MISSION ACTION PLAN

2019-2024


THE RECENT PAST

In April 2010 Bishop Paul Williams (then Bishop of Kensington), invited Mike Neville to apply for the post of Vicar of St Simon’s. After interviews in July he was appointed and was instituted on 8 March 2011.

Mike’s vision for the morning service was to continue with the traditional worship style, with the exposition of the Biblical gospel at the heart of the service. He believed that there would be people within reach of St Simon’s who would find this a culturally appropriate setting in which to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Paul urged that a new, more contemporary service and congregation be established within 18 months. In fact it was started after about 6 months. At first about 15-20 people attended and this gradually grew to an average of around 50.

A significant change to the morning service was the change in time from 11 am to 10 am in September 2016. At the same time a fresh commitment was made to offer Sunday School every week. In God’s goodness some new families have joined the church since that time and numbers have grown over the last 18 months.

Harder to measure is the spiritual growth but we believe that the increase in giving, the sprinkling of people coming to Christian faith, the increase in support for Christian ministry outside St Simon’s, the development of the pastoral visiting team, the increase in numbers in mid-week groups, the growth of the monthly prayer evening, the development of community life over coffee after the service, the start of a Lent course, the eagerness to know what the Bible teaches, are all signs, among others, of a growth in faith, hope and love.

With around 100 attending on a good Sunday, and the church now on a sound financial footing, we believe this is a good moment to draw up a Mission Action Plan.

Moving forwards we want to be:

  • The church that God wants us to be rather than one shaped by the ways of this world
  • The church that is true to our own calling rather than one shaped by the calling of other churches
  • A church that is viable on its own rather than being merged with another

… and we hope and pray that this Mission Action Plan will help us to be that church.

January 2019


KNOWLEDGE

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching”
– Acts 2:42


The Living Church is a learning church.
Submitting itself to the teaching of the Scriptures in public and private. It is by this means that the church is filled with ‘the truth’ for which Jesus prayed.

GOALS

In 5 years’ time, we pray we would see:

  • an increased number of people committed to small groups (currently 5 groups)
  • the continued growth of the Sunday School (current average attendance 13)
  • more people coming to faith through Christianity Explored
  • an enthusiasm for reading Christian books
  • a culture of 1-2-1 bible reading

STRATEGY

These goals may be achieved by:

  • centralised accountability for home group leading
    regular occasional family events
  • explain and publicise House Groups
  • experiment with linking the Home Group studies to the Sunday sermon
  • the regular promotion of books in Sunday services
  • encouraging potential leaders to attend the Cornhill Summer school
  • continuation of bible study leadership training

“I feel closer to Jesus as a result of the teachings at St Simon’s which have been of tremendous help as I read and study the Bible in my own time”

“I would like to see further growth in the number of home groups.”


LOVE

“They devoted themselves to fellowship”
– Acts 2:42


‘Fellowship’ means what we share together as believers.

In the early church the Christians devoted themselves to caring for those with whom they shared a common faith. And the duty of constant, effective and practical love for Christian brothers and sisters is a universal theme of the New Testament. It is by this means, along with growing in the knowledge of the truth, that the church achieves the unity for which Jesus prayed.

Since we are to ‘love our neighbour’ this care should also extend to those outside the church family. 

GOALS

In 5 years’ time, we pray we would see:

  • greater overlap and integration between the two congregations
  • a pervasive culture of humble service
  • an attempt to do something about homelessness
  • increased welcome and hospitality
  • more diversity of cultures and backgrounds

STRATEGY

These goals may be achieved by:

  • continuing to encourage the Pastoral Visiting Team to care for those in the congregation in particular need
  • encouraging volunteering with other churches running night shelters
  • encouraging evening congregation to serve in Sunday School
  • equipping and training the welcoming team/sidesmen
  • weekends away

“I love the fact that the church is increasingly made up of people of different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.”

“We are getting better at showing hospitality but there is room for improvement”


WORSHIP

“They devoted themselves to to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers”
– Acts 2:42


The New Testament emphasises that we worship God (acknowledge his value and worth) not only or even mainly by our church services, but by the way we live in everyday life. On the other hand our services are acts of corporate worship in which we seek to acknowledge God’s great value and worth through our prayers, singing, music and learning. It is by this means, along with growing in the knowledge of the truth, that the church achieves the holiness for which Jesus prayed.

GOALS

In 5 years’ time, we pray we would see:

  • development of the music in the evening congregation
  • the involvement of more volunteers in our music
  • greater depth of discipleship
  • increased family focus in the morning service

STRATEGY

These goals may be achieved by:

  • continued progress with the evening service music
  • improvement of the music facilities as part of the building project
  • the promotion of accountability in prayer triplets
  • teaching on worship in home groups

“The services have changed but this has been necessary to attract the next generation”

“More people fired up to live for Christ. I’d love to see more people that are ‘on the fence’ still coming along but also the number of people who are ‘committed’ to strengthen.”


OUTREACH

“The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”
– Acts 2:47


The Lord would not have saved people unless the gospel was made known to them. Therefore, the first church must have been an evangelising church. It is this activity which Jesus was talking about in John 17 when he prayed for his Father to send the church into the world even as the Father sent him.

GOALS

In 5 years’ time, we pray we would see:

  • a greater proportion of our finances being devoted to missions
  • the church more involved with local outreach
  • more people become Christians
  • growth in confidence with personal evangelism

STRATEGY

These goals may be achieved by:

  • expanding upon our existing portfolio of 4 missions partners
  • exploring partnership with local churches
  • the continuation of regular evangelistic events
  • the erection of boards at the back of church outlining our missions involvement
  • organising evangelism training for the congregation

“I love the commitment to thoughtful evangelism. It’s great that there are visitors or newcomers most weeks”

“Outreach in the local neighbourhood, increasing our work with those in the local community who are not as fortunate; more volunteering work and partnership with local charities, especially homeless”



STEWARDSHIP


In Acts 6 we read that the Apostles appointed those who were full of the Holy Spirit to oversee the administration of the distribution of food to the poor in their midst. The good and godly management of the significant material resources entrusted to the church is an important means towards the growth of the church and the spread of the gospel.

GOALS

In 5 years’ time, we pray we would see:

  • greater involvement of lay-leadership
  • candidates for ordination coming from within the congregation
  • increased proportion of the congregation committed to planned giving via standing order (currently 40 givers)
  • the church building used to its full potential

STRATEGY

These goals may be achieved by:

  • developing the team involved in leading services and preaching
  • implementation of simpler and more creative ways to give financially
  • the completion of ‘phase 2’ of the building re-ordering project
  • clarifying opportunities for service

“We’ve got a great building which we’re improving”

“I would like to see more people involved in service – at the moment it’s quite a small number of people doing everything!”