Thursday, October 25, 2007

The church we see

Hello again after a 3 week break! No seriously the last 3 weeks with the CAP conference, the Willow Creek conference and the handover from Ben to me have been so busy that I've barely found time to read my email, let alone write any blog entries! Anyway, with all that now in the past I'll hopefully carve out a bit more time to update anyone who may be interested with my thoughts here.

On Sunday I spoke on the process I want us to go through over the next 6 months, agreeing a set of statements on "The church we see". The intention is that these will outline the vision for what we feel God wants our church to become over the next few years. On Sunday I went through a list of statements we came up with amongst some of the ministry team members who happened to be in the office at the time (not a very scientific process I know!). Over the next few months I'd like us to refine these statements, remove any which we don't feel apply to us and add any extras. I've already had a load of very positive comments and ideas for additions / changes which is great. My aim is to try and meet with every housegroup and ministry group over the next 6 months so we can all have our input. Once we've done that then we'll have the statements made into a huge display in the reception area as well as putting a copy in every meeting room, so that we are constantly reminded of the vision of where we are going.

So here is the first draft of the statements. Let me know what you think by emailing me, adding a comment to the blog (which always encourages me as then I know at least one person is reading it!) or bringing your comment up at one of the meetings over the next six months.

Thanks for reading,



The Church we see

Is a church of thousands, so large that its influence stretches throughout the nation.

Is a church that reaches up to God with extravagant, heartfelt, life giving worship, birthing songs that are sung throughout the nations.

Is a church that reaches out with practical demonstrations of the love of Christ, locally, nationally and internationally, such that it would be missed in society if it ceased to exist.

Is a church that so effectively reaches out with the life changing news of the new life that is offered in Jesus that every day people are being saved and added to their number.

Is a church where we learn to laugh, cry, grow great friendships and do life together, and where ‘fine’ isn’t an acceptable answer to the question “how are you”.

Is a church where people are discipled to understand who they are, and whose they are, in Christ, to fulfil their God given potential and live life in all its abundance.

Is a church where we grow first class leaders who will take the lead in the worlds of politics, economics, business, media, the creative arts, education, sports and the church.

Is a church where people can come as they are, which is not a refuge from the world but a refuge for the world.

Is a church that embraces young and old, rich and poor, men and women, people from all nations in one family under one head, Jesus Christ.

Is a church marked out by its creativity and relevance, which uses the internet and other means of communication to gets its message to the nations.


Aham Igbokwe said...

Dear Simon,
Congratulations at your ascension to the coveted position of Senior Pastor, Bracknell family church.

My family and I use to visit in 2005... then moved on, and are happy to return at the church events of Sunday 14th/10/07.

I am particularly elated at your vision delivery of "The Church we see" and wish to commend the overall vision outline (the Bible says 'where there is no vision the people perish). My humble surgestions would be to have/empower working groups to drive individual elements of the outlined vision - e.g. the 1st vision of a church of thousands could be driven by say evangelism working group; the one of where we learn to laugh driven by say a 'hospitality & relationship working group' etc.

In summary each element of the outlined vision should be the primary remit/responsibility of an identified/identifiable working group in the church - with the working-out of the overall vision dovetailing into the church hierarchy under your overseeing eyes!

The Church could also have annual 'vision week' to baseline and take stocks on where the realisation of the vision stands yearly.

I trust i have not taken more liberty of your time and goodwill in the circumstannces..?

Yours in HIM;
Aham Igbokwe

Simon Benham said...

Hi Aham,
Thanks for the comments which I really appreciate. I'm very keen that as many people as possible can have their input to the vision - breaking it down into individual groups looking at each section sounds like a good idea.
Hope you and your family are doing well.

Jacqui W-G said...

Hi Simon, We had a very stimulating discussion at housegroup around the draft statements that you have outlined. I found them to be a good reflection of where we are now, with aspirational elements included. There was the suggestion that we could include elements around the centrality of preaching and teaching the Word of God, and the importance of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit guiding us through prayer and the prophetic, making us distinctive and different from non-christian groups. I think this is an excellent start and so good to actually craft our own values that are forged by the vision and gifting of people who have been in BFC for many years. Well done!

jayman said...

yo.Simon J here.The Vison has our church family bussing.Great to hear that you are putting a team togeather that will see the Vison and the building happen...I would like to put a name into the building hat PHIL JONES..who just happens to be a man that coves 3 or 4 multi millon pound sites as a manager and porject directer..anyway my wife and I are fully in on the new Vison and you have our support.god bless and keep you and you family....J harwood

Simon Benham said...

Thanks for that Jacqui and Jay. There seems to be a real buy in to the idea of crafting our own vision which is great. I'm looking forward to kicking off the process of meeting with groups to discuss it in the New Year.