One of the great encouragements of Gospel work in the West Midlands has been the 2020 Birmingham partnership. 2020 Birmingham set out in 2010 with the aim of planting 20 churches by 2020. As a church with a small building but a large heart to reach the community around us, we’ve found the advice, support and encouragement of our 2020 partners a big help.
At the last 2020 Birmingham conference, Jonathan Bell and Neil Powell began to talk about what might happen in the next ten years from 2020-2030 and this is where the maths comes in. It’s a very simple sum
20+30 +50 = 100
In other words, what if we were to encourage another 30 church plants by 2030 and what if those church plants were each to plant one more church in our life time? That would be 100 new gospel churches.
I like this because it encourages and challenges us. It stretches our thinking and calls for faith. I also like it because underpinning the 2020 movement is an approach that is not about recycling Christians among consumer churches. The churches planted are focused on reaching the unreached. I like it because it encourages us to think outside the box. That level of planting cannot wait for each church to reach 200 members before it sends out 50 people. It will push us to think about how we equip and support people to go as pioneers and plant into contexts where there is no Gospel witness.
So, implication 1. I want to commend 2020 Birmingham to anyone who is thinking about how they can get involved in church planting whether through giving, praying, sending or coming. If that’s you and your church, have a look at their website and get in touch with them.
But also, implication 2. I’ve been thinking about what this means for urban, ethnically diverse ard places in the West Midlands. Wouldn’t it be great if at least 10 of those new church plants were in those types of areas? If you have a particular concern to see urban communities reached with the Gospel then please have a look at our PlantBC page and get in touch with us.