From July 19th 2021 we can begin looking ahead with fresh faith and a sense of emerging into a new era in the life of the church.
These last 16 months have been extraordinary. I would like to take a moment to commend to you our outstanding staff and volunteer team and interns. Together they have helped us navigate our lifeboat through some choppy waters! They have been positive, flexible, and extremely faithful.
Together we have had to trust God in the many ‘unknowns’. Our staff team have organised church life and ministry in manageable phases, Elders and trustees have been responding to changes in guidelines along the way, but none of us have been really free to dream and plan for the future.
But, two significant things have happened which now pave the way for us to continue with our adventure.
Firstly, all restrictions are being lifted on our meetings and ministries in the next couple of weeks. Whilst some of us may begin with a measure of caution, we will now be free to meet without booking in, have fellowship without limits, and sing without restraint!
Secondly, it is highly likely that we will soon have the keys to our new building ‘The Boathouse’, which will be a springboard to many new adventures together – including the launching of our fourth site, called ‘Life Church at The Boathouse’.
This means that through the summer and beyond we have much to accomplish, and so we are reshaping the staff team with future advancements in mind.
A New Staff Elder
In Acts 13:2 we can read of a prayer meeting in a resource church in Antioch. As they prayed and worshipped, the Holy Spirit said ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’.
This was a key moment when God ordained ministry was released into a future of great fruitfulness.
During lockdown, in one of the periods when we were able to meet with 6 others indoors, our eldership team had a day praying together. Whilst in prayer and conversation we experienced the Holy Spirit’s leading. By the end of our time together we were all of one heart and mind, and convinced that God was telling us to set apart Dave McNee for the ministry that God has called him to.
Dave has a proven ministry track record. He was highly regarded in his leadership role with the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) over the last ten years, helping Christian Unions all across the south of the UK to engage in gospel mission to their fellow students.
If we were looking for someone to pioneer a vital new Student Work here at Life Church, we would want to head-hunt someone like Dave! Over the last year Dave has been picking up the responsibility for working with the elders to bring shape and vision to the preaching and teaching at Life Church, something which he is passionate about, and which we all benefit from. This will continue as part of his new role, alongside more general leadership development across the church.
As well as these key areas, Dave will also work alongside Nathan and Phoebe Guy to build a team that can launch and lead ‘Life Church at The Boathouse’, as well as giving some time to develop our support and connection with Junction Church in Eastleigh with me (Chris), and other events and oversight that go with being a key leader on staff.
Two New Part Time Staff Roles
We are also creating and recruiting for two new part time roles on our staff team.
The first of these is an ‘Operations Assistant’. This key person is going to be responsible for providing super-efficient administrative support in order to facilitate the smooth operations of Life Church and to help the church achieve its vision.
We are looking for someone with great flexibility, and attention to detail who will be able to bring a wide range of assistance to James Hatcher, our Operations Manager. This will include assisting with maintaining our church management system ‘Church Suite’ and serving us all by assisting with bookings for Life Church events and courses, as well as assisting with the day to day management of our facilities so that they serve the church and community really well.
The second role we are recruiting for is that of ‘Creative Content Manager’. The person who takes on this role will be responsible for creatively communicating the purpose, mission, vision and values of Life Church through digital and published media. They will also bring creativity and input to other teams across the church. This role will serve both those in, and not yet in the church, by pointing to the ultimate creator and representing something of his heart to the world.
They will oversee and implement the development of a new church website and produce a range of media relating to The Boathouse and our sites and manage production of video content for the website and social media, as well as future projects for the benefit of Life Church and any associated ministries.
As we enter into this next phase, we are also going to need a willing group of regular volunteers who can support the staff team in bringing excellence to all these areas of church life, so please be thinking of your part in this great adventure!
Our superb team of trustees, under Jon Lawn’s leadership, have been working hard to map out our future staffing needs, and to create budgets that will facilitate future growth. I want to commend them for their diligence, faithfulness, hard work, and for being men and women of genuine faith who hear the hearts of the elders, and serve us superbly well. I want to encourage you to keep them all in your prayers, and to serve them well by being regular, faithful, and generous with your finances, so that together we can see God’s kingdom come here in Southampton.
We have really exciting times ahead, and If you would like to give toward these things, we would all so appreciate your partnership in this gospel endeavour.
You can give to our General Fund, Building Fund or Life Support Fund.
by Chris Kilby
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