Threshold Church

Monday, 1 June, 2009

In 1996 GP Pete Atkins and his wife, Kath, planted a new church called Threshold, with a vision to strengthen church in the villages of their home county, Lincolnshire.

Operating along the cell church format, Threshold grew and in 2006 separated into four separate congregations. Three were based in a different village and one in inner city Lincoln. There is a bi-monthly meeting of all four.

The congregations draw members from 15 local neighbourhoods and range in size from 20 to 100 members, who gather together in village halls and Lincoln YMCA.

But for Pete and Kath, this is not the end of ten years' work. They have given each congregation the challenge of multiplying further through prayer and planning. 

We are vision driven,

Pete says.

The vision has always been to establish church in the rural situation, with a focus on neighbourhood planting rather than network planting.

Pete believes that the success of Threshold lies in discovering and training new leaders.

The key thing is that by the grace of God we have managed to multiply leadership,

he says.

They have given each congregation the challenge of multiplying further through prayer and planning

Those who have perhaps led a cell have also been on a 'Mission-shaped leadership' training course [now developed into mission shaped ministry]. Leaders meet together bi-monthly and in between are supported by regular contact with the main leaders of Threshold. The Atkins' own role has moved to supporting the main leaders, who in turn support cell leaders.

All our developments are consistent with our original vision of seeing the kingdom of God re-established in the villages,

says Pete.

The leadership communicates this vision through preaching, through a slogan and by holding welcome evenings for newcomers to the villages.

Moments of multiplication, such as the division into four congregations, become opportunities to revisit the original purpose of the church.

By keeping in mind at every stage what they originally set out to do, the Atkins and the members of Threshold are achieving their aim of multiplying church.