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How Firestarters is growing to support Baptist churches

Begun in 2017 as a series of conversations, the Firestarters Network is expanding the ways it can support and help Baptist churches grow through reaching people for Jesus



Further conversations where growing churches help other churches to grow – through conversation, prayer, principles and plans

With both Leicester and Sheffield venues full two more conversations are now available for booking in 2022. Durham in September and Stafford in October can be booked at www.firestartersuk.com. Further conversations in Spring 2023 in Yorkshire and the south-west are planned.

Firestarters Network hosts small conversations where ordinary Baptist churches that are seeing unusual growth through people being converted share their stories openly and honestly. These are conversations where the principles learnt from these stories are offered and explored, surrounded in prayer, worship and honest leadership sharing.

Day 2 is given over to careful, robust shared planning. They inspire ministers, leadership teams, pioneers, planters and pastors to not only imagine what God could do but leave with a renewed sense of belief that he will! All conversations are £25 to make them accessible to every church and leader, and capped at 25 people to make them intimate and specific – a genuine conversation.

Here’s what some have said:

“I just wanted to thank you for facilitating Firestarters last week. It was really excellent. I came away so encouraged and blessed by the input...and also the powerful times of worship and ministry. I know it wasn’t a conference or a retreat, but it certainly had moments where it managed to be both those things, as well as the conversation you told us it would be.”

“A year after we attended a Firestarters conversation as a team of all volunteers I want to say what measurable impact it had on us. As church secretary for 21 years, this year truly has been the most wonderful. Seventeen baptisms! Seventeen! I know we should obviously say ‘God did that’ – which he did. But when we reflected as a team we realised he had directly used the lessons from those two days as the vehicle to those baptisms. It’s the first time in all my years at this church we’ve grown to a point to genuinely think about calling our own minister. Thank you Jesus and Firestarters.”


Chrissy Remsberg joins the team as it expands the ways churches can access the Firestarters Network and its lessons

As the requests to access Firestarter conversations have increased in 2022, the Firestarters team is delighted to welcome Chrissy Remsberg to co-lead the movement alongside Alex Harris, and help move toward being the Firestarters Network with wider accessible points that help churches grow.

Chrissie RemsbergChrissy co-leads Beacon Church in Stafford as it evolves to a network of mircochurches. As well as being responsible for expanding the number of resources Firestarters can offer, Chrissy will add the opportunity for churches to consider what it means to be scattered and agile, exploring how microchurch or multi-congregation models can release mission and discipleship through our local churches. While remaining a grassroots network without financing or funding, Firestarters is welcoming an Advisory Group to help guide the growing influence.

Chrissy said, 'I'm excited for the opportunity to join the Firestarters team. I'm so passionate to see those lightbulb moments when people begin to find fresh, creative ways to share the gospel. I have personally been encouraged and equipped through Firestarters Conversations in the past and it's a real privilege to find more ways to help more people engage with these stories and principles.'

Chrissy is co-leader of Beacon Church, Stafford where they are exploring a microchurch model for making disciples. She's co-authored Moving Toward Mission and is excited for the Firestarters book she's co-authoring with Alex, to be released 2023.

Alex says, 'We saw the impact of creating these conversational spaces where churches experiencing surprising growth share their lessons with others in the years before Covid.

'As in 2021 we were asked more and more to host conversations again we stepped out in faith in 2022! God seems to be continuing to use these simple conversations in incredibly helpful ways. I love to be able to be at each of these conversations – facilitating the conversation and learning together. ?

'But without doubt the highlight for me is hearing from churches afterwards of the change and growth God has bought about. I am delighted to see what God began in 2017 expand into the Firestarters Network and am thrilled to be able to share that leadership with Chrissy with her energy, passion and expertise.' 

As part of being YBA Regional Minister for Pioneering and Church Planting, Alex is leading a planting initiative called Lydia House in Leeds, and is Director of Baptist Church Planting at St Hild College.

For more on Firestarters, visit firestartersuk.com, and watch the video below: 




Baptist Times, 15/08/2022
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