Rev Ian Poole from Bushbury Parish (Wolverhampton) reflects on hosting a Through Faith Missions (TFM) team in 2023.
It was our great privilege to host a Mission week with TFM in May 2023 with the three churches in Bushbury Parish, Wolverhampton. It was so refreshing to work with a team of seven experienced evangelists who clearly found sharing their faith a great joy, which encouraged and emboldened our own church members including myself!
The mission consisted of visiting residential care homes, a school assembly, but the main emphasis was door to door evangelism using a questionnaire that related to the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III that happened just before the mission finished!
I have to admit that there was some trepidation by our leadership teams with regard to door to door evangelism. But the reality is that it has gone a long way to making the church visible and connected to our community. Our Parish includes some significantly deprived areas including high crime rates and yet rather than engendering human opposition, overall folk were grateful that we were interested enough in them to share our faith with conviction. For clarity I’m going to list the following outcomes:
- The preparation for the mission and the mission itself had the effect of giving us a spiritual MOT with regard to our priorities in ministry and church life.
- We gained new understanding and encouragement with regard to our church life and health from the senior TFM leaders, who came along side us in great humility.
- Two people connected directly with our churches, one of whom has made a profession of faith and is growing whilst the other is on a serious faith journey.
- Following the mission in September we held the largest alpha course in the last 20 years or so, with 35 guests. A number of these have subsequently come to faith. I put this down to a stronger conviction of the power and gift of the gospel which came out of the TFM week.
- We have been able to appoint 7 new alpha lay leaders who will progress on to being Life Group leaders. Again this can be seen as strongly attributable to the Mission week.
- As a result of the alpha course, which in turn is related to the TFM mission week and input, we are about to launch 5 weekly Life groups and a Youth group in the new year, which is a more than doubling of our previous Life group provision.
Quite simply our partnership with TFM has been transformative to the life and mission of Bushbury Parish.
If your church is thinking about outreach mission in your local context, TFM might be able to help: