A few people have heard some things have been happening at Tabernacle Baptist Church Wolverhampton, and wanted to hear more. So I have written a brief summary of the exciting things that are happening.
Over recent years the church has been in a season of growth. This has meant we’ve needed to rethink the way we do some of our leadership, decision making and structuring life together so that we can still be making sure people receive our well-known warm welcome and hospitality, and also find a way into the life of the church in such a way that they are enabled to grow as disciples of Jesus.
A number of years ago we began supporting a local evangelical church that had been struggling, and in 2012 we merged the two churches into one church that meets in two locations.
This year, God has been generous to us, and through a significant gift we have been enabled to make some serious headway on mission, vision, and strategy.
When the leadership team went away on retreat, we felt God spoke very clearly about the way forward, and the church meeting endorsed a number of things.
Firstly, the big picture. We believe that Tabernacle Baptist Church Wolverhampton is called to transform the city, through one changed life at a time.
Secondly, In order to achieve this, we are embracing a multi-site future instead of growing a very large church in one location. We are now working towards merging with a third church to create another mission centre in the city.
Thirdly, We want to equip the whole church to be engaged with the mission of God, and, where appropriate, commission people in specific areas of service, and provide them support and training. The first of these are our new Community Outreach Workers, Phil and Christine Core, who are introducing themselves to people right now, and getting a good picture of the situation before they begin ministry formally on 13th July, based in Broad Street, our city centre location. They are undertaking training through the Crucible Course, and linking up with Urban Expression. It’s great to finally see a presence for UE in the city at last!
Fourthly, alongside releasing the whole church membership, we want to call a second full-time minister to the church, to work alongside me, to both share the load, and break open new ground. We’ve begun preparations and hope to start looking formally by late summer / early autumn.
Finally, for now, the gift enables us to reshape our buildings so that they are more focussed on seven day a week mission, rather than being mainly Sunday preaching centres. For Broad Street this means significantly improving access to the whole building, as well as bringing back into use an underused space that has the potential to be a multi-functional cafe / meeting / performance space. For the Dunstall building, we are completely reviewing our buildings with a view to reshaping / rebuilding in such a way that community-focussed mission is at their heart. We’re not assuming we know precisely what we want right now, but we’re expecting some time spent in prayer, conversations, and in looking at other new builds might help us see more clearly what might be achieved.
That’s a lot of change! So, if you’re the praying kind, please remember us. In the midst of all this we remain a very diverse church, with the joys and occasional tensions that brings, and with all the usual pressures of church life.
It’s fair to say that in the past, mistakes have been made, and the church has suffered, particularly following or during seasons of growth. Our hope would be that alongside the other churches in the city we would work together in such a way that we will leave a legacy for generations to come of hope, generosity, growth, and above all, the Father’s love.