Ministries are the way in which we live out our love for God through practical applications.The aim is to show the love of Jesus through the meeting of practical needs to those facing challenges.
We are vigorously committed to ecumenicalism (churches of various denominations working together) and encourage our members to get involved in ministries beyond those specific to Challenge.
Established long before food banks became a feature of so many towns and cities across the UK, Storehouse seeks to provide a week’s supply of food to those who are in need.
Referrals are made by professional intermediaries (social workers, professional support staff, schools etc) and groceries are then delivered within 24 hours. Non perishable items, donated by church members, are stored at the church and fresh produce is purchased at the time of the delivery.
Neighbourhood Chaplains is a new initiative from Counties seeking to connect with, befriend and serve our local community through house-to-house personal visits.
Before going out our Neighbourhood Chaplains must complete a three session training course, where volunteers learn about: Biblical models for mission; understanding the Gospel; listening skills; how people come to faith; how to share faith confidently and appropriately; pastoral care; safe practice; signposting and more.
Once on the streets they are easily identifiable by wearing Neighbourhood Chaplains uniform and carry photo ID for everyone’s peace of mind.
Community Action Teams
Our Community Action Teams (CATs) serve the local community by providing practical help for those unable to complete tasks for themselves. To date the main focus has been on reclaiming gardens that have become overgrown but we expect this to widen once Neighbourhood Chaplains builds momentum and further needs are identified.
Whilst not a ministry specific to Challenge, we encourage our members to serve alongside Christians from other churches as Street Pastors.
Street Pastors go into the city centre on a Friday and Saturday night to care for those who find themselves in difficulty for whatever reason. All our Street Pastors are highly trained and work in well drilled teams that include a qualified first aider. Our aim is simply to help people to “have a good time and come home safe”.
For more information go to: www.vennture.org.uk
Another ministry spanning many churches and denominations is Family Pastors, which some of our members are involved with.
Family Pastors come alongside families in their homes for 1 hour a week. They work with the family by listening to them in a non-judgemental way and helping them gain the support they need to make changes, find solutions to their challenges and bring new hope into their lives.
For more information go to: www.vennture.org.uk
We enjoy a great relationship with many of our local schools.
We take monthly assemblies at both Marlbrook and Riverside junior schools and contribute to RE education in several schools in the area.
Since 2007 we have held a weekly After School Club at Marlbrook School where the children enjoy DVDs, bible stories, dramas, games, songs, prayer, memory verses, crafts and of course squash, biscuits and sweets! Averaging over 40 children each week from Reception to year 6 it is a joy to share their enthusiasm and to see how their knowledge of Jesus increases week by week.
Every other year we host The Life Exhibition, an interactive exhibition pioneered by Counties and created for years 5&6. Traveling through ‘pods’ and using tablets the children learn about the prophecies surrounding Jesus, his teaching and miracles. They then watch a DVD showing Jesus death and resurrection.
Throughout the exhibition children are encouraged to ask the question “What do you think?”. Children love it, teachers have nothing but praise for it and we love sharing it.
We also bring GSUS Live another Counties initiative to secondary schools. GSUS Live is a mobile education unit which is a multi-media classroom in a lorry trailer. It tells the story of three teenagers facing real-life issues in their lives, and how they get inspiration from the Bible to deal with their problems.
Using touch-screen computers, secondary school students in KS3 interact with fictional characters through animations, instant chat, short educational films and music videos. They explore the themes of fear, forgiveness and rejection.
GSUS Live will be in six local schools at the beginning of 2018.
Each year we also welcome children from a local school into our building as part of their ‘Sacred Spaces’ curriculum explaining what we do as a church, sharing a bible story and demonstrating communion and baptism.
For more information on any of our ministries, please do get in touch with us.