At times, it’s easy to get so caught up in running, administering and leading a church, we can miss the chance to see the fruit of what is happening around us.
From Cambridge to Newcastle, Coventry to Edinburgh there are people on the ground, spreading the love of Jesus in their missional communities.
We know that it’s not about numbers, data, or results.
It’s about people.
People are messy, hard to predict and don’t fit into our neatly packaged ‘church’.
It’s as we see our missional communities grow, and people sharing the love of Jesus in every single area of their lives, that we see lasting growth which matures and develops. Growth which isn’t just a ‘flash in the pan’
Where people build authentic community, people will be added to God’s kingdom.
We loved this story from a group in Cambridge, building church, slowly but surely over an apple press!
One of our missional communities hosted an annual event in the car park of my home, which was apple pressing. There are apple presses available to community groups in Cambridge, and because the city is full of apple trees it’s a great opportunity to connect with friends and neighbours and invite them to do apple pressing!
People are invited to bring apples and empty drinks containers and join in a fun production line, Children get involved by climbing apple trees in the back of my garden to pick the fruit, as well as helping with all the pressing aspects.
Adults get into conversations as they chop apples side by side, and people in the missional community bring cake for a 4pm tea break. This has gone on at the front of my house for 3 years.
Most recently, however, the missional community decided they’d like to host the event in their neighbourhood to better connect with people in their own locality. This was great, and I still got involved. In fact, one of the families who’d helped pick apples the previous year and who don’t regularly go to church not only came again, but helped me connect with others in my neighbourhood.
Whether it be over an apple press or a football game, taking part in activities neighbours already love to do, is a great way to make new connections and build relationships with those you may otherwise never speak to.
Church based events are brilliant, but often it’s when we, the church, move out of our four walls and simply join in with what’s already going on do we see the most fruit.
If you have a story to share with us, do get in touch.