Where BCC came to find itself was not by the execution of some master plan (not a human one anyway). So here is a little history by way of background...
In 2001 a small group of friends found that the derelict Chapel on the site of the old Brookwood Hospital was coming up in their thoughts, prayers and conversations. These friends were at that time part of New Life Church in Kingfield, Woking. Following discussion with the New Life elders these friends left to establish a new church to meet on the edge of the Brookwood Manor estate that had been built on the site of the old psychiatric hospital.
The initial approach
At that time there was no sense of what God wanted our new church to be like so we assumed that we should pursue the things that at that time had caught our imagination. With many good churches in the Woking area we felt no need to duplicate what was available nearby. Our desire was to create services that would have minimal traditional church culture so that those without experience of church would find it easy to join with us. With the style of Willow Creek Church as a model we forged services that were presentationally oriented with sung worship, and teaching. This proved popular with our own people and our numbers started to grow slowly. But those on the outside of church, that we had hoped to connect with were, in general, not attracted in.
In 2002 we invited Kerry Southey, a lady with an international prophetic ministry, to visit us as she had turned out to be influential prior to the inception of BCC. She spoke into the lives of individuals and to the church as a whole and touched on things beyond our own ideas. The two central images that we were given were, first of a "Joel army", the concept of a people without a human leader but whom God himself would lead, where each person would know their role without instruction. The second image was of the people being like "David's mighty men", these were the warriors who gathered to David whilst he was waiting to become King, even though David himself was perceived as an outlaw by King Saul, the reigning king at the time. This would be different from the church we had previously known and would include many kinds of disparate people that we, at that time, had no knowledge of. These were concepts that were so outside our circumstances that, at that stage, we could only guess at what God was about with us.
A change of accent
Over the next few years it gradually became clear that our assumed style of church was not actually what God had in mind for us. Person by person we were impacted by a greater understanding of what Christ has achieved for us (and for all people) by his death and resurrection. We had always understood that Jesus' death has cancelled the debt of our sins but what we now started to experience, what had only been theory before, was that He had also given us His life that He wanted to live through us. "Exchanged Life" teaching about the cross of Jesus helped us to understand how that works out in our lives and why our thinking can be so easily deaf to that part of what God offers. It was our growing relationship with Grace Ministries International that did most to open our understanding to this. And letting each other into the darkest corners of our inner worlds also resulted in a new depth of relationship and loving honest between us.
With the changes in individuals showing what He had planned for the whole body of believers there began a gradual swing away from presentational services to relational one-to-one coaching. When our Pastor decided to step down to became part of the general membership we started to alternate between a traditional worship/teaching service one week and smaller discussion groups in the same space the next.
Eventually in 2008 we started to see more clearly the next steps of the way God was leading us. It would involve a departure from the formal Sunday services we had been so used to. We began to realise the importance of each of us taking responsibility for our own spiritual health and were now better equipped to share this understanding with others. And so amid a flurry of prophetic encouragement we held our last formal service just before Christmas in 2008.