We have a big vision for the next few years. We have some challenges too, but if we take our gaze off of Jesus we will establish an empire that Jesus won’t recognise. We are called to be the Church not on a Sunday, but in every moment and in every corner of the city - looking to Jesus and showing the world His love and grace. The cost for not sharing and loving the world is paid not by those who believe but by the whole world. When we take our eyes off the prize of Jesus the world loses out.
Since the Oak started we have operated with a phrase Building Communities that are rooted in God and Serving the world. This is a great set of things for us to do.
We have felt, to focus us as a church on the main thing, on Jesus. To set out a vision that is so clear that Jesus is central to everything that we do. Our vision is to see the world transformed through Jesus’ power to change lives.
However it's even more than that, it’s not our vision but God’s that we want to join in with. So our vision is…
To help us keep focused on that, and to unite us uniquely as the Oak Church, we have also defined some values:
This may not seem like anything new but hopefully it'll help us know what the main thing is and what we value as The Oak.
As we grow, as people become Christians, as people are getting healed and joining us, we want to help them know who we are and what being a Christian looks like.
Specifically, over this next year we are going to be creating space all over the church for new things, for new people and for new leaders everywhere.
Over the past year we have felt prompted by God to seek God for more and have begun to feel a sense of going again. We have increasingly heard God's heart for this area and our part to play in seeing His kingdom come here. That we are to start multiplying again. 18 months ago Andy McCulloch stood in this spot and prophesied that we should go to Bradford and do things differently. He didn’t know that Chris and Lisa Mason had already moved and have been asking God why.
We then asked Tim and Vicky from Christ Church Manchester to come to our Staycation because we wanted to hear more from those who have walked this path of multiplication. We are now feeling called by God to do something.
As we planted The Oak, we carried in us a desire to see gatherings right across West Leeds and East Bradford. We are gathering people from all across this area but we are not gathering all over it. We are now gathering in Oak Communities (our small groups) right across West Leeds and East Bradford. We want to see our Oak Communities multiply from four, to five, to six throughout 2019.
We want to Multiply our ministries too across 2019. We have received grant funding from Catalyst to multiply Connect Lunch into Bradford and are starting to think what it might look like to also multiply other areas of ministry too.
Finally, we believe God is also leading us to multiply our Sunday Gatherings. Over the coming year, we will prayerfully begin to multiply our Sunday Gathering into Bradford South East. This will be a second gathering of The Oak (similar to having two gatherings on a Sunday in the same building) - this isn't a whole new church plant! It'll be The Oak Church, just gathering in Bradford, the same heartbeat, the same vision! It's likely our gatherings will look a bit different and Bradford is likely to start fairly small and gather in the afternoon. But we will be one church family. One church outworking the new vision above!