On 17th March 2020 we announced with great regret that all Urban Saints Groups must stop meeting face to face until otherwise advised. What a monumental decision. This is the first time we have ever had to suspend our weekly Groups since our humble beginnings in 1900.
Because, of course, for Urban Saints, the heart of everything we do is face to face ministry. Our whole DNA is about gathering together face to face – that’s the heart of disciple-making journeys that really count.
So, what do you do when Coronavirus turns things round 180 degrees almost overnight? It’s a massive question we have been wrestling with and praying over. These are extraordinary times, so what now? How are we going to continue the mission in these circumstances?
Let's be clear, we are continuing with our mission. No if’s, No but's. Whilst we will certainly have to change the way we work for now; the mission of Urban Saints hasn’t changed one bit. In fact, it’s never been more clearly needed. Therefore, our interim strategy's primary focus will be on how we will continue and grow our mission ‘online’.
For the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak we are determined that the ministry of Urban Saints to young people will continue even though face to face activities are suspended. Therefore, an interim strategy called, ‘More Than Conquerors’, is being drafted:
The strategy priorities are:
Mission Goes Online - A range of digital outreach and disciple-making solutions are being explored.
Prayer Mobilisation - A huge mobilisation of prayer across our networks.
Energize at Home - Helping Church and parents/carers to reach and disciple young people at home.
This is only a temporary strategy (although it will have long term benefits) and is not intended to replace the existing priorities on the 2025 Strategy. We hope to return to 'ministry as usual’, as soon as the Lord permits.
What about our existing strategy?
Groups - Whilst we will not be able to make the expected progress on planting new Groups, we will be using our time to build relationship across the existing movement of 76 Groups, supporting, encouraging, training and guarding their work for the future.
Energize - We will seek to grow Energize, making it available and free to parents who are part of existing subscriber churches. We will also give significant discounts to parents who are not part of subscriber churches.
Overseas - Overseas will keep many of its bookings, simply postponing trips until next year. Over the next few months, we will also be adding new bookings for 2021.
Identity - This is a great opportunity for Urban Saints to lead disciple-making mission in really difficult times. One of our key values is adventure so we will live out our adventurous spirit online.
We hope you are going to get behind this exciting strategy. Please keep supporting us. Please join the prayer mobilisation and please stay in touch.
More Than Conquerors
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 New International Version (NIV)