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Partners in the Gospel 

A new DVD focuses on individuals who have seen the benefits that have come to a community as a result of Home Mission support. By Ruth Whiter

Partners300“I don’t really know what this video is about,” admits Debbie Main in one of the Home Mission videos we’ve produced as a partnership of Associations.

She doesn’t know much about Baptist Home Mission, but she does know that the minister whose church meets in her school, who is supported by a Home Mission grant, has made a huge difference to the life of the school.
In the South and West of England and Wales, we’ve been gradually learning to work together as four Association teams where that benefits our churches and God’s mission through them.

Home Mission grants are now allocated regionally with each Association accountable to the others; new callings to ministry go through a process administered by the partnership; and we are working out how to collaborate in our communications with churches and individual disciples.
One aspect of this is sharing stories of how Home Mission money is being used regionally. We encourage all our churches to give at least five per cent of their income, so it’s important to feed back the difference this money makes, whether it’s spent on support via Regional or Specialist teams, or on direct grants to churches.
We got together as a partnership and started talking about this. In a world full of communication media, what would our churches find most helpful? We carried out a survey across all partnership churches, and received, helpfully, a really clear answer: almost 75 per cent thought that video on a physical DVD would be the most effective tool. So a small team from WEBA, SWBA, and SCBA set to work on a partnership Home Mission DVD.
We’ve called it Partners in the gospel – that’s what we want to be as associations, and it’s also what every church that gives to Home Mission already is. We decided to focus, where possible, on individuals who had seen the benefits that had come to a community as a result of Home Mission support, but weren’t necessarily the people who had applied for the grants.

Sanctuary 300The DVD contains six short films – in addition to Debbie the headteacher there are diners at the Sanctuary café in Watchet, the Revd James Neve talking about Frontline Debt Advice in Southampton, and Nick in Swindon who was eager to share her story of mental health healing.

The DVD also contains a shorter compilation video, What difference are we making?, and a short film - Prophetic Harvesting - reflecting on the mission challenges and opportunities presented as thousands of new homes are being built across our region.
If you’ve become used to viewing video content on youtube and Netflix you may find it a little surprising that most of our churches wanted a physical DVD – but of course this didn’t stop us making the set of videos available online too. You can view and download them all at vimeo.com/channels/seventytwo.
DVDs will be distributed to churches in WEBA, SCBA, and SWBA, but we do have a few spare at the WEBA office – please contact Ruth Whiter at office@webassoc.org.uk if you would like one.


Ruth Whiter is Communications Co-ordinator at the West of England Baptist Association


Baptist Times, 08/06/2015
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Examples of how Home Mission funds are being used in the West of England Baptist Association
Salem Baptist Church in Cheltenham has provided an extra layer of support to its community by installing a public use defibrillator on its building
UK worship leader and songwriter Luke Wareham teams up with Lou Fellingham for new song Honour You Lord, which focuses on Psalm 29
A community fridge has opened in Gorse Hill Baptist Church in Swindon – the first such fridge to be opened in the town
Refuge, based on Psalm 34:18, is the latest single from worship leader and songwriter Luke Wareham
Glimpse is the latest song to be released by Luke Wareham and Rachel Mason, two worship leaders and songwriters from Clevedon Baptist Church in Somerset
What happened when Alex Drew recently joined the church's long-running (and recently reopened) Friendship Café
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