Wellfield church is a "plant". Not a dusty greeen thing in the corner of your living room, but a "spin off" (Quoting Vicky Fielding) of St Andrew's Leyland, the large parish church in the middle of the town. We have only been going for 3 and a half years (I know because I remember our little girl was just born when we started!).
We were "sent out" by St Andrew's church because they wanted us to be able to reach more people. And that's what we're doing. Because of the different style of our meetings, the smaller numbers, the different location, we are reaching people who would not feel at all at home in a church building. One of our recent visitors said "I feel really comfy here". The idea is that if we can reach the "unreached" of Leyland with the good news of Jesus, then we can reach anybody. Any of our friends or colleagues who might be interested in knowing about Jesus would find us an easy bunch to join.
That's what we're about, but some of us recently have felt the continued pain of being sent out from the big church. Many relationships that we treasured have lapsed a bit. That is the most painful thing, especially when we bump into old friends all the time, and find that we now know very little of each others' lives! But you know, that's the only way churches grow. As we get busy in life, producing children, committed at work, trying to invest in our marriages, we can only maintain a limited number of relationships at once.
So if we are to befriend new people, which for many of us is outside our comfort zone, it is at the expense of relationships that we hold dear. It would be so much easier to stick with what we know! But God's kingdom is never going to advance that way. We are so grateful for the leadership of St Andrew's who have liberated us from commitments at our old church in order that we might spend our time investing in new relationships and seeing our little congregation grow.
Let's keep on trusting God and going forward with him, in faith that he will do his work through us.