Over a number of years different churches and ministry teams have been meeting in various groupings. These meetings have been driven largely through the NET. The NET is a church and people connecting organisation. As a consequence of this connecting process, a group of local leaders formed, who adopted the name “The Forge”. Initially this group met for personal time together and to support the organisation of events such as Watchman (a prayer gathering in the late 90′s). The Forge group sensed that God was in the connections that had been made, and that relationships where developing and sensed that this joining may be part of a wider plan and purpose for churches working together in reaching our communities of the Back Country,
November 2005 Retreat
Having sensed that there could be more to the connections that had taken place, it was decided to take some time out to explore the possibilities of how we could work together in touching our area more effectively. It became clear that to underpin this ambition we would need to deepen our relationships as a team. The two and a half day retreat was designed to help us develop these two themes.
The birth of the Core Vision Team
One of the outcomes of the retreat was the establishing of a Core Vision Team, a team who could serve the churches of the Black Country in developing a way of working together that compliments and supports what every church is doing locally. This team is now the Leadership Team of the NET. This document summarises the outcomes from our retreat together. The DVD of our vision available on the home page was made for our first Leadership Conference in September 2006. They are; Jonathon Bentley, Paul Chamberlain Phil Collins, John Cook, Kevin Davis Leon Evans, Tim Fellows, Jon Grant, , Mark Harland, Adrian Lowe.
Our purpose (why we exist)
‘To help equip the church to reach the people of the Black Country for Christ and see our communities transformed.’
Our target (who we are trying to reach)
The 1.2 million people of the Black Country who do not know Christ
Our strategy (how we will seek to fulfil the purpose)
§ By modelling Kingdom values and relationships
§ By connecting church leaders, church members and organisations throughout the Black Country
§ By gathering to pray, proclaim and celebrate
§ By equipping and resourcing the church
§ By inspiring towards evangelism through strategies and events.
Our Values (who we are and what we stand for)
Relational Values (how we treat each other)
§ We will be honest and transparent in our dealings with each other.
§ We will respect and listen to the views and opinions of others.
§ We will trust each other.
§ We will commit ourselves with time and energy.
§ We will prefer each other.
§ We will speak well of each other in public and in private.
Functional/ Corporate Values (how our network operates)
As a group we will act and behave in a way that demonstrates;
§ Interdependence – placing high value on working together.
§ Involvement – placing high value on engaging and Including others.
§ Innovation – placing high value on creativity and trying new things.
§ Intentionality – placing high value on working with passion and energy.
§ Investment – placing high value on investing in people and projects.
§ Inspiration – placing high value on the leading of God.