Paul Bradbury leader of Poole Missional Communities, who pioneered Reconnect, the missional community overseen by PMC, has announced that he is stepping aside from leadership of Reconnect.
“After 9 years leading the Reconnect community from its very beginning I’ve decided it’s the right time for me to step aside from that role. As a pioneer, a starter of new things, I have always had the sense that at some point Reconnect would be ready to be led by someone else, or in a different way, and I could be freed up to develop other new things. In the past 18 months much of the running of Reconnect has been delegated to others. However, it feels right that now is the time to step aside from the overall leadership of the community.
The leadership team will now take up the leadership of the community and explore together what kind of leadership we feel Reconnect needs for the future. We have spent the last year following God’s guidance to ‘enlarge the place of your tents’ and ‘strengthen your stakes’ (Isaiah 54: 2). That has seen us multiply our community focus into 3 places (Old Town, Parkstone and Oakdale) with the promise of a 4th focus (Turlin Moor) in the near future.
We are increasingly looking like a ‘community of communities’. That kind of community may well need a different kind of leadership to what we have had so far. So to ‘strengthen our stakes’ we will be looking at how we can design an effective but free-ing form of leadership for the next phase of Reconnect’s life. I sense God’s hand on this, that it is not just about me moving into new things, but also about enabling Reconnect to move on too.
Emily and I are not moving from Poole and we are not moving from Reconnect. We are committed to Poole and Reconnect is our church community. We will continue to be part of Reconnect and contribute to its life and development. I will however be taking a temporary break from Reconnect until some time in the autumn to give the leadership team space in which to take on the running and direction of the community.
I will continue to lead Poole Missional Communities, the organisation that supports Reconnect and a number of other pioneering ventures in the area. The interest in the kind of church Reconnect has become, and the way we go about church and community engagement is growing, across Poole and further afield. I feel called to enable the planting of other missional communities in other places and really need to free up time to give that my attention. I also want to explore how we can pioneer new things in the Old Town community of Poole. I’m really interested in how a community can find its own answers to some of the challenges it faces and would like to see if we can experiment with that locally. I will also continue my work for the CMS Pioneer Hub, supporting and advocating for pioneer ministry across the South Central Regional Training Partnership. And I will continue to reflect and write on the themes of pioneering ministry and church renewal.
My final Sunday as leader of Reconnect will be Easter Sunday – which seems pretty apt in a way, in that its marks the transition into something exciting and new that God is doing. On April 28th there will be an event for the whole community to mark what feels like a kind of ‘milestone moment’ in the life of the community – a chance to celebrate as well as look forward.”