Have you noticed that we’re growing? Perhaps you’ve been around for a while and you’re welcoming a lot of new faces and helping them settle in. If that’s you – thanks for offering such a warm welcome to our many newcomers! Perhaps you are one of those new faces and you’re realising that a number of people you chat to are also fairly new too. If that’s you – we are delighted that you’ve joined us and we hope you’re settling in well! Our Belong events last week were a tangible expression of this growth, with 29 newcomers attending across the two meals.
Growth brings many joys, but it also brings change. Change to the ‘vibe’ at church, change to the way we seek to include one another, and the change where some things that used to just ‘happen’ become things we need to be intentional about. Here are two things that are good for us to think about:
Praying for each other:
One of the great strengths of our church community is our love for one another expressed in our prayers for each other. As we get bigger, we need to keep thinking about how we care well for one another, and especially newcomers. One way we can do that is by reserving Big Days at Brighton for those big milestone events of life that we can pray for without making a newcomer feel like they’re an outsider: a birthday, anniversary, or major event that directly impacts one of our church family. So, if you’ve got a more general prayer request or an ongoing need, please make use of the Contact Card (online or on paper) and that will inform the prayers of the Pastoral Care Team that meets weekly to pray for our church family. Our Growth Groups are the context where we walk the journey of life together week by week in both joys and sorrows. And join us at the 9am Prayer Gathering each Sunday to pray together for all kinds of concerns in our lives and for the wider world.
Getting to know each other:
In a small church it’s not that hard to get to know everyone over a cuppa after church – there just aren’t that many people to get around to! As we grow, this is something we want to be more intentional about. So, we’re thinking of good ways to keep building community and enjoying each other’s company and we’ll start putting dates for upcoming events in these weekly emails so you can mark them in your diary. Here are a few to get started:
- Wednesday July 26: CMS Winter Dinner. CMS puts on an outstanding ‘online dinner’ where we share a meal and they provide a great night of inspiration in global mission. Richard Shumack, who has years of experience serving among Muslim people, will be opening the Bible with us. We’ll also hear updates from Gospel Workers serving in various parts of the world – right from their living rooms! I’ll be hosting a relaxed bring-and-share dinner from 7pm in the Children’s Area at the Holdfast Bay Community Centre (the space our Minis group uses), so click here to let me know if you’d like to join me. More info here.
- Sunday August 13 and 27: Church family lunch and evangelism training. Engage Work Faith do wonderful work in helping Christians share their faith in life and at work. They’ve got some outstanding training in how to help your non-Christian colleagues and friends get curious about Jesus. August 13 and 27 we’ll share lunch together after church, then stick around for a super-helpful 1 hour seminar to skill up and grow in confidence.
- Sunday September 10: Belair Hike. A relaxed afternoon at Belair with a scenic walk at “kid-friendly” pace and coffee by the playground (with options for the more adventurous too). We’ll book in a café lunch option between church and Belair for those that want to make a day of it. This will be a great event to introduce your non-church friends to your church family, so feel free to invite them to join us.
God has been so kind to grow us in numbers, so let’s ask him to be kind and keep growing us in love, remembering that Jesus said that this is how the world will know that we belong to him!