The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. Gracechurch Bromsgrove demonstrate how church can look outside of it's traditional walls.
Our vision in Gracechurch Bromsgrove is to be followers of Jesus, family on a mission and friends with the poor. We outwork this in so many different ways, but one of our most successful is our ‘Serving Sundays’.
Once every half term, instead of our usual gathering on a Sunday, we spend the time serving our town in some way. Kids, young people and adults all pitch in to help out and it’s a great opportunity for building relationships amongst ourselves as well as with our friends across the town.
Last month we spent the day clearing and replanting a neglected area in a local council estate. We already have a Lifegroup in the area and are seeing fruit with residents not only becoming Christians but taking part in leading the group and reaching their friends. This Serving Sunday was arranged with the local resident’s community group and we all worked together. The sun shone and there was a real buzz throughout the day with local people popping along to find out what we were up to.
One young man turned up who suffers from depression. He hadn’t left his house for months but joined us for the whole day and loved it. Over our picnic lunch together, the community group ‘spokeswoman’ gave a little speech. She thanked us all, acknowledging publicly that we are expressing what Christianity is really all about.
Afterwards, the local Housing Association came to inspect our handiwork and are interested in working with us again. And this week we discovered we’d made it into the newspaper! (See the article here)
In our attempts to follow Jesus, be a family on a mission and friends with the poor we simply weeded, swept, dug, painted, smiled and loved and then God took over and did the rest!