Our vision for many years has been:
'To be a redemptive community, sharing the love of Christ in the world, by word, sign and deed; helping people become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ'
In recent years we have seen this vision expressed through the development of four interconnected relationships:
Our relationship with God, each-other, the world and ourselves.
A significant context and support for our growth in each of these relationships is being part of one of our local village networks.
A Village Network Connects "South West Baptist" people across a local area so we can look after each other and our neighbourhood with a sense of belonging and ownership.The village networks operate as a collection of life-groups, prayer groups, social events and local projects made of people in a local area with and for people living in a local area. The village networks can collaborate with other groups andchurch ministries. Within a village network life-groups and Neighbourhood Communities(1)
may come to life and thrive.
Below is a diagram depicting a village network and the sub groups that may be part of the over-all village life.
[click on diagram to open pdf version]
We can connect within local villages in many different ways. Some will be more fully involved as part of the core of a village; others will pick and choose the aspects of the village life that most readily work for them. This is not a one size fits all approach - there are a variety of ways that people may be involved. For when these groups were explained to the church we talked about the following levels of involvement.
- Pioneers, initiators, anchors to the village dream
- To neighbourhood communities, relational life and making some lifestyle changes to enable room for village network commitments
- To the village network, on the list, will go to local activities and involved in practical initiatives
- Not involved in a local village but supportive of others in the church exploring a local focus.
Over time we hope to see between 12-14 village networks emerge with strong committed core teams, life-groups, local mission endeavours and neighbourhood communities. We also hope to see increasing numbers of people strengthening their commitment and involvement to their village life. This will be a gradual shift over a number of years.
(1) Neighbourhood communities are smaller groups within a village network. In a neighbourhood community people will live more closely geographically and have a higher relational commitment to each other than would be anticipated across the wider village network. In a Neighbourhood community the 4 relationships are held closer together and played out more intentionally