It seems to me that I have been in teams all of my life - first at school, then in numerous teams over the years at work and now in retirement too. I work with teams as a member of Poole Lions Club and also doing Visitor Welcome in London in the summer. At church I’m in the security team, the grass cutting team and so on, but perhaps the team which gives me most satisfaction is the Family Outreach Team, led, of course, by Karen.
When Karen arrived in January 2014, we did not know quite what to expect (and neither did she). We trusted that we would be led to do what God wanted us to do in Broadstone and we tried to follow His prompting. I feel that I have been privileged to see this ministry grow and flourish over the last four years.
With some trial (and a little bit of error), we have now got a number of programmes running for children and younger families. These are covered in more detail elsewhere in this edition of Pivot, but, in outline, the regular items are the Ladies’ Craft Group, Broadway, Thirsty Thursday and Ufee (our junior youth club). Messy Church was already well established long before Karen came and it has gone on from strength to strength. In addition, we have Family Film Night in the winter months, our newly established Breakfast Church, All-Age Worship, School Assemblies, Special Family Christmas Activities, the Summer Barbecue and, of course, our presence at the Broadstone Family Fun Day.
However, if you don’t happen to be in our building on Monday evenings (Ufee), Thursday afternoons (Thirsty Thursday), Wednesday evenings (Ladies’ Craft Group) or the first Friday evening (Broadway), you may not see these activities happening. You may even be wondering how they fit into traditional church. I would suggest we have to look at the Family Ministry as one aspect of our outreach. It’s just like opening our coffee lounge every morning and many other things we do for the community. We know that the community really appreciate it. We know that it brings them into our lovely building and makes them feel this is their church, even if they only come in for coffee. It extends Christian warmth and fellowship and just occasionally it brings in new members - but that’s not the primary reason we do it.
Within the Family Ministry there are encouraging signs that those who came initially only to enjoy the activities are now taking a more active role in supporting and running the events. There is a growing sense of ownership and positive contributions from the families who are part of this new community which Karen has built.
We are very grateful for all of the help church members give, for example, the Broadway team and the Messy Church team do a sterling job. The ladies of the craft group are increasingly taking over the running of their meetings.
So, where do we go from here?
We would love to extend Thirsty Thursday but, with just Karen, Clare, Jon Wright, myself and Katie Rigby (when she is at home), we can’t expand. We can’t expect help from the mums as they are busy collecting their children from school. But we could do more if only we had a bigger team. So, to end where I started - with teamwork. Could you offer a couple of hours, perhaps once a month, to serve drinks and wash up at Thirsty Thursday? If so, please talk to Karen, Clare or myself. The Family Outreach Team is a fun one to join - and the bigger the team, the more effective our Family Outreach can become.