Fresh approach, unchanging vision
In Spring 2011 Roger Peach, our Regional Training Director, told the Trustees that he felt it right to move on in the summer to a new area of ministry. Roger has been a mainstay of mwf for nearly 14 years; on behalf of all those around the country who have benefitted from Roger’s ministry, may I express our thanks, and our prayers and best wishes for his future ministry.
... so: a new look to the ministry
Clearly Roger’s decision to move on affects mwf greatly, but within God’s plans Roger’s news actually fed into and clarified some thinking which had been going on in the Leadership Group for some months. It seemed to provide for us the confirmation of the way ahead for mwf. In years gone by mwf has had to reinvent itself on more than one occasion to meet the changing demands of worship training in the UK. We have reached another of those pivotal moments as we look to serve today’s worshipping communities.
We have been aware for some while that the main thrust of mwf’s ministry, our Regional Training Programme, is no longer attracting the numbers it once did. With a couple of exceptions fewer people are attending and more events have to be cancelled. Of course this lack of support also meant lack of national visibility, along with lack of financial income, and we were approaching the point where we feared that mwf might not be able to continue.
Meanwhile, however, we were seeing a rapid growth and development in the ministry of engageworship.org
, a branch of mwf
set up a couple of years ago by Sam & Sara Hargreaves, which has focused on innovative, creative worship via the internet and targeted training. The mwf
leaders have spent much time discussing and praying about the future in recent weeks, and in particular asking what God might be saying through mwf
’s decrease and engageworship.org
’s increase. It took us a while to get there, which included some exploration of whether mwf
might join up in some way with other organisations. But in the end we concluded that to keep the vision which has always driven mwf
clear and undiluted, there was only really one way to go.
So it is with great excitement that I can now reveal plans for the future, and the decision to pass on the main focus of mwf
’s ministry to Sam and Sara through engageworship.org
.The vision remains unchanged, with its commitment to quality, breadth and integrity. What will change is the approach in delivering this vision. From this summer strategic training and equipping will be provided by engageworship.org
rather than through Regional Events, which overall have not been attracting enough people to make them sustainable long-term. The printed Baseline
will be replaced by much more regularly updated website articles and resources. And we will work with the London School of Theology (LST), with whom we’ve always enjoyed a close partnership, to provide both occasional national events and consultant-type visits to individual churches. You can visit their website at www.worshipconnect.org/2011/
for details of this summer’s event.
We are also planning annual get-togethers for all mwf supporters
to meet up, worship, pray for the work and share in the discerning of future vision, starting in February 2012.
The finer points and the leadership structures of the new-style mwf are still being worked out, but what is clear is that two things will continue into the future: our commitment to encouraging and resourcing the Church to worship with ever greater quality, breadth and integrity, and our need for those who have caught the vision, will pray for it and support it financially. No changes are easy, but good changes always lead to growth and we believe that God has used our circumstances to lead us into a good change.
So will you join or stay with mwf on this exciting journey? The leadership are convinced that this is God’s call to us, and in obedience to that call we are facing the future with hope and excitement. We’d love to have you with us!
John Leach, mwf Executive Director