As we continue to grow and develop, and as we look to the future, we believe the Lord is widening the path ahead of us. This new pathway, we believe, will firstly help the community that is emerging in Kettering to more authentically express who the Lord has called them to be, but will also help them, as a church, better fulfil their unique mission and calling.
We also believe it widens our ability to see more things multiplied. It's important to understand that what has been happening over the last few years has been rooted in the mission of the local church, and we have never wanted a structure or one particular way of 'doing church' to get in the way of what the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst.
For the past 12 months we have been prayerfully exploring this option with David & Elaine at different times, and just before the first lockdown we invited them both to take part in the church planting discernment process. This has not only helped David & Elaine solidify the vision the Lord has given them for Kettering, but it has also given them the opportunity to engage with the wider Vineyard family and the national church planting team.
We know it's easy to think, what's gone wrong? or has something happened on a relational level to motivate this decision? The truth is, not at all! We simply recognise along with David & Elaine that there is an opportunity for the Kettering site to fully express their own God given vision for the town and the communities they represent. The bottom line is we believe this is the Lord's leading, and to not act upon this now would be to stand in the way of what we believe the Lord is clearly doing.
Well, although our in-person Sunday gatherings have been closed, the church is very much open and our calling to grow and multiply as a church is just as relevant now as its always has been. In fact this season has enabled us, as a church to be far more creative and flexible than ever before, and if there was ever a time for more creativity and flexibility, then now is that time!
We also believe that, in the midst of this disruptive season, the Lord has given us a fresh sense of vision for multiplication and growth across our region and beyond. In many ways we are sensing a gear shift ahead in what it means for us to continue to see things multiply. Making room for things to expand beyond our existing structures, and one of the ways we see this happening is through further church planting.
This new church plant will have it's own legal indentity and function with its own registered charity and trustees. David & Elaine will be licenced by Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland and officially become the Lead Pastors of the newly formed church. They will also launch their own website and all the existing Kettering social media channels will be rebranded to represent these changes.
Think of it like the kids growing up and setting up home for themselves for the first time. When they move out they have to take responsiblity for themselves, but the truth is, just because the kids leave, they don't stop being part of our family, and they don't stop being involved in family activities.
This is kind of what is happening in this next season in Kettering, we're not going to stop being family and we won't stop sharing the best of who we are with one another, but instead of the authority flowing from the centre within our existing multisite structure, the church in Kettering will be released to govern and make their own local decisions as they see fit.
All the existing giving that comes from the Kettering site will be redirected to a new bank account set up in the name of the new church plant. We also intend to have a gift day and will invite the rest of us, as a church family, to bless our extended family in Kettering with a financial gift when they are sent out later in the year.
David & Elaine would love to have others join them as they take this next step in their journey as a church. Being part of a church plant at a grass roots level is an exciting opportunity! If you are feeling stirred to join them, please let us know.
For any questions during this period, you can direct them to: firstname.lastname@example.org