CPI is pleased to welcome Jordan Armstrong to the network
Jordan is a member of Church in the Community in Brierley Hill near Stourbridge. He and Andy Hodson share a vision to plant a church to reach the large population of local students in the middle of Stourbridge, where there is very little if any evangelical witness. Andy Hodson is assisting and supporting Jordan by mentoring and studying with him in regular sessions.
In November 2016, Jordan started a meeting in a cafe in the centre of Stourbridge and now 10 -15 people attend. The Stourbridge population is around 63,000 people (2011 census), and approximately 60 per cent of these people visit Stourbridge High Street per week. This works out to around 38,000 people who can be connected with in the town centre.
Jordan is also a gifted worship leader, which he does at Church in the Community (CitC) and with a group called Harmony. Harmony meet regularly together not only to practise, but also to pray and study. They released a small EP in December 2014 to share their worship music with others, which they gave out for free.
Jordan shares with us some of his church planting journey
I came to Christ on 25 July 2009 at a youth camp called Oasis, following a powerful message that really challenged me. I went to Soul Survivor in July 2015 and I felt a strong calling to something new. Following Soul Survivor, I ended up involved at Church in the Community in August 2015, and have been there ever since.
In October 2016, Andy and I met together and we both shared our visions that we felt called to for the church plant, which were extremely similar, coming together to form a strong vision for how the church plant could look.
Following this, we were blessed with an opening to begin the church in a coffee shop called ‘The Chemistry Café (it used to be a Chemist shop), and on 7 November 2016, we held our first service. The congregation was mostly people who were already involved in other churches, but it was a starting point to have a presence on the high street as people passed. It was also an opportunity to witness to the owners of the coffee shop who had already explained to us that they were atheists.
The primary aim for the church plant is to connect with the students from the three colleges surrounding the Town Centre, with a total between them of approximately 13,000 students. Only one of the colleges has a Christian Union, which has around 20-25 members, so there are a lot of students left to connect with and share the gospel with.
CitC Stourbridge has also begun to have weekly church services in the coffee shop, and we are already seeing interest from people who pass by, and have seen a couple of people join us, even if for just one week. We are beginning to pull together ideas for how we can do further evangelising and reaching out to the community that we want to connect with.
I personally, acknowledge that I am young and perhaps not as experienced as others, so I know I have a lot to learn. With Andy guiding me, I am learning more about church planting. I make connections with different people through things such as CPI Hub Meetings, visiting churches and bringing churches together to events such as our Nights of Worship.