Burnley and Pendle Looking Forward
A new beginning for Methodists
in Burnley and Pendle
Fellowship and a sharing of ideas for the way forward in our new circuit.
Tuesday July 4th Group Reports
New and effective ways to outreach to our neighbours.
Ditching what doesn’t work to try something new including connecting with young/younger people.
Worship that connects and inspires.
How we improve our buildings but more especially our image in the community.
Churches should stand out - be obvious what they are and what they stand for.
Large clear windows so that people can see what is happening inside.
Have large notice boards so that people can see what is going on. Electric notice boards.
Plenty of parking spaces.
Need to have a wide open door - every day of the week if possible.
For the image of the church -
modern building to attract young people.
Adaptable building for different kinds of worship.
Church to be hub of community.
Need to build our image by all means available - social media- internet - facebook etc
Should we be looking to replace current buildings with new one - warehouse maybe.
Just a thought - do we need buildings - when we want to meet we could hire somewhere suitable?
Deepening discipleship especially among those on the fringe.
At the opening of the “Deepening Discipleship” discussion, a helpful analogy was suggested with music. People begin to play an instrument, but are likely to give up after a while unless they reach a point at which making music becomes an important, meaningful and pleasurable part of their living. Can we help people who begin to explore the gospel message to reach a similar point?
We reflected on how we need to recognise need around us, and also to recognise our own gifts. We must be ready to encourage the use of the Bible, and to speak about the difference Jesus makes to living.
It was suggested that we would do well to identify people who can support others with common characteristics – so that our witness will be, for example, age-appropriate and culturally appropriate. There is a gap to be bridged between our congregations and the people on the fringe who we hope to encourage to look further into the gospel. When people join us to explore, they need to feel fully accepted – which means we often need to be prepared to change. People respond when they feel that commitment is whole-hearted, and that people are genuinely interested in them (research was quoted which suggested that young people were most likely to “stick” if they related to several people in a group who they felt cared about them).
It is important to look for and welcome comments and questions – and we need to create the spaces in which questions can be asked. Home groups continue to be valuable in this context. Building trust is important, and we must never stop trying to engage people and caring for them.
Several local examples were given of practices which have a role to play in deepening discipleship, often involving the work of a particular church leader. However, this is an aspect of the life of the church in which we can all be involved.
Reports will be added as they become available
- Circuit Office, Central Methodist Church
- Hargreaves Street
- BB11 1DU