It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for all sorts of reasons and in terms of the ministry we’ve had some setbacks and encouragements. two weeks ago, one of the members of our already-small core team decided to pull out of the ministry. I’m not going to go into the reasons here but it left me wondering what the best way forward might be. I guess shouldn’t be surprised – it is fairly common for new church plants to lose most of their founding members after the first few years. Sometimes it’s down to different expectations, sometimes new plants attract the sort of people who are often quickly disillusioned with church. Still, with only 6 adults on the core team, losing one who had contributed some valuable things was a bit of a blow.
However, a few days later we had some encouragement. Of the five remaining adults on the team, all of us have young children. One couple has just had a baby and the wife is on maternity leave before returning to work part time next year. Another lady who has a 22 month old is pregnant again, and will be on maternity leave from November. And we have an 18 month old boy and my wife is not currently working.
The result is that all of us, except a working dad, are free in the week for at least a couple of days a week, and will be for the forseeable future. The centre of gravity has shifted to the day, so we thought we would concentrate on what we are strong on. My wife was meeting with one of the mums in the group for midweek bible study, and now they have been joined my the new mum. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to open up this bible study to others on the estate, and to offer a ‘talking point*’ style group on another morning of the week. We’ve already had a lady from across the road indicate she’d like to come to the bible study and she’d like to bring a friend to the talking point. We’re hugely encouraged by this and it gives us as a team a focus on mums and babies – something we can do in our current state whilst we are still small.
*Talking Point is a morning for new mums to come together over coffee and cake and discuss their experiences of motherhood. Sometimes there is a health visitor or other child-based professional on had to chat and take questions. It has run very successfully in other parts of Northampton, as mums realise that they are not alone in worrying about whether they are doing new-motherhood well. As relationships deepen in the group, some mums have moved on to take the first steps of faith.