Blog post by Pete Baker:
The Mission Course is our own 3-part course asking the questions ‘What is the Mission of God?’ and ‘How do I join in?’
In the 2018 course, I brought input each week in the form of a devotional thought or a teaching session to try and inspire, challenge, encourage, and stretch people in their thinking. In addition to the teaching portion, we profiled opportunities for people to participate in mission in our community.
Mark Hirst spoke about the work of Spacious Place Engage particularly focusing on how people in the Life Church community could become food champions and donate high quality, fresh food to the food bank that Spacious Place run, reaching out to needy and vulnerable people in our community. He also shared the need to engage and follow up the many people who get into debt by making financial purchases with unethical companies that then tie people up in unattainable debt repayments by connecting them with the furniture store, Community Repaint, and credit union at Spacious Place Engage.
Also on week one we had a presentation from the Life Church team of ladies who regularly go into our local Women’s refuge to bring hope and life to the women and children who live and work there. Vulnerable women and children who have experienced so much trauma and heartache having life and hope spoken into them by the incredible team of volunteers from Life Church. Anna Piessens shared brilliantly and passionately about this great work.
On week two we were joined by Hope for Justice and New Neighbours. Hope for Justice are an international organisation seeking to rescue people from modern day slavery. They help to bring restoration to their lives and advocate on their behalf to reform political and societal responses to human trafficking and modern day slavery. Attendees on the course are now seeking to create an Abolitionist Group to pray, advocate, and raise awareness for the work of Hope for Justice and issues of modern day slavery.
New Neighbours create hospitality and welcome for many asylum seekers and refugees who now live in Burnley and the area. Life Church serves New Neighbours with regular volunteers, special projects, and seasonal gift packages for those who connect with the work. As a result of the night, some of the mission course delegates were planning to volunteer regularly with the work of New Neighbours.
On our final week we profiled the upcoming #welovelancashire projects as part of a weekend of mission experiences in partnership with PaisUK. Delegates from the Mission Course could sign up to volunteer at our community fun day and compassion projects across East Lancashire.
We plan to continue to run The Mission Course annually and would love to host you next time. If you’d like to get involved right away in serving the local community then let us know—we would love to help you.