Listening to God through P3: people, praise and pasta
Andrew Phillips is Minister-in-Training at Chelwood Baptist Church
, based on an urban estate within Stockport, Greater Manchester. Chelwood is a church reaching out to its local community, through a variety of projects and events, including Zumba fitness, ‘Shine Like Stars’ kids ministry and the Loaves and Fishes project in Stockport town centre. Here, Andrew shares about some of the recent developments in the life of the church...
“God has done great things through our Foodbank, which launched three years ago, including the chance to baptise two people who we met through it on Easter Sunday. But since September we have felt God call us back to what we have been known for over the last fifteen years – mission in our local area. We identified three local estates around the Church and have been prayer walking them for several months, praying for the people in the area and to discern what God’s mission might be in these places.
One of our most exciting developments is called P3 Church. After chatting to some local families, they told us that Sunday was a rubbish day to have Church because it was either a family day or children were spending time with Dad. We came to a decision that maybe Sunday isn’t the best day for Church and so P3 was formed. P3 stands for People, praise and pasta and currently happens once a month on a Friday after school. We meet at 4:30pm for about 45 minutes and then have a pasta tea together. But P3 is also different to traditional a church service because of its format too. We don’t have a sermon and the onus is very much on each individual person to discover what God might be saying to them through our different zones. These range from a quiet zone, busy zone, colour zone, chat zone and reading zone, all designed to suit different learning styles and to encourage people to listen to God.
P3 is in its infancy and we haven’t got everything right but we are learning fast and our dream is that one day P3 happens every week. We have many more exciting things to look forward to including 'Seaside at Chelwood' in August, some new sports ministries and loads more social events to bring us closer as the family of God at Chelwood.
'See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wil-derness and streams in the wasteland...'
Isaiah 43: 19
For your thoughts and prayers:
Would you ever consider starting up a service ‘beyond a Sunday’ to reach those for whom Sunday is a difficult day? Are we open to re-shaping our times and structures around those who aren’t yet part of the church?
How much time could you put in to prayer walking around your locality, and seeking God’s guidance to reach out to the area?
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