Totteridge Baptist Church
The impact of Home Mission on Totteridge Baptist Church, High Wycombe
Having Home Mission as 40% of my stipend made the church realise that we were in need of reaching out. We had an old building that didn’t look like a church, more an old village hall, and we had a thriving bible based Friday night kids’ club - but no cross-over between it and the church family.
So I posed the small membership two questions:
Who are we going to reach?
How are we going to reach them?
Through various meetings and prayer times they decided that we should primarily, but not exclusively, reach young families; not families with teenagers, not singles, not the elderly, and certainly not everybody! We realised we were part of the High Wycombe church as a whole and together we would reach ‘everybody’.
This decision meant we had to decide how to reach young families. We realised we couldn’t reach them with buildings that sent out a message that we were old and for old people. We also realised we could no longer communicate church life and the gospel the way we related to it, but the way young families would relate to it. We had to focus on relationships more than attendance and we instigated termly church services just for the kids’ club families - high in quality and content for a modern world.
Now, just over two years on, our adult church membership has grown by a third to 31 (5 families have joined through our kids’ club), our buildings are almost renovated, the worship experience on a Sunday is more vibrant and engaging, and everyone is involved in moving things forward.
We have found that as we have communicated a clearly worded vision and stuck to it, and have decided on what church should feel like, it has attracted fresh faces and fresh income through gifts, donations and hirings.
Thanks Home Mission, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before we will have enough income to completely cover my stipend on our own and also enough for a shared children’s worker!
The Revd David Hazeldine
Minister, Totteridge Baptist Church
For deepening relationships with young families coming to the kids’ club
For a continued sense of vision for the whole church
For plans to find a children’s worker
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