Bearwood Chapel Annual Report

Why we do what we do

An annual report often goes straight into listing all the things we have done and what we have seen  happen over the year.  However, it’s good to stop from time to time and describe what why we do what we do.

We can summarise this as we want to help people who don’t know Jesus to come to know him and to grow in him, in order to see Bearwood and beyond transformed by the gospel to God’s glory.[1]

This is why we seek to share the love of Jesus in everything we do, caring for one another and providing practical help and advice to others through ESOL classes, Toddlers groups, advocacy, the Community Café etc. It’s why we use the opportunities given to share the Gospel with people 1-1, in preaching, through evangelistic Bible studies such as First Look and on line. It’s why we gather for worship each week in our different congregations:

Over the past year, we have been talking about what we do in terms of “ActBC.” We have identified three streams to this. This reflects a concern beyond our building and immediate community to the wider community in the Black Country area.

LoveBC loving one another and seeking to show compassion and mercy to our neighbours providing opportunities to meet and make contact with people, knowing that their greatest need is to know Jesus. All that we do should be motivated by love for God and for others.

TrainBC seeking to equip people to know God through his Word and to use their gifts to serve him in his Kingdom

PlantBC -seeking to multiply opportunities to gather to hear God’s Word taught and to worship him.  Over the past few years we have seen this happening within our building with Nueva Vida, The 9:30 Service, 11:15 Morning Worship, Engage and Sunday Night Church, we would also love to see this develop outside of the Chapel too into needy neighbourhoods where there is no active witness

This report is structured under those three headings

LoveBC

We have continued to run two Toddlers groups each week on a Tuesday linking up with over 60 families. The Toddlers group have also participated in a pilot project looking at how we can help refugee and other new to country families integrate into groups.

We continue to provide ESOL classes for ladies with over 30 students attending. Meanwhile, Nueva Vida have continued to see a number of students joining them for classes based at Victoria Park. This year they have also worked with people from Raglan Road church to run a series of practical skills workshops for the class. Christian literature in various languages is available for students to take away with them at all classes. We have also started a simple English bible study for those who wish to stay on for this on Wednesdays.

The Community Café has opened on Mondays – Thursdays during the summer and Mondays – Tuesdays in the Autumn. We remain dependent upon volunteers and with the current manager stepping down after Christmas we will be looking for additional volunteers and particularly for someone to take a lead in running the café.

We are investigating the possibility of developing links into schools, possibly in partnership with TLG’s early intervention mentoring programme.

We are constantly reviewing our ministries and whilst new ministries are often starting, we also need to look at areas where we need to stop for a period of time. This year our After School Club on Wednesdays finished after 5 years. We felt this was the right time to do this and to focus on identifying other opportunities for engaging with families.

We continue to provide pastoral support for people in a range of circumstances including relational and marriage matters, immigration, emotional health and bereavement. The first point of support is through our Home Groups which meet at various locations during the week. There currently 8 different groups.

TrainBC

A vital responsibility of elders is to equip the church for works of service so we will be built up together into unity. This happens through:

–          Home Groups

–          Bible Teaching in our services: This year we have covered significant portions of Proverbs and 2 Samuel in our Sunday morning gathering, John’s Gospel at Nueva Vida and Matthew’s Gospel at Engage and Sunday Night Church.

–          Faith roots – provides online training resources. Through this year we have been running series looking at major doctrines including the Doctrine of God and the Doctrine of Creation

–          1-1 Discipleship

An encouraging aspect of discipleship has been seeing 2 baptisms this Autumn with others seriously considering this step.

We started hosting a Union Learning Community this September enabling people to train for Gospel ministry locally. We currently have 8 students with 1 of them being from Bearwood Chapel.

In 2018 we are hoping to offer a series of Faithroots Live workshops.

PlantBC

We have continued with 5 different gatherings this year. All are at different stages with Engage the smallest and most fragile.

From October we have started to pilot a monthly messy church as part of the Engage time slot as another way of engaging with young families. The October session was a Light Party with 43 children plus about 20 adults attending.

We have run First Look at Engage and Sunday Night Church and Rooted at Engage and will continue to offer these evangelistic courses regularly.

During November we ran a simple English First Look course. after the Wednesday morning ESOL class as an opportunity for the ladies attending to connect with the Gospel. We have had 6 ladies coming along to hear the Gospel.

It remains our desire to see a congregation planted in the Bristnall area and the work at Victoria Park develop but we need to pray for labourers in the harvest field.

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[1] The elders spent some over a few meetings looking at how we describe and flesh out our vision. A longer description is available, However, please note that our aim here is not to give a prescriptive form of words for a mission statement but rather to simply draw attention to our calling in Christ from Matthew 28.

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