In order to accommodate all ages on the teams, the October half term was the primary focus for the mission week. 24th October to 1st November 2015.
Teams were made up of Christians of all ages with varying degrees of experience from churches in the District. There was opportunity for people from other regions who want to share in the experience of a mission week to get involved. We believe that mission is something we can all share in and in no way did we want it to be perceived that a team of ‘experts’ were coming to ‘do mission’. Those who would like to be part of a team completed an application form and have the support of their minister. The team was led by a leader who had experience, gifts and graces in this area of ministry.
One of our aims is that individuals and churches are encouraged and grow in confidence in mission and evangelism. Training was offered – both for the team members & the host churches, so that we might all work together as fruitfully as possible
Our key aim with Together is to facilitate a good number of teams so that a minimum of one team was offered to each Circuit in the Newcastle upon Tyne District. Not every local church will be able to host a team, but it was hoped that every congregation considered who might be encouraged to join a team. Local people were also on the mission teams. So TOGETHER teams may in fact be made up from people who have knowledge of the local church and visiting people. Churches and Circuits who would like to host a TOGETHER team in the future should express an interest by filling out this form
The cost to the local church will depend on the kind of mission and resources they would like to have. Although there will be no financial obligation to the overall TOGETHER project, it is hoped that each host church will donate a gift of money to a central fund to offset expenses. An amount will be suggested when there is a clearer picture of costs. Each church is responsible for its own budget in order to cover local expenses – this will include resources, food & accommodation (in homes) for the visiting team members.
The expectation is that the shape of the week will depend on the opportunities and links with the local community. There are many, many ideas including acts of kindness, prayer ministry, environmental projects, fresh expressions of worship, kids’ clubs, youth events, family fun days, evangelistic events, street theatre and much more. What happens is what best shares the good news of Jesus and brings people closer to God’s love and grace.
Mission is part and parcel of the day to day life of our churches, the very nature of the church is to be a missional community. We could argue that all we do is mission, and there is no need for a special time. However, just as we have special occasions and seasons for worship to focus our attention on God, so it is helpful to the church to have times when we focus our attention on those who do not yet know God’s love through Jesus. A mission week can be a real blessing to the church, as it reminds us of God’s loving activity in the world and our calling to witness to Christ. It is often a real blessing to those who are part of a team, an opportunity to stretch out in faith and have the opportunity to share one’s faith. And it will be a real blessing to those who need to know and experience the love, peace, mercy, freedom and calling of God upon their lives.
Our hope is that everyone will be able to be involved in TOGETHER in some way. Whether that be in hosting a team, supporting a local host church or actually volunteering as a team member. Also, we need people to encourage, publicise and promote this whole work. Support will always be appreciated and we’d particularly love to hear from you if you would like to offer prayer support or financial help to facilitate a local mission.