We read in the book of Acts that when churches were planted, they brought joy to the city. There was no escaping the fact that the gospel was spreading – if a New Testament church was planted in your city, it was impossible to not notice it!
In New Ground, we have a great desire to plant new churches and shape existing churches to make a major difference to the communities in which God has called them to live. We want to see communities positively impacted through signs and wonders, social action, and thoughtful cultural engagement by local Christians. We believe that everyone in a community should be blessed by the fact that our churches are there.
“Taking new ground in our communities is all about equipping people to be salt and light in their workplaces, in their neighbourhoods, in their streets, seeing gospel transformation in their towns and cities,” explains James Silley, who leads New Community Church SE London.
“It’s not right for there to be a community where there’s a New Ground church and the community barely notices!”
— Phil Moore, Everyday Church Wimbledon
Many of our churches are already very active in their towns and cities, running community groups that seek to bless certain estates or people groups, and social action projects that are making a huge difference to some of the poorest and most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods. We’re also beginning to increase in genuine influence with decision-makers in our areas – some of our church leaders are building relationships with their local politicians, while others in New Ground speak to local councillors and police about issues affecting the area.
“It’s about every domain of life,” says Graham Marsh, who leads Kings Church Eastbourne. “How can we affect and shape and influence? How can we play a role in politics, in local government, in education? How can we have a shaping influence in the economy and finances?”
Stuart Gibbs, of Emmanuel Church in London, adds, “We want to build churches that are not only full of life for the believer, but actually it overflows into the community around and lives are changed, society is impacted, communities and schools and colleges and neighbourhoods feel some of the impact of the church, so that they know that God’s doing something over there because they can feel the benefit and the blessing of it.”