The kids were excited by the sight of a policeman on their walk to school this morning. As they walked past Rach realised that the whole street on our corner had been cordoned off. It was open last night when Rach had been along there to pick up some tea from the chip shop - so something must have happened over night.
We want to share with you some of what we have been thinking through as a launch team. The first question I wanted to answer at our first ever launch team meeting was: ‘What is Church?’ Now - happily - no one in the launch team was actually asking this question! But really - isn’t this a question we should be continually asking, and making sure we have clear in our minds? What is church? What is our mission? Who are we, what are we meant to be doing?
It has been a while since I updated the blog, and I know you have been on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about what’s been going on! If that is the case… let me remind you that the best way to get regular updates is to sign up to receive our monthly prayer letter (you can do that here). We make sure this goes out every month, and it is often much more detailed than we’re able to be on the website.
But for now let me catch you up a bit…
If you get our prayer letter (sign up here) you know who Viv and Alex are… if not - let me introduce you to them!
Viv and Alex have been members at the Worthing Tab (our sending church) for the past 5 years where they have served in a number of roles and capacities. As a couple they have been involved with the youth work, toddler group, mums bible study and leading a weekly home group together - and now they’re coming to Halifax with us!
This week I have had a couple of people ask “what do you mean by being culturally relevant?”. It’s a good question. For some the concern in such a phrase is that the church will be weak on certain things for the sake of not offending the culture. I understand this concern! You need only look around briefly to see churches that have compromised, whether it be on their stance on certain sins, the exclusivity of Christ as the way to God, or even a dismissal of certain essential elements of worship.
We’ve been a bit quiet over here the past week at Plant Halifax, that’s because we’ve been away on a study/retreat week in Shropshire. Rach, myself and the children have been at Jesus at the Centre - a week of teaching and fellowship with other ministers and church leaders. We have been massively blessed by it. We made new friends, shared hardships and points for praise, prayed with people and heard about their churches; we had fun with the children and relaxed as a family; and most importantly we were refreshed by the ministry of the Word.
Jesus said to his disciples, “where your treasure is, there you heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). At the moment as we prepare to leave sunny Worthing with its sparkly blue coastline, all the friends we’ve made in the past four years, a house I love living in, and a church that I love, I have to ask myself: where is my treasure, and therefore my heart, right now?
Last week felt like a big deal. Simply trying to distill this vision for Halifax into a website felt hard enough (and even now as I look at the site, there's things I want to add), but how would people respond? Putting it out there felt exciting! Sharing something of what we believe God is calling us to with our friends and the world - thats exciting! Sharing plans for the proclamation of the gospel - thats exciting! Sharing with people some of the encouragements that we've already received from friends and church leaders in our lives - thats exciting... but what if no one else is interested...
Thanks for stopping by the blog. I'm hoping to keep this fairly regularly updated with how things are progressing and what we're up to. I'll also be sharing thoughts about church, church planting, evangelism and theology - if any of that is your cup of tea.
The voice you will most regularly hear on here will be mine (Doug), but I'm also hoping that Rachael might blog from time to time - she's much more interesting.
Anyway - welcome to the blog, please keep in touch with us! We'd really like this to be a two way conversation on here, either comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bye for now,