Missional Household in Sheffield
Testimony by Sharon Earl
In Summer 2014 Sharon, Jacolien and Mark moved to Hillsborough, a neighborhood in Sheffield, to start a Missional Household. We are trying to combine living a missional lifestyle ourselves whilst also discipling people who want to learn to live like this during what we call a Discipleship Immersion. The vision for this is that we believe that every ordinary Christian can live an extraordinary missional life that impacts the people around them. We believe there is no better way than immersing yourself in a culture where this is already happening naturally. This year we have Courtenay from Australia, Zoë from the United Kingdom and Nelleke from the Netherlands with us. Two of them live in our house and one is living with a friend.
Our main focus is our neighborhood, but we've learned to be open to anyone God sends us.
We met a South Korean student on the train. He joined our community and invited a friend who invited more Asian students. One of them has been raised in a Buddhist family, but he always wanted to read the bible. So when we started with Discovery Bible he was really excited.
One of Sharon's colleagues started by coming to our neighbourhood parties joined the students on the discovery bible journey we took as we all sat around the kitchen table together. Now she is on a journey to get to know Jesus better!
We reserve one evening a week to invite folks we have connected with to have dinner with us. The main aim is to get to know each other. We share thanksgivings at the start which gives a low key opportunity to show who we are. For those who are interested in learning about Jesus we've created a further opportunity to connect when we read the Bible together. We have just started to do 'God's Story'.
Our challenge is to find people of peace in our neighbourhood. Most people like us, although they find us a bit weird, but it's hard to build relationships (people are busy) and it's difficult to have spiritual conversations.
Sometimes we think people aren't bothered, but one day whilst handing out invites for our Christmas do, a man who said he is an atheist, asked us if we where the Christians who put the daffodils on the streets last year at Easter morning and written the words love, hope, peace? He said that he loved it and that his mother was moved to tears. He encouraged us to, "keep up the good work!".