7th June 2016
Last week the staff team and some key leaders attended the 'Relational Mission Leadership Conference' in Norwich and I wanted to take this opportunity to express what a brilliant and significant week it was.
Before I breifly review the week, if you don't know much about Relational Mission (RM) then let me explain.
In 1979 Terry Virgo founded 'Newfrontiers', a family of Churches relating to one another with the same DNA, vision and values that we, here at CCBS, have been a part of since day one. Terry led the movement in an incredible way and in 2011 this family of churches consisted of over 800 different churches from 50 different nations. However it was at this stage, in 2011, that Terry decided the time was right to tansition Newfrontiers into the next stage of its journey. This process meant taking it from one single apostolic family, led by him, to multiple families of churches led by men Terry recognised as having an apostolic ministry. Mike Betts who leads RM was one of those recognised as having an apostolic ministry.
This is when RM was born, and so whilst we are still part of Newfrontiers, which has grown to what now consists of over 1500 different churches in 70 different countries, we have our own immediate family that we at CCBS now relate to. A short video has been produced to help explain this process in a visual way and you can watch it here.
RM has been on a journey to establishing itself and in the last two years, since their first Leadership Conference in 2014, it has grown, not just numerically, by in its clarity and vision. For me as I spent a few days at the Leadership Conference, it felt very much like RM was maturing and starting to find its feet as a family of churches. There are several fruitful initiatives that are now being run such as Enough and Everyone a witness and there are stronger and stronger relationships being built amongst the people and the churches, something we are experiencing with Cambridge, Harlow and Braintree for example.
For me the highlight of the week wasn't a specific talk or seminar but rather being inspired and encouraged by being together with both our staff team and with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from the different churches within RM. It was great to worship with people from across the UK and the world and at one point we even worshipped our Saviour in Dutch!
So what does this mean for us at CCBS? Well I want to encourage you to do two things:
Firstly, in the coming weeks the recordings from the conference will be online here and I would encourage you to listen to the main sessions and especially those by Mike Betts on the Wednesday and the Saturday. These were key messages and ones that will help you catch more of the vision and flavour of Mike and RM.
Secondly I want to encourage you to buy the book 'Relational Mission: a way of life' which has been written by Mike as blueprint for RM and as a way of communicting the vision and values in a simple and effective way. Rev Paul MaConochie from the 3D churches movement called this book a 'manifesto for the 21st Century Church which is invaluable' and having started it this week I would fully agree with this comment.
We have several copies on sale from the office for just £5 or you can buy the book online here.
For more information about RM you can visit their website or chat to any of the leaders within CCBS.