Three and a half years ago, St Andrew’s church ‘planted’ Wellfield. Why? Because, as a mission-minded church, it recognised that something had to be done to reach the many people of Leyland who would find it difficult to fit in at St Andrew’s. (In the bible, non-churchy people were often the very ones who felt most at home with Jesus too - so it’s a good move!)
For the last three summers, Wellfield has joined in with St Andrew’s ‘Holiday Club’ in the summer. It’s a few days of fun activities and presentations to introduce children to Jesus. Tons of work goes into it. And we’ve thrown our lot in with that wholeheartedly. But St Andrew’s mission is not what we were sent to do. At last, we’ll run our own small thing this year, with St Andrew’s blessing.
St Andrew’s will miss a couple of good leaders or so. But they’ll be thrilled to pay that price - because they’re a mission-minded church. If there were any bad feeling or resentment because they’ve lost a few leaders and children, that would of course be silenced at once by the rest of the church: because - did I mention? - they’re a mission-minded church!
It’s a bold step for us to take on something like this. But we need to. The St Andrew’s big holiday club will never reach some people - and some of the people we’re making friends with. We’ll run a very different type of holiday club to learn how to reach others. That’s why we exist.
We’ve loved being heavily involved in St Andrew’s holiday club for three years. But we have been sent to reach others. Our involvement with St Andrew’s holiday club over the past few years has actually taken away from our mission. Although it’s a brilliant way for us to link up with the larger church in some ways, it has really sucked our resources for the week, and meant that on the ‘holiday club Sunday’ there’s loads of people missing from the Wellfield meeting, the new folk then feel abandoned, and anyone that we’ve worked hard to invite to holiday club gets invited to St Andrew’s and we never see them again: the last one not a problem in some ways, but it’s not what we were sent out to do.
So ours is to run at the same time as St Andrew’s, in order that we can focus on our mission, perhaps reach a few harder-to-reach families (although that is of course a longer-term goal), and have the manpower to do it. It’ll be fun! It’ll be exciting! But it’ll be done in a ‘Wellfield’ way: small, flexible and chilled. We’ll be including the smaller tots, and doing something along the lines of our Sunday programmes for children, but with more games and activities. A great chance for our children to spend the time together and with one or two friends too. Can’t wait!