Winchester Baptist Church has had a clear statement of Purpose for some years, now. We want to be 'a church without walls'- and we are:
Building a community, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bringing
- glory to God
- people to Jesus
- believers to maturity
- God to the world
We are also a church with a vision for God doing something remarkable in Winchester through churches working together for the Kingdom (rather than their little empires). We have a vision for churches ceasing competing, stopping replicating and sharing resources and distinctives- for the greater good of God's Kingdom. Some of this is happening already.
Clusters, our vision and structure
Aug 2009: we came to the end of stage one of a vision process that started in January 2007 when the church met for a month to seek the Lord for our future way forward.
We had been looking for a model that would help us achieve our values of empowering all our people for Every Member Ministry, liberating people's time and us becoming more intentionally missional as a church. It had been a process involving much prayer, cogitation, inspiration and investigating of models that have worked or failed elsewhere
A model that rose to the top as one that could really implement our values with minimal disruption to the things that work very well (ie our Small Group Structures and Sundays) was that of 'Clusters'. Clusters meant the introduction of a new missional tier into church structures: the mid-sized group, a 'community with a cause', that is small enough to share a common vision but big enough to do something about it. This would be done in a way to reduce busyness and number of meetings.
On 25th July 09 a Special Church Meeting decided overwhelmingly that we should progress with the Cluster 'mid sized group' model and 'go for it' with a two year pilot to see what and how the Lord blesses.
View the full document on our cluster pilot here.
Tim Williamson (as Elder), Andy Marshall and Gareth Bartlett oversaw our clusters which launched our two year pilot on 13th Sept 09. In 2011 the church decided to continue with Clusters, with nine of them having been established. See more on our Cluster Page.
Read our Jan 2010 Church Profile (written for our Mission to Seniors vacancy)- the latter bit of which shows some of our future hopes and vision.