Our Mission: Love God, Love His people, Love His world
Our Vision: Transforming Huddersfield for Jesus
This 5-year vision was presented to the members of Elim Pentecostal Church Huddersfield on Saturday 26th January 2019 by Rev. Michael Reid on behalf of the Leadership Team.
While our mission statement remains, a seasoned focus on vision helps us move towards more specific aims.
When we look at the Lord’s prayer, Jesus inspires us to intercede that God’s kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven. While we can take the long view of Christ’s return, there is also the implications for us today, to be actively seeking God’s kingdom to come. We celebrate this in lives that are transformed as they encounter Jesus. In our services and Church ministries, we seek to lift up Jesus that people will be drawn to Him. I believe God is calling us to lift our vision beyond the confines of buildings to seek kingdom transformation in our town. He has uniquely placed us in Huddersfield not only to share the love of Jesus within the body of believers and with other churches but to be His salt and light to the community around us. A community that is lacking hope, full of people with fears of the future and troubles of today. We are called to be the bearers of the good news of Jesus Christ, bread to the hungry, forgiveness and healing to communities, and deliverance from evil.
This is what kingdom transformation looks like.
As a people of God in Huddersfield, looking at the vastness of the challenge can seem overwhelming. It is like when Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. Jesus broke this down into stages, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, places on their doorstep. While the whole of Huddersfield needs transforming for Jesus, we also need to be led by the Spirit as to where to begin. Already we have amazing kingdom transforming ministries that go beyond us, be it the Living Well bus on the streets or the world coming to us in the 611 Asylum Support work. However, there is a call to go further as kingdom intercessors and changers.
We are to seek kingdom transformation for Jesus. Before talking about wider opportunities, we need to be a people, a community of kingdom transformation ourselves. We are all called to be salt and light in Huddersfield and beyond.
I believe that God has called all followers of Jesus to unique places that only you can go for Him.
This is maintaining and developing a transforming vision for current activities. Training and equipping people to be transformers for God‘s kingdom as well as seeing God’s kingdom come in our current work; Youth & Children’s ministries, Tiddlers, Alpha, 611 Asylum Work, Living Well, 18-30’s, EPIC, Men & Women’s ministries, Farsi, Eritrean and Asian Fellowship groups as well as the many Intercessory prayer groups.
Often there is no one else placed to shine for Jesus in your workplace or home space than you. We need to be a people who are being transformed ourselves as we seek to be the people of kingdom transformation in these places. Sundays are great, however, as we read in Acts 2 the early church shone out of the community of believers meeting in homes, praying, praising, learning, and sharing. This led to having the favour of people and the Lord adding to their number.
In five years’ time I would like us to be a people of kingdom transformation.
To see 70% of our congregation in small groups, and 90% engaged in connect groups. Small groups doing life, loving each other, a first port of call for pastoral care. But also inspiring and challenging individuals to be sent out to be kingdom transforming people for Jesus wherever people go. Connect groups is a broad term we will start to use for all groups, including small groups. Some people are involved in many single-focused groups, e.g. Worship, Living Well, Youth, Fellowship groups. The aim is that while not losing specific focuses, members having an outward encouragement, to pray for one another, to inspire a kingdom transformation culture in all we do.
As we seek to see Huddersfield transformed for Jesus, it starts in us but must mover outwardly. There are some new areas which God has put on our hearts to work in specifically over the next 5 years. Not everyone will be called and able to work in these areas, however, the hope is that they become models which could happen elsewhere.
In Huddersfield, our most deprived places are the HD5 and HD1 postcode areas. As a Church, we are blessed with two buildings. The Oasis Centre is strategically placed near the Bus Station, the Leisure Centre and in the middle of the HD1 area. It is wonderful to see the amount and variety of people who use this building, old and young, migrants and students.
However, I believe this building could be used much more in kingdom transformation.
Much prayer has historically gone into Springwood. It has long been a dream of many to see a community café where people could find a place to belong.
In five years’ time I want Oasis Centre to be a hub of kingdom transformation.
Where the building becomes a true Oasis for the lonely, the least and the lost. A community café being a place where people can meet. A greater connectedness between the current Oasis Centre based ministries so that the centre is focused on transformation for Jesus at the heart of the town. A place where new ventures can start and current ones grow. Again the detail of the who, how, and when needs to be prayerfully worked out. While listening to God we will need to listen to the community so we are better equipped to meet felt needs of the area. Oasis Centre being more open than closed, making the best use of this brilliantly placed building to see Huddersfield transformed for Jesus.
In the ‘Come & See’ mission weeks we prayed over the Dalton, Rawthorpe, and Moldgreen (DRAM) Ridgeway area in HD5 as well as inviting people to come to events. There is a need for the light and love of Christ to shine in this community which is in the 5% most deprived in the country. Already we are having discussions about potential youth projects in the area.
I believe God is calling us to be at the heart of seeking transformation in this area.
Partnering with others churches and organisations, Christians and local authorities, to seek kingdom change in this part of our town.
In five years’ time, I want us to have a living Christian presence in that community, a model of kingdom transformation.
An extended branch of our Church where, rather than expecting people to come to us as in the great commission, we have gone to them. This needs to be more than classic church activities but a missional community where people can belong and believe. This will mean shifting attention and resources. The detail of who, how and when are to be worked out. However, the what and why is the vision to seek the transformation of Huddersfield for Jesus in the DRAM area. In time, as we grow in experience, this is to be a model for further transformation right across the town.
So what next?
I am struck that with this fresh emphasis there is a need to keep looking to God. As it says in Psalm 127:1, ‘Unless the LORD builds a house, the labourers labour in vain.’
We need, with God’s help, to release people to form teams to take each area to the next level. Some have already started and need encouragement. Others need shaping and developing.
Now is the time to move out and seek to transform Huddersfield for Jesus.