UNION is a church plant from The Crowded House (TCH) in Sheffield; launched in May 2018. We are passionate about sharing the good news about Christ with those who have little opportunity to hear. We particularly want to witness to those who, by virtue of religion or culture, have no interest in hearing this good news. It is for these people, their families and their communities that Union exists. We are convinced that Christ is ‘the Saviour of the world’ (John 4:42) and so want to see Christ ‘receive glory and honour’ (Revelation 4:11) as people, currently far from him, find true salvation in him.
We believe God uses our shared life to commend Christ and to provoke questions from those looking on (1 Peter 2:12). With this in mind, it is through ministry teams that we seek to be a ‘local church’. Ministry teams are smaller communities of believers who are committed to one another and to serving specific neighbourhoods and communities. Currently, we have ministry teams focussed on the Firth Park, Upperthorpe and Abbeydale Road areas of the city; as well as a team serving International Students.
We are ready to offer a welcome that reflects something of the generous, gracious welcome that God offers in Christ (John 14:23). The 'front door' of our church is the front door of every home in our ministry teams. The best way to get to know us is to sit, eat and talk with us.
Our hope is that UNION is a church where the world feels at home.
THESE VALUES SHAPE THE CULTURE OF OUR CHURCH
We believe the Bible to be the reliable, authoritative and sufficient word of God. We want our lives and our life together to be formed and shaped by the story of redemption. This is why we are committed to filling ordinary life with gospel intentionality, pastoring one another with the gospel and sharing the gospel with unbelievers. We see every Christian as a missionary exercising gospel ministry in every aspect of life. The role of leaders is, through teaching and example, to create a culture in which everyone flourishes in ministry. We shape activities around gospel needs and opportunities, and the gifts and passions of church members. Speaking the truth in love, we challenge one another to be sacrificial, servant-hearted, risk-taking and flexible because the gospel has priority over our comfort, preferences, security and traditions.
The Bible story shows our corporate identity as ‘in Christ together’ is primary. This is why we are committed to communicating the gospel message in the context of shared lives. As we build relationships with people and share the gospel message, it is our aim to introduce them to Christian community. We want our homes to shape the ethos of who we are as a church as we share our lives, care for one another, disciple one another and pursue peace together. Because the church is a family, we want to include one another in making significant decisions and to consider the impact our decisions have on each other. As communities of grace, we are committed to welcoming broken people and making church accessible to unbelievers. We want to offer a sense of belonging in which people can be open and vulnerable.
We are committed to blessing our neighbourhoods through gospel declaration and gospel demonstration. We celebrate the diversity of cultures in our local contexts while recognising the need for gospel renewal. We encourage one another to glorify God and serve others through the workplace, business, community projects, government and artistic endeavour. We will work together as a network with generous flexibility and collaborate in wider church-planting movements to litter our cities and the nations with communities of light. Recognising that God is the primary agent and orchestrator of mission, we view prayer as a critical missionary activity. Therefore, prayer will be both a regular community discipline, and an impromptu response to needs and opportunities.
Samuel is the Lead Pastor of UNION. He and his wife, Fiona, have been a part of TCH Sheffield since 2001. They have two young daughters; Betsy and Dorothy. They actively serve those from the Middle East and have fond memories of living out in Kurdistan (North Iraq). For the past two years Samuel has worked as a Staff Elder for TCH Sheffield. Previous to that he enjoyed a teaching career in both secondary and higher education. Samuel is an assessed church-planter with Acts 29. Arguably his greatest achievement is introducing the term ‘kebbabing’ to the church.
Charlie is an Elder of UNION. He is married to Emily and they have three young children; Florence, Henry and Freddie. Charlie and Emily have enjoyed a warm partnership with Samuel and Fiona since their initial road-trip around Kurdistan in 2007. After two years living there, they joined TCH Sheffield in 2012. Charlie has trained through Crosslands Seminary, and as a result better appreciates the delight God takes in the church. Charlie works part-time teaching Maths at secondary-school. When he had the time and the fitness, Charlie enjoyed climbing Scottish mountains, but is now content to be clambered on by his children.