Church on the way
Church is not a cul-de-sac! The building may have been in the same place, on a lump of solid rock for 161 years. But the church is made up of people who are following Jesus and we get to travel in at least three directions. We move in worship, discipleship and mission. But mission is not last on the list.
Jesus prioritises mission and so his priority is our priority. We cannot wait for the worship, buildings and people to be sorted before we engage in mission. Worshipers of Jesus engage in mission are shaped as disciples on the way.
So what is next?
We are to use all that God has given us for his purposes and his mission.
Firstly this is personal. We each live somewhere and have network of people that we know. We are to be witnesses of Jesus wherever we go and whatever we do. I don't mean have the answer to every question being Jesus. But to be present in every conversation, listening to people and listening to God. Then when you have appropriate opportunity, telling a part of your story with God. We don't have to wait to do this until we are perfect and we have all the answers, otherwise we would be waiting a long time.
Secondly in the use of resources. The building is located in a key spot in the town. Many people still take an interest in the church and just drop in. But for others it is as if the church building is somehow hidden. We must find ways to use the whole of the church site for mission. We don't know what that looks like yet and the PCC and others will be thinking and praying this through over the coming months (please prayer and ponder). But one thing is for sure we can't wait until we have the building just how we want it before we begin.
As we invest in sharing our stories and utilise the building for the mission of God, so we will then be a blessing; to the Parish of Upton and the whole of the Torquay. We will be a church on the way.