January 7, 2013

Midland Church Plant: The Countdown is On

Midland Providence Church plant has been flying under the radar for the past year, but from the start of the new school term we go “public” so to speak, or to speak in another way, we start our “hard launch”, or to be even more accurate, we’ve decided to shift to a public meeting in a building every Sunday morning with a bloke up the front doing, among other things, Bible teaching.  (Sounds radical and out there for a church plant eh? – emergent Ed.)

So how did we come to this momentous decision?  Well, a number of things, the primary one being that Midland does not have what we believe it needs: A Jesus-focused, Bible teaching, evangelistically-oriented church plant in its centre (none that has lasted anyway).  We don’t claim to be amazing at anything, but we have been called to be faithful to at least those three; Jesus, the Bible and evangelism.

Now those who know me well may well be wondering what happened to the funky, inner urban, missional community Steve who, as soon as you would turn your back, would plant a church in your front room (Yes, what did happen to that bald, but still rather dynamic and resourceful looking man? – Ed). He’s still there, lurking around, but he’s realised that Midland is not the place that such a model is going to work so well. Our core team is committed to evangelism, both the “long term low key relational” so beloved of MC style churches, and the door-to-door evangelism so beloved of, err, nobody.   You see, we’re not sold on any one model, we’re sold on Jesus, and whatever enables the most people in the biggest area to hear about him.

Speaking of areas, the building we have is great – a local sports complex that is modern, well maintained and well resourced.  A real safe building that the community uses.  However it is adjacent to THE most problematic suburb in the whole Midland area. Problematic? you say, How problematic?  Well, a great gospel guy in our area is a paramedic.  He says its the most called out to area in the region, and he finds himself dealing on a regular basis with the unholy trinity of social problems: Domestic Violence, Drug Overdose and Punch Ups.  It’s our next target for foo-to-door as well, so here’s hoping the paramedics aren’t called out to broken noses and New Testaments in eye sockets among yours truly. Still, if God’s Spirit is going before us, then if we knock enough doors, there might just be a mum with a black eye, or a young person with no job, or a just-retrenched bloke who might be ready to hear some good news.

So if you feel like praying….

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There is no guarantee that Jesus will return in our desired timeframe. Yet we have no reason to be anxious, because even if the timeframe is not guaranteed, the outcome is! We don’t have to waste energy being anxious; we can put it to better use.

Stephen McAlpine – futureproof

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