I love the Church at Anna & I are part of – St Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia in Sheffield, UK www.stthomaschurch.org.uk
It is a unique, beautful and diverse church made up of wonderful, passionate, deep, missional people. It looks to be a ‘family of communities’. What do I mean by that?
We have gatherings where we all come together to worship, hear God’s word, celebrate as a huge family – there are incredibly special times. We also have the missional impulse and desire to live out, as a ‘sent’ people, the Good News of the gospel in our city. The church is therefore made up of many incarnational missional communities (around 20-30 people) who desire to live life together where they grow in their faith, deepen Christian community and seek to be Good news to people who don’t know Jesus yet – either in their neighbourhood or network (people group or interest group).
Some of the stories and principles are on our website www.missionalcommunities.co.uk
Instead of being ‘EITHER/OR’ – large, gathered and attractional OR small, organic & missional, we look to be BOTH/AND…………
I am reading a great book at the moment called ‘AND’ by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay – they are on a similar journey and describe it beautifully. I will leave you with their words….
“We’re sort of a hybrid. We have a missionary thrust that forces us out of the church walls into a network of incarnational communities, but we also deeply value our collertive calling, our corporate essence, and our consistant large gatherings”