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photo of leadership teams event

Exploring Missional Communities

Over 80 deacons, elders, and other leaders from 19 churches were at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church on Saturday 11th November to explore the idea of Missional Communities. 

Ellen Wild and Ken Benjamin

Ken Benjamin and Ellen Wild, who are ministers at Chichester Baptist Church in East Sussex shared with us the experiment their church has been trying over several years, which means that two thirds of their congregation spend one Sunday morning in four doing something they are passionate about instead of sitting in church.

Ken and Ellen have kindly made their slides from this event available – these can be downloaded here:

The slides might not make much sense to anyone who wasn’t there, but here are a few of the images Ken shared which illustrated the journey of transformation they have started out on:

choluteca bridge

This is the Choluteca bridge in Honduras, which used to span a river and was connected to roads. It was built to last, but no longer serves the purpose it was designed for.

Could church as we know it end up the same way?




Kodak filmIf Kodak had been able to see its main business as images, rather than as film and processing, it might have survived the digital photography revolution.

What is the main business of church?




If we let mission lead our agenda, will our other priorities (fellowship and our relationship with God) fall into place?

Missional community logos

Most people in our communities won’t come to church however good it is. Chichester’s experiment has been to encourage ideas for missional communities that do something people are passionate about, such as biking, golf, multisports, knitting and sewing, feeding the homeless, or ministering in care homes. Each group gets a logo and a mission statement. They all meet on Sunday mornings, so that no one involved needs to spend any more time away from their families.

Ken and Ellen were clear that they didn’t expect other churches to copy their model, but they did encourage us to think about what our next step might be. This led to lots of enthusiastic discussion, as the call to try something new sparked ideas and questions from all the leadership teams involved.

If some of these ideas sound interesting, you may want to consider engaging with Re-imagine (for leadership teams) or Forge Training (for individuals).


Posted by Ruth Whiter