In the following stories, you will find numerous examples of all the different things that God is up to around the UK countryside and coast. There are stories to make you smile, stories that will lift your spirits and inspire you, and stories that help remind you that God has not retired, grown hard of hearing, nor finished with the rural church.
Missional Listener Projects
To be a people of mission, we need to listen to God, our communities and one another. Missional listening is a supported journey where we help you identify what God is already doing in your local community and enable you (and others) to join in with this.
Why not begin your Missional Listening journey today by starting a conversation with us. Email Simon to get in touch.
Missional Listening is a continuing journey of discovery; it is a practice that combines missional activity and pioneering under the headings of radical attention and prayerful contemplation. It is for those who have a sense of 'calling' to a place without a fixed idea of what that calling might practically look like.
Missional Listening helps us understand that God is already at work, and our task is to simply discover where and what this is before joining in. It is a journey of discovery, partnership, and participation. It enables those involved to discern the community's heart cry, ask what the kingdom of God might look like if it came alive in this place, and how 'church' might be impacted if it were to live these kingdom values today. Missional Listening helps us move from 'what is lost in this community, that only the gospel can restore?' to 'what longing is present in this community that only the gospel will satisfy?'
Missional Listening intentionally moves away from the metrics of measurement used to legitimise pioneers and instead gives permission to try and fail without the expectation of success. Missional Listening encourages a posture where we listen 'with' rather than listen 'for'.
At RM, we have a growing network of Missional Listeners across the UK. Some are called 'community chaplains', others' mission enablers', and some have no formal title. We intentionally support, resource, gather and learn from one another. Through the continuing journey of Missional Listening, we have witnessed people journeying to Jesus in ways we never dreamt possible. We have seen the organic planting of churches and the reinvigoration of existing churches that had long since been written off.
Our Missional Listeners
We are Ben and Ez Lucas and we were called, with our four children, to listen to the rural communities in Dorset back in 2017. Listening is the most exciting of adventures and we are amazed at how God does beyond our imagining with our listening and availability. We now have small Christian
communities rising up throughout the county and have seen a few baptisms, all from listening to the community and awaiting the invitation to join in with all God is doing. We are so thankful for the generosity and prayerful support of so many people connected to rural ministries.