I rebooted this blog last summer and decided that I would use it to chart the progress of the Chapel and my time with Christ Church Manchester. I thought it would be a good place to record my thoughts for my own future reference and, obviously, would be a useful resource for my ghost writer in the distant future (that is a joke).
I also decided that I would be as honest as I could be. I found self promoting self-back-slapping blogs to be a little tedious.
The process of blogging has become useful therapy when things are going spectacularly wrong and a good way of processing when things go well. So I guess I am recommitting to my “honest or nothing” approach. I am aware that sounds a touch self aggrandising, like I am the only honest Christian blogger on the entire internet and…..well…. I am a bit of a ponce, so deal with it and move on.
Anyhoo, CCM:City has started good and proper. Once again we are in the midst of trying to carve something out of nothing. The difference between Sept 2010 and Sept 2009 is the addition of a number of very gifted and driven people. My hope is they carry on making me look good.
Our prayer is that we get 50 people quickly, that the community continues to grow (I love these guys and gals) and that some freaks get saved.
Last night at CCM:City we had an excellent time. It was our last “pre-meeting” before we launch properly on Sunday. I am unlikely to sleep much this week.
After the meeting we went out to do some flyering. There was about 15 of us pounding the streets of Fallowfield. I am no fan of cold contact work but there was something oddly thrilling about giving out church flyers with “Coke, Sex, Beer” written on the front. The few times someone stopped and talked they were completely caught off guard by the fact we were advertising church. Happiness is confounded expectations!
After 45 minutes of flyering we took a break and wandered up the road to meet some guys from Vinelife church who said they would help us out.
I have written about this kind offer from Vinelife before and to be honest I kinda thought it was be too good to be true. It is worth bearing in mind that I have a heart of stone and am a bad Christian. So when somebody makes a spectacular offer like this I expect them to come up short because 1) I distrust humanity, 2) there is no way I would come through on this sort of deal and 3) I am basically miserable.
So Phil from Vinelife said “Tim, I can bring 30 people to help you give out flyers for your church” and I was stunned at this offer of generosity. They stood to gain nothing from the deal. They would be handing out flyers on their own turf for a church that wasn’t their own. Mind bending.
To be honest the offer of help was good enough in it’s own right. If they had sent 1 guy down for 20 minutes I would still have been amazed. But they didn’t do that. They sent down 40 people (four zero) who flyered for a good couple of hours and promised to take flyers down to a load of different events over the week.
We gave out 1200 flyers in a few hours.
Sometimes you get utterly humbled by the generosity of others. Today I am humbled.
If any Vinelife people read this blog then thank you very much. Seriously, you guys are a class act.
So I now write on another blog. This brings me to four blogs including this one.
This time I am writing with my stupid kid brother, Matt Simmonds.
We went to the Reading Festival over August bank holiday and it slowly dawned on us that it may be time to lay down our dreams of Rock stardom. So what do you do when that painful truth catches up with you? You decide to become a critic.
So we are going to indulge our love of music by writing about it.
I like to rant. I do.
But today I am going to say something nice. About someone.
A friend was asking me how the first few CCM:City meetings had gone. This friend leads another church in Manchester, it is not a Newfrontiers church so the jury’s out on whether he is saved or not but I like him none the less (that was a joke). He leads a cracking church which has been on the Manchester scene for many years and have seen many other church plants come and go. They keep plugging away and to be honest they are heavy weights.
It is also worth noting that they run a Sunday meeting that is squarely aimed at students, twenties and the creative community of Manchester which is exactly who we are aiming CCM:City at. In human terms you would think they would be slightly suspicious of us and even be a touch frustrated that we are trying to do the same thing.
So he was asking how CCM:City was going. He then asked if there was anything they could do, I suggested they give us 50 people. He laughed.
Then he offered help again. I explained that we had 4000 leaflets to give out and a couple of volunteers would be awesome (you have to understand that I thought he was being polite and wanted we to ask for prayer). Anyway, my friend said that I could have 25 – 35 people to help with flyers on Sunday night. Genuinely mind bending.
So on Sunday, even if they provide 1 person to help out it will still be amazing.
So here is another flyer . I know flyers aren’t that interesting but they make me happy. Publicity material needs to walk the line between representing who you are and who you want to attract. These flyers are slightly more towards the latter.
We will have another 2000 of these puppies in the next week or so. We are going to give all of these out as well.
So that’s 4000 flyers to distribute. Blimey.
And here’s the back!
CCM:City is this.
CCM:Chapel is this.
CCM:Chapel is this.
So as we head towards our launch night of CCM:City the publicity is beginning to fall into place. (I know we have already kinda launched, but can you have too many launches? Really?)
The idea came from the fact that we are going to preach our way through 1 Corinthians. I realised that Corinth and Manchester have a great deal in common. Both Cities love to party, drink and have sex. So we decided to talk about it. Dead Excited.
We are going to give out 2000 of these bad boys. There will be none left over and then we will give out some more.
Well, I didn’t barf which is always a good way to start a new church campus/site/location.
There was a whole bunch of us there because we couldn’t use our morning venue so the good people of Christ Church Manchester pitched up at Luther King House.
It was a good night and it was nice to have a packed out room. Our prayer is that by the end of the year (academic) we will have 50 people at CCM:City and 100 at CCM:East. Simple.
Ps here is another Spotify play list of what I wish church worship music sounds like but doesn’t. Yet.
So Sunday evening sees us rebooting The Chapel as CCM:City.
We decided that to effectively reach Manchester Christ Church Manchester needs to be a multi-site church. Some churches go multi-site because they have filled their venues. We, on the other hand, are going multi-site because we need to reach out! We need/want more people. A church that doesn’t want more people is a little weird.
As usual, I am monumentally pumped! We are doing (and planning) some ludicrously cool stuff in Manchester and I often feel like I am merely a spectator on someone else’s journey.
So CCM:City boots off on Sunday at 6pm. Not being there would be foolish.
What else are we planning? Well how about open mic nights every Sunday evening after church? Or a monthly Dubstep night? How about some punk gigs? What about some indie-schmindie gigs? That will do to start with.
Pause. Deep Breath. Try not to vomit.
(By the way, one day the worship at CCM:City will occasionally sound like this – http://open.spotify.com/user/timsimmonds/playlist/6v9x37X0ctQqguzXSubp3X)