Friday, November 27, 2009

Blogging London #5: The Lunchtime Business Partnerships

St Helen's began in the 1960's with a ministry to the London Business Community. I'm glad, because one of our 6 communities is the Sydney Business Community. So we have a model, then.

In 1961, Dick Lucas was preaching to the business community (mostly men) who worked in London. St Helen's was a (mostly empty) 13th Century church near The Bank of England, Lloyds of London etc. But it was a tiny community on Sundays ('a few people and 2 cats'). Apparently, the main income of the church was brass rubbings!

But there were keen partnerships in place that allowed both the Lunchtime Ministry and the Church to grow. From the partnerships, the Sunday Ministry grew.

I saw the big Tuesday Lunchtime meeting, which was good. Mark O'Donahue (top guy) leads the ministry there. I was able to visit with Chris Fishlock (ditto Mark) and his team at the Fleet Street Talks. At the Fleet Street Talks, I was able to get under the 'scaffolding' to see how they do it. And it is about prayer and teaching the Bible. Sure. But it is more that that: it is about forming partnerships to reach their colleagues.

So -- what have I seen that would be helpful at the York Street Forums?


I saw deliberate, prayerful, passionate partnerships in the Business Community. They invite people specifically to partner with them in reaching the city.

We haven't really developed partnerships of prayer and passion at the York Street Forum. Not this year. Sure, we preach Christ at the York Street Forums, and we teach the Bible (with interaction and Questions etc). All good. That's our job. But we need more.

Now, here is a confession. I plead grace in this: we have been in Sydney for 10 months etc. But we haven't included the *actual* business community in our plans and prayers. Can you believe it? We've just got a preaching program, and a time and a space.

I've been wondering why good men and good women (who are passionate about Christ) have come to the ministries for a month or two, and then we never see them again. Truth is, we haven't invited people to partner with us: in prayer, support, evangelism, training, care and support for their colleagues in the office.

I've got more thoughts. But this is all Ill say right now.

Pic on Flickr by Kevin Danks.


Martin T said...

The curate from my church in college took several classes at a business school to try to figure these things out. He was all about delegation, invitations to partnership, the sort of thing you're talking about. I might have faded into the background at the church if he hadn't gotten me working with youth almost immediately. Now, there was only so much good in that, because I sure didn't feel prepared to lead, and I was there co-teaching confirmation classes. But there's tons of value in those partnership structures...especially when those partnerships include deliberate, regular prayer, as Fleet Street does!

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