Hello All Saints and friends,
Amy and I have been so encouraged in our first 10 days as the Pastoral team for All Saints. We have personally met (via zoom) around thirty-six of you and spent around 26 hours on zoom conferences with you all… it’s been a great run! Thank you for taking the time to welcome us, tell us your stories, and share your dreams for All Saints. There is a wealth, a veritable treasure trove of gifting, experience, passion, hunger and willingness to move forward into all the Lord has in his heart for us. We are eager to work among you and lead you into this next season of faithful and fruitfulness.
Of course, we currently find ourselves in an unparalleled time and the coming season will be wrought with uncertainty too. But I must say, I have never been so convinced that we are living at “Kairos” moment, a moment in time when God is near and the opportunity to enter the Kingdom more fully is tangible. The Lord is near, he is with us, in us, and for us. Jesus’ commitment to his church has never wavered – we will be a glorious Bride. This season, like every other season, has Kairos opportunities to cooperate with the Spirit’s work to make us more glorious, but given the current circumstance the Lord is forcefully pushing the accelerator in our time and we all know what that can feel like.
Over the last 4-6 years, All Saints and my previous congregation, Imago Dei, have had the opportunity to learn from missional practitioners from all over the world through 3DM, an equipping ministry started by Mike Breen, an Anglican priest from Sheffield England, where he pioneered a mid-size group concept, which he called a “Missional Community” you can read an accessible and brief introduction here. You may have even read our Bishop’s book, “Breakout” on the subject and his experience with pioneering this concept in the UK, which can be found here.
It is no mistake: that we began this work with 3DM six years ago; that many of us do not live in Amesbury but in surrounding communities; that there is such immense gifting in All Saints; that there is a hunger to reach out; that the Lord brought us a Bishop who understands missional communities and would support the multiplication across the diocese; and that we live at a time when the possibility gathering in groups over fifty, I believe is still a long way off. This is a Kairos moment.
I will be writing and preaching on the themes found in Acts 2:42-47: the life of community as “oikos” or household-size groups of 15-30 people; what it would look like for All Saints to live fully into what you already are by the grace of God as a family of families (oikos) on mission where prayer, care, discipleship and outreach find expression. I look forward to not just talking about this, but doing this with you all in the coming weeks and months – that we would see not just a “stop-gap” measure until we can all get together and “do church again,” but a missional movement born of those who were faithful to midwife it through the birth pains of COVID-19.
For Jesus and his Kingdom,