Proverbs 23:23 counsels us to "Buy the truth, don't sell it". This phrase has long been a principle in our family of churches, reminding us that we don't know everything; we are all learning; and we need to keep finding fresh wisdom for our churches as we seek to bring God's saving message to a fast-changing world. This posture leads us to welcome regular guest speakers, send leaders (staff and volunteers) to external conferences, as well as hosting conferences and training in-house. That's healthy for us.
A city like Oxford is for many is a stepping stone of education and early career development, with high population turnover. A city church like OCC will reflect this population turnover of the city. But with our 'apostolic vision' for God's world, we see that turnover as an opportunity, not a threat!
Outside of Covid times, OCC holds regular so-called Church Family Meetings (that is, meetings of the whole church family). In these, the leaders bring reports and updates, we talk and consult over various matters, and we pray together for God's guidance. These are important times in the life of the church, in which we're looking for that Acts 15 sense of "the decision seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us".
Spring 2022 saw two Church Family Meetings close together.
This video is a presentation given by Steve Jones (Senior Pastor) to the church family meeting on Thursday 27 January 2022, in which he explains what has been changing in patterns of leadership in the last 3 years, the introduction of Focus Teams, and proposes the appointment of 3 new elders.
In 21-22 we want to invest in development / growth / breakthrough, especially in our four Future Focus goals.
To do this we want to invest in releasing more time from some members of staff and leadership, in order that they can increase their focus. Ideally, we want to increase capacity (time) for these people. If you're not sure who's who, look here.
When I started full-time employment in Oxfordshire Community Churches in 1995, I was taken on as effectively an Operations Director (although we didn't use that term then). We talked instead about the gift of 'steersman' or 'pilot' - a word with nautical roots that appears in 1 Co 12.28 and is variously translated leadership, administration, guidance and governing.
An except from Steve Thomas' short book Unity and diversity (releasing the variety of gifts that God has put in the church), available in full and free from Salt & Light.
As OCC, we're wanting to see everyone flourish, and be who they're called to be as part of God's purposes! In other words, we're really committed to making disciples (person mentoring), every member ministry (everyone gets to play a part), and everyone having a specific calling to make a difference in God's world (everyone has a call to serve God).