Our geographically isolated church loves Area Conferences!
Mark Russell, Senior Minister at Greenbank Community church, brought 18 members of his leadership team to their area conference in Torquay. He said: “For people in the congregation, being geographically isolated, to see and be a part of something that’s bigger is so important.
“It’s important to me and for the congregation to understand that I am not a standalone person but that I am supported and accountable to others.
“It helps because it gives them confidence and peace in that I have others I can turn to, with confidentiality, for support and wisdom. And I gain inspiration and encouragement but also a peace that I am not the only leader that has problems.
“For me personally I was really impacted with Grayson Jones passion when he was speaking about his vision and ideas for the future of AOG and in particular about growth.
“The team were inspired by the speakers and loved the conference.”
Greenbank is in Liskeard, a town of 11,000 – 12,000 people with an aging population and lots of churches. Mark said: “One of our main challenges is to support and develop an all age “family church”. We don’t come from College or University City where we could target one specific age group. Our church has to appeal to all age groups.”
The church has responded to their circumstances by renovating the church building to be primed to serve local people, and they run several community projects reaching different parts of the town.
The biggest is Greenbank Care a Domiciliary Care Agency, which now employs 25 staff and carers providing a number of care services from basic home support to palliative care.
They also have a day service for adults with learning difficulties which encourages friendships as well as empowering individuals to reach their full potential in a safe and secure environment. They’ve just bought a minibus to extend and improve this service.
The building also has a coffee shop that is open to the community throughout the week. Mark said: “We are very much a local missional church, open six days a week.”