Durham Road, Gateshead
Open and inclusive ‘Sticky Community’
Dramatic call to pastoral ministry for their Minister Duncan Moore
Disciple making culture
Duncan Moore, Minister of Durham Road shared that pastoral ministry was a surprise call for him. He came to faith in Birmingham whilst at University and from that moment he left the career he was pursuing. Duncan joined Agape and was a student worker for 20 years. He loved that time and then four years ago he felt God speak to him through dramatic life circumstances. Duncan’s son was born, he turned 40, his Dad died in their back garden and they moved house. In the processing of those events he felt God say to him that it was time to move into pastoral ministry.
Through friends and conversations God told Duncan to explore a call at Durham Road. It wasn’t without large challenges, not least that the church is in the heart of a Jewish Community (which has led Duncan to putting strategic posters in Hebrew on the outside of church!). He has been there a year and recently moved from part time to four days a week. God has been gracious and kind. On arriving he asked the question – what shall we do in the first year? This is what happened:
Placed an emphasis on getting to know people
- this brought a great deal of goodwill.
Refreshed the Sunday services
- by encouraging more participation.
Integrated new people
- A group of Iranians started coming which has led to 8 of them being baptised out of the ten people they have baptised the past year.
Everyone playing their part
- Using gifts, leading worship, preaching, prayer and outreach. They have a broad spectrum of people now involved in the life of the church, from retired Geordies, Graduates, Iranians and African families to name a few.
New system of doing membership
- They have adopted an inclusive approach. Two types – a traditional model which gives voting rights and a family model which means people can contribute without voting. Everyone is welcome to come and belong.
As they move into the future, the church is looking to grow in these areas:
Disciple making culture
– House groups, bible reading and praying together.
– Providing a hospitality centre and friendship. Mission will become a way of life. They have younger people gifted at building community. They are building a ‘Sticky Community’ and want that open and inclusive approach to be the heart of the church.
Refreshing and planting
– a vision to plant churches up and down the Tyne.
This will be assisted with large changes to the building. Their 850-seater main space will be turned into 12 apartments which will fund the renovation of their hall space.
‘We’re converting the sanctuary into apartments to fund the redevelopment of the halls into a very flexible worship hall with rooms, hospitality spaces and a new kitchen. We want to create a living room for the local community.’
All this relates to Duncan’s overall vision and approach ‘to transcend yourself and think bigger with God’.
‘I would love the centre of the church to be this sticky community and the friendships that exist within it, and for the rest of the structures to serve that. I believe a totally open community, discretely infused with Christian values, is the front door to sharing Jesus.’
Images: Duncan Moore
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