One of Harris Creek’s ministry principles, Create Over Reproduce, drives us as a body to pursue creative solutions to hurdles that we face as we look to seek the welfare of our city. Our culture is constantly shifting, and we desire to be proactive when positioning our church to intersect the Gospel with that culture. One way to approach the unknowns that lie ahead is to learn from those who have gone before us.
Over the last few years our staff has been hard at work identifying churches that have wrestled with what we are just beginning to see here in our country. Our research took us to England. We have found a handful of unique and passionate churches that we think we can learn from. Though these partners aren’t an exact match of Harris Creek in terms of theology and practice, they do share a true desire to creatively engage their cities with the Gospel.
With trusted partners in place, we have begun to send young leaders into a summer long learning environment. The reciprocal aspects of the Training Institute:UK allow us to bless these churches with excellent volunteers for an extended period of time, and in turn we get to observe and ask questions as to their approach.
Church life in a post-Christian world is going to look different in each city. Our second summer rotation marks the addition of a ministry partner. As of right now, we have four residents in two different cities/churches in England. This cohort will experience vastly different approaches to seeking the welfare in Brighton and Birmingham. We are excited about what they will learn and bring back for us to consider.
This summer’s residents are Nathan Scott (Brighton), Christy McCaw (Brighton), Zach Winterrowd (Birmingham) and Shayna Bettinger (Birmingham). We will be providing updates on their experiences throughout the summer by way of this blog and our social media platforms.
We are excited to announce that we are adding short term options (8 days) for those looking to experience the TI:UK in an accelerated way. Stay tuned for those details!
Here’s a quick rundown of the first month of the Training Institute: U.K.:
- Katie Yarbro, Elizabeth Ogburn, and Merritt Denman are the first interns for the program, and they are all serving with One Church in Brighton, England.
- They hit the ground running and headed to Youth Camp, an off-site but nearby gathering of multiple congregations that gave the interns an early jump on meeting some One Church members.
- The host home for each of the girls has been incredible with hospitality and inclusion.
- One Church hosted its first of several CHOMP events, which are meal and activity provisions for the local community while kids are on holiday from school. The interns have mentioned that a noteworthy takeaway was how disarming it can be to simply sit down next to someone at a meal table. The volunteer servers do not stand back and keep to themselves, but rather they are expected to pull up a folding chair and sit with those whom they serve at the plastic pop-up table. Continue reading “Training Institute: U.K. (Month Review)”
Please continue to follow the Harris Creek blog for Our Turn Updates throughout the next few years. You will read and see construction updates as well as ministry happenings. After all, this vision is about how our church family is doing whatever it takes to bring people to Jesus.
Continue reading “Text, Textiles, and Context”
London, England is an epicenter for cultural development. What happens in London doesn’t seem to stay in London. Business ventures, style trends, fine arts movements, and social reform may start within the walls of Big Ben and Parliament, but they flow outward like the River Thames, beyond the realm of the big city and to previously unknowing neighbors. A speck of an idea can float to the heart of Great Britain or it can float out to the open sea to distant lands that wait. Despite what the geography of the United Kingdom wants you to believe, “no man is an island” after all, but rather each person is as capable of influencing, as he/she is capable of being influenced. In London, the transformation of an individual has the potential to influence the world at large. Can anything good come out of London? Can anything good come out of Waco?
Continue reading “Harris Creek Training Institute: UK”