Together for Bristol Gathering
21 November 2014
On 21 November 2014 over 40 key leaders from the Christian community gathered to seek the next steps in the “unity for mission” movement in the Bristol region. The senior regional Church leaders invited leaders from the prayer networks and the spheres of life.
The leaders said they have been greatly encouraged by the growing “unity for mission” movement across the Christian community over many years, to help bring God's love to every aspect of life in the Bristol region.
Following on from the city-wide gatherings at the last three Pentecosts (at Ashton Gate stadium, Castle Park and College Green), they wanted to gather key senior Church Leaders as well as Christian leaders from the prayer movements and the spheres of society (Sport, Health, Education and Young people, Family, Politics and Social Action, Arts, Media and Business and Workplace) to seek God for the next steps in the “unity for mission” movement in the Bristol region.
Several had recently attended a Gather Global conference (see here) which brought together Christians to share stories about what God is doing in towns and cities across the UK and world .
Roger Sutton, the co-ordinator of Gather recently wrote: “This is a move of the Spirit. All over the globe Church and Christian leaders in the cultural spheres are coming together in... unity for mission movements... seeking God in prayer and working together for the social, cultural and spiritual transformation of their cities and towns.”
So they invited Roger Sutton, and Simon Thomas, of City to City, to join them to encourage them with stories from other cities, as well as to start to discern a Big Vision for Bristol and some next steps to take at this strategic time, to build on all the Lord has been doing across the city and region.
Watch this space!
Here are brief notes from what they both shared:
Roger Sutton: Gather
God is in the business of transforming cities, with examples from Salford,
York- where 75% of churches have been meeting for prayer for the last 14 years, Liverpool-Together for Harvest, Tyneside, Stoke-taking responsibility for the city, which was once voted the worst place to live in Britain, which consequently stirred up prayer for the city, Chester-LinkUp, with unity amongst the leaders and Southampton-Christian networking.
It’s about outreach with transformation, to reach the whole city.
If you want to know more about the work Gather does then watch this video
Simon Thomas: City to City
Simon spoke on engaging the spheres. Our mandate is based on – Jeremiah 29v7 (Seek the welfare of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find welfare) and Matthew 9v35 (Jesus went through all cities, preaching and teaching the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.)
Jesus had conversations wherever he went
William Wilberforce – He used conversations for change
How can we, the church, serve the city?
Watford-Suite of prayer rooms. Carpet map of Watford
London-Over 100 groups
Around the world groups are springing up.
Something new is happening. Gatherings based on friendships
It’s about honouring others before ourselves.
Kingdom building not Empire building
It’s about a city and not one church
Assemble stories of the city and link together
There is no movement that has not been built on prayer-sustained prayer
Abraham Kuyper quote: There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry ‘Mine!’.
Church is the vehicle for the Kingdom
Obedience – New Jerusalem thinking
Releasing potential – truth speaks to power
Take risks – divine connections will result
Creating conversation where there is innovation, inspiration, intentionality
, City to City
, Roger Sutton
, Simon Thomas
, Together for Bristol
, Unity for Mission