This year at Christ Church we have been thinking about how we grow. We have been helped in this by following a course called Leading Your Church into Growth. This has helped us to identify three areas where it is important to grow. We want to grow in our individual spiritual journeys, learning how to be followers of Jesus Christ; we want to grow in our impact on our local community, showing the love of Jesus Christ; and we want to grow in numbers, bringing more to know Jesus Christ for themselves.
There have been six meetings to which the whole church has been invited. Three took place in January/February with three in June/July. We have considered what we do as a church; how we make sure that we are inviting and welcoming, and what we could do better.
During the first three sessions, there was a lot of discussion and many excellent suggestions for improving our church life. Knowing that it is better to do a few things well, rather than attempt lots of things and do them half-heartedly, the PCC was set the tasks of choosing three priorities for the autumn. We came up with an ABC to set us off on this journey of growth.
A is for Alpha. In September we will start Alpha, a series of evenings looking at the basics of the Christian faith. We have run Alpha before, but not for some years. There will be an introductory taster session on Tuesday 12th September, and then main sessions will begin on 26th September. If this is something that may interest you, or you know someone who may want to come along, do speak to Revd. Mark James.
B is for Baptism. This year, we have been delighted to see an increase in the number of the families bringing their children to baptism at Christ Church. We want to ensure that we give them the best welcome and support that we can, so a group will be looking at how we do that.
C is for Communication. We have a great story to tell and we want to make sure that people hear it. So we’ll be reviewing all our communications, including this magazine, our notice sheets, our website, our use of social media and our noticeboards.
We have already thought a little bit about our Sunday Services. We will be reviewing the content, but you will start to see the services referred to in different ways.
I hope that you will be able to join in praying for our church. Perhaps you could use this prayer:
God of Mission,
who alone brings growth to your Church,
send your Holy Spirit to give
vision to our planning,
wisdom to our actions,
and power to our witness.
Help our church to grow in numbers,
in spiritual commitment to you,
and in service to our local community,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Revd. Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Interim Minister, St Thomas à Becket, Warblington with St James, Emsworth
Joint Area Dean, Havant
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC