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All Saints Weston Vision 2018

A Church on the Way

Imagine a community of people from every generation and every background following Jesus. Committed to growing and being transformed by him. Continually being filled by God’s Holy Spirit, going into their communities and lovingly sharing Jesus in actions and words. This is the kind of church family that we want to become. We have not arrived yet, but we are a church on the way.

Vision Way Signs

Below is an introduction to our vision to be A Church on the Way, or listen to the Mark talk introduce the vision to the church at the end of this document.

Following

Jesus said: “I am the way the truth and the life”. We are people who are following the way of Jesus. Through his death and resurrection we have life and Jesus gives us access to God, our Father. The foundation for this understanding is the bible. A Church on the Way means that we will fix our gaze on Jesus in everything we do.

Growing

Jesus' first followers were called disciples. Being a disciple is more than learning an idea or set of teachings. Jesus' disciples would be with him and follow him all the time. They where constantly growing and learning to walk with him.

One of Jesus' last instructions was for his followers to “go and make disciples”. When we decide to follow Jesus we are included as his disciples. We begin a life long journey of growing in love for God and being transformed so that we love others. As followers of Jesus, growing as disciples and making disciples is central to what we do. We are a community that is growing up, growing together and growing in numbers.

To make disciples means inviting people to follow Jesus, establishing them in their faith and equipping them for works of service in every sphere of life.

A Church on the Way means that making disciples is central to all we do.

Going

Jesus told his disciples: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”. The commission that Jesus has given us is not one that we do alone. But rather we have a co-mission1. He chooses to fill us and partner with us by the power of his Holy Spirit. We do not carry empty words and ideas, but rather the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. This is crucial in sharing faith with a generation who often need to experience Jesus before they believe in him. Following the way of Jesus means that we will grow in love for God and our neighbours. We will become more engaged with our communities, acting justly and loving mercy2.

There are about 7000 people who live in the village of Weston, Bath. People from every walk of life, rich and poor, young and old. But our co-mission has an even broader reach as many of the church family live in the wider area of the city of Bath and beyond. As we step out, we trust that Jesus will add to our number and grow this community of followers. A helpful starting point would be to think about All Saints Church growing to be a community of about 750+ people. It could look like an average Sunday attendance of:

  • 150 at the 9am
  • 350 at the 11am
  • 250 at the 6.30pm
  • Plus Salt and midweek services

Our co-mission is to reach all people with the good news about Jesus. He has sent us to all nations and he died for all people. So we need to get ready to grow.

A Church on the Way means being in co-mission with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Church on the Way: following Jesus and making disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit.

First Steps: Making The Way Clear

Over the coming months we are going to develop a program of discipleship called The Way. We want to make sure that all generations are resourced to follow Jesus in every aspect of their life.

The Way will have three parts; inviting people to follow Jesus, establishing them in faith (growing) and equipping them for works of service (going). Most of these things will not be new. By grouping them together we hope to make the way clear so that everyone can grow as disciples of Jesus.

To prioritise making disciples like this we will need to change our structures and our thinking. This includes worship and prayer, our co-mission, youth and children’s work, pastoral work, buildings, and lastly our communications and administration. A Church on the Way means that we will make the way clear for everyone to grow as disciples of Jesus.

First Steps: Start here

Jesus says: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth”.

In the past we could have assumed that our starting point was only our geographical neighbourhood. Today we have to include neighbourhoods, networks and show hospitality to those who are passing through.

Networks: Over the last 100 years our culture and communities have undergone many radical shifts. Social media and secularism provide challenges and opportunities. Our neighbourhoods have expanded beyond the visible to include social, web based networks. As followers of Jesus we need to learn these languages and be witnesses in these networks.

Hospitality: All Saints Church has many people that by pass the doors of the our building. Located on the Cotswold Way, the grounds are frequented by many in the community and the RUH is just down the road. The church yard is already used as a place of recreation and rest. Our challenge is to make the building and the community a place of hospitality to all who pass through. The plans for the physical building are already well developed. The plan for how we grow in hospitality as a community are in the extended version of this vision. It will include ensuring our Sunday welcome is excellent and that we both host and engage with those around us.

A Church on the Way means that we will be relevant witnesses in our neighbourhoods, networks and show hospitality to those who are passing through.

A Church on the Way: following Jesus and making disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Talks

Mark introduces A Church on the Way

30/09/2018
Mark Searle talks about the final habit in the vision. (11am)
Mark Searle
23/09/2018
Mark Searle talks about the next two habits in the vision. (6.30pm)
Mark Searle
16/09/2018
Mark Searle talks about the first two habits in the vision. (11am)
Mark Searle
09/09/2018
Mark Searle talks about the new vision for the church. (11am)
Mark Searle

  1. Matthew 28:16-20 is often referred to as Jesus great commission. The danger is that we go and do what he has asked but that we forget that he has said that he will go with us. A Church on the Way adopts the phrase co-mission to emphasis that we work with the Holy Spirit. ??
  2. Micah 6:8 ??