Twenty Years of Church Partnerships
Pais have worked with many churches over the past 20 years and it can be safely said that each is unique. Be it the size of the building or the congregation, the style of worship, the age range of the members or even the colour of the front door each church is different with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Starting From Scratch
Here is a story from Pais England to encourage any church leader or member of a congregation. It is a story to show how God can build something from scratch! All he is looking for are people with an open heart and a willingness to act upon a vision given by Him, no matter how small or unclear that initial vision may be.
So let me take you to a relatively small church in the heart of Blackpool. ‘New Life Community Church’ started in November 2004 and has a lovely green door. It began its life with between 19 to 35 adults and no youth. As such the church had no youth work, no Sunday school and the building itself was in no way youth friendly.
Adult meetings were held mid week and those who attended were surprised when a few of the local student randomly started to come in off the streets and join them. With no current youth work in place the church looked to the possibility of hosting a Pais worker to help establish a vision and bring the necessary skills needed to work with children and young people. They realized there was a whole community around them with many young people who could be reached with God’s love.
How We Started
So it started. Five years ago Pais became a part of this church’s life. They began with setting up the student ministry, serving in the local school and spending time getting to know the local students. The Pais team built up relationships by joining in football games at the local park and they regularly would go and ‘hang out’ and chat with the young people and offer help if and where needed.
Today the church is reaching out to its community in a variety of ways and vision has grown. Many students now regularly attend the church and are involved in the various programs that are running and there have been many other initiatives started aimed at reaching whole families from the area.
Participation brings Success!
One thing the church has not done in the past five years is to sit back and let the Pais team carry the vision and the burden of all this work. A number of the congregation have been fully involved in working alongside and learning how to ‘do’ the work whilst on the job. Pais have had the honor and the privilege of kick starting a work within this church and community and the church has now taken on the vision itself.