Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

St Albans, St Paul version: 3

Our Details

Website

http://www.stpauls-stalbans.org/

Parish

St Albans, St Paul

Benefice

St Albans, St Paul

Deanery

St Albans

Archdeaconry

St Albans

Dates

  • This MAP was adopted by PCC
    04/09/2016
  • This MAP was uploaded to the website on
    12/09/2016
  • Our MAP will be reviewed next
    30/09/2017

Our Looking

What progress have you made with the Goals from your previous MAP, and what do you want to celebrate?

  • 'Develop evangelism and connecting people in': - A Puzzling Questions course started at the local pub - Alpha - Larks in the Park - offering free drinks, prayer and prophetic blessings & gifts from the congregation - Development of youth work - young people bring friends - Holiday Fridays - children in morning, lunch & older folk afternoon - Tiny Tots - Couple sent out as link missionaries to Georgia - Youth on mission trip to Brazil - Growth in expecting God to speak to us / sharing testimonies - Increasing diversity in congregation - lives transformed by Christ - continues - Re-launching of small groups - new options and flexibility - Talks for Talking Radio and Radio Verulam
  • 'Establish and intern programme': For 2016-17 we have 2 interns coming, 1 focusing on children and 1 on both youth and worship. Other developments in the area of developing Christians have been: - A 24/1 prayer event pre Pentecost - Visits and conferences with people with a real track record of healing, enabling people to get free and evangelism - blessing both us and other churches - Most Sundays aim to balance Word and Spirit- and apply it to growing in relationship with God - A person going for ordination
  • 'Establish a Debt Centre': - Completed - it is linked with CAP (Christians Against Poverty), requires more resource, as is currently at capacity. It also dovetails with Feed and other agencies. 'Develop the administration and communications': In progress. Website has been enhanced to have service details, talks/sermons on-line and explain to potential new members the church's culture. New communications team coming on board and making use of church 'database' of talents. 'Pastoral Care' developed: - The Bereavement Listening group has developed to be Pastoral Listening group - Prayer ministry, pastoral listeners and counselling, as well as small groups, provide a variety of care

What Goals did you set where you saw less progress than you would have liked?

  • 'Effective evangelism': Fewer people becoming Christians, especially from non-Christian backgrounds, and some who have a good experience of Alpha often not getting on to the next step. It is hard to develop good friendships quickly enough, people busy. Going to try a new group called Basecamp to see if this works better.
  • 'Growing an 'invitational' and 'have a go' culture both at church and in the community / workplace': We are on the look out to listen to God's promptings, taking opportunities to invite people to groups / events (prepare to make room for new people - sometimes sacrificially so we do not get cliques) and able to talk naturally about Jesus. 'Growing intercession': People do pray and the 24/1 prayer event response was really encouraging, but attendance at prayer meetings is not high. I think we have more to learn both of the importance of prayer and also our authority.

Things seen about our local community

  • We live in an increasingly secular society, but spiritual needs are great. We need to be able to help people, including youth and children, come to Christ from non-Christian backgrounds.
  • The gap between rich and poor is greater. It is hard to get on the housing ladder. Some young adults find getting work hard. We recognise there are parallel communities in Fleetville and have built bridges, but more remains to be done. The church crosses boundaries - saved sinners, restoration, community. We have interfaith involvement especially with Muslims and Jews.
  • We have great opportunities - lots of people in the area know the church and many come into its buildings. People have a lot of brokenness and stress in their lives and so the need for well-being is greater ... dealing with wounds, shame, fear, depression, to bring well-being, healing, wholeness - the full benefits Christ won for us on the cross. To release people who can then tell of the wonders of God inside and outside the church.

How have you begun to engage with these concerns / needs / issues?

  • Adapting services to meet different styles/needs, eg. a Good Friday service for the under 5's, Summer Fridays, Community Day, in addition to the normal use of the church buildings help us have good links with the community.
  • Running an Invitational Culture season. From sermon series develop ways in which people can pray for each other in context, as well as inviting people to things, etc. Key focus on growing in effectiveness in ministering with the love, authority and power Christ gives. Most people need to experience God to know He loves them
  • CAP ministry has shown and engaged with a real need and we are looking at ways to expand it, in co-operation with other local churches, by: - adding someone alongside our CAP manager and also hopefully expand the services CAP provides, * Money course - budgeting for all * Lifestyle - helps those out of debt live within their means * Release - helps those with addictions * Job Club - helps people get into work - Pastoral Care. We have appointed a Clinical Psychologist to oversee this work, we are growing the pastoral care combinations (prayer ministry, counselling, pastoral listening) as well as working with other organisations.

Our Discerning

Vision (for five years' time)

Our Vision: To be a people pursuing God and expecting the extraordinary, as He works through us to transform people and places. Our Values: * Word - We love God's incarnated Word: Jesus - We uphold God's unchanging written word: the Bible - We listen for God's word to us today: prophecy * Presence - We believe that God is near, living with us and in us - We welcome God's presence with us and seek to experience heaven on earth - We look to be 'presence led' - responding to where God is leading * Connecting - We welcome all and help newcomers feel at hom - We seek to help people become Christians and enjoy an intimate relationship with God - We build community as we share our lives together * Transforming - We believe in God's power to transform individuals and society - We expect the miraculous and look to God for healing inside and outside the church - We celebrate continuing spiritual growth in everyone * Blessing - We are blessed to be a blessing - We spread the love and forgiveness of God wherever we go - We generously share our material and spiritual gifts * Our Mission - We worship, honour and have an active relationship with God - We hear Him through the Bible, prayer and prophecy - We encourage people to become Christians - We expect God to use us in evangelism, healing and setting people free in His name - We are a community that welcomes everyone - We support each other in our journey to become more like Jesus - We intentionally invest in all, including children and young people - We work together to empower people to use their individual gifts every day as God directs - We seek to transform society by prayer, evangelism and action - We work alongside other churches and organisations to bless St Albans and the wider world

Current Situation

From our Parish Statistics for Mission, we see that we are / have...

Our USA is 349, including 68 aged under 16, electoral roll is 330. We have gained a good number of younger families.

Priorities (for the next five years)

  • Keeping in step with God's Holy Spirit - so recognise He holds the plan and we listen to him and do what He says , and avoid us controlling and limiting God. Be open to when He does new things so we are not like the Pharisees who honoured what God had done in the past, but missed what he was doing in their day.
  • Have a 'both and' approach; some examples are: - both welcoming to all (inclusive) and see people transformed (holy) so there is evidence of God's outrageous grace and transforming power - both 'word' and 'spirit' - both operate with God's love and his power - both humble and able to take a sober view of ourselves and know our identity as joint heirs with Christ, friends of God, etc. - both doing what God wants us to do here and supporting wider church (mission links, New Wine, local prayer groups)
  • Aim to have 'every member ministry' for all ages - children, youth and adults, so that where we are 'church gathered' people are resourced to be effective, ministering with both God's love and power; but we also operate as 'church scattered' in the community / places of work etc. extending God's kingdom in both personal terms and also looking to influence society by action and prayer.

Goals (for the next year)

  • Develop the pastoral care further: - Have a course to help people access the freedom Christ won for us - helping individuals both get increasing freedom and learn tools to keep growing in grace, forgiveness, processing, aligned to truth, - Develop prayer ministry teams to pray with individuals and link people to this Pastoral Listening and Counselling (and when appropriate work with the NHS) as well as integration in small groups for on-going growth and serving, - Invite people to resource us and other churches in preaching the full gospel - word and deed with signs and wonders.
  • Develop communications, increase visual content, ways to get the message out outside church community; some examples are: - Puzzling Questions - use of screens in the concourse - website and social media - get the database working to help us with workflow, planning and events.
  • Develop groups to focus on the youth: - develop another mid-week group for the older young people to build on the success of the younger group - improve the way we do children's groups for the 5-11's - increase the worship provision for both children and youth
  • Further develop CAP (Christians Against Poverty) ministry, so the waiting list is reduced.
  • Investigate the possibilities about developing the space occupied by the current organ: - for congregational use on Sundays and evenings as it extends the old chancel area - to establish a Christian bookshop to serve our community - both church members and people who come through our building and as well as St Albans - Provide rooms for small meetings and ministry on the first floor, eg. for 1:1 meetings, meetings with people sorting out weddings, funerals, pastoral, counselling, prayer ministry, etc. - replace organ with an electronic organ to be sited at the front of church.
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