Tell us about the work of Kairos Connexion (Kx), and how it has grown since it's founding.
Kairos Connection grew out of its roots in a single church in Sheffield in the early 90’s and now touches the life of about 75 churches around the UK, though it’s key message and innovations have been absorbed into many other networks. Its central office is currently based in Liverpool but runs from a number of ‘hubs’ around the country. It has three streams of activity:
- Reimaging Church - Helping leaders and their churches figure out how they integrate mission and discipleship into shared life mid-week communities. We’ve found this to be incredibly effective for releasing lay leaders and mobilising members into the mission and ministry of the Church.
- Microplanting - Developing a microchurch network, supporting leaders who are planting autonomous house-based churches reaching unreached people or places.
- City Reaching - Bringing together City Reaching leaders, those who carry a heart and vision to see whole towns and cities saturated and transformed by the gospel. These are men and women who are part of city-wide networks who recognise the need to mobilise the churches of that city to reach every man, woman and child with the gospel, and see multiplying missional expressions of church established so that we have one such expression of church for every 1000 people (our “1 in 1000 strategy”). This third stream is supported by the first two.
You oversee the City Reaching stream. Why are you passionate about this area of ministry?
I’m passionate about the City Reaching stream because it takes us to our ultimate destination of completing the Great Commission, preparing the Bride of Christ, and creating the context for Jesus’ return. I believe every man, woman and child has the right to hear the gospel and make their response to it.
As we demonstrate the gospel through simple acts of kindness and bigger social action and social justice projects, we create a platform for the gospel to be shared and heard. This is all about ‘starting with the end in mind’.
Where have you seen God at work in City Reaching over this last year?
The Liverpool City Region – with a population of 1.5 million people – has been the test bed for many of these ideas over the last decade or two. We are seeing more and more people committing to pray for their streets on a daily basis, caring for the most vulnerable, and sharing the gospel as opportunities arrive.
We’ve seen about 25 churches engage with a training programme called ‘The 6 Marks of a Great Commission Church’. This is helping them to orient themselves around mission and realign with gospel priorities. A similar number have done the ‘Brighter’ course, training in missional confidence (an online course we created and is being used nationally).
The unity among leaders in all the boroughs is growing such that regular leader prayer focussed on mission is growing year on year. There is a growing network of trust and collaboration. We have seen real breakdown in some the ethnic divides allowing the local network to benefit from black- and Asian-led churches in the mission. We have a new network of evangelists who will be serving the churches to raise the temperature of evangelism and equip church members.
There is an embryonic church planting coalition which will ultimately facilitate the planting of churches across the region allowing our goal of 1 in 1000 to be achieved. Our first national event, connecting many town and city leaders across the nation, will take place this November.
As it becomes financially costlier to live in and reach cities with the gospel, how have your plans needed to adapt?
The Church in the UK is having to adapt to a new financial reality. Church as we know it is not sustainable with so much resource going into Sunday services, buildings, and paid clergy. Kairos Connexion is working to help churches ask the question, “How do we be and do church differently, more effectively, and with less resource?”
The biggest challenge for Kairos Connexion as an organisation is to support and help fund City Reachers. By definition, the work they do will not be funded by any one church family. Without dedicated time available, the leaders will not be able to cast vision, create networks of leaders, or catalyse movement in their cities. We want to be able to part fund these City Reachers with an expectancy that they will match-fund locally.
How can people support the work of Kx?
Prayer will always be the underpinning of Kx, and we’d welcome anyone to join our mailing to stay in touch with what is happening. Finance is also a need to sustain and grow our ministry, both for City Reaching and our central running costs.
You can help Kairos Connexion to reach more communities with the gospel by giving with Stewardship.
You can find out more about the work of Kairos Connexion and the impact of their ministry by exploring their blog.
Please pray for the leaders within the Kx network, that they would be encouraged in their leadership despite hardships that many faced during and post-pandemic. Kairos Connexion would also value prayer for the growth of their Microchurch Network and the national launch of the City Reaching Network, and for financial provision for all their streams of work.
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