New ministry blends campus ministry, marketplace and church planting
She’s a four-year veteran of the Globalscope Canvas team in Birmingham, England, and Taylor Batte planned to continue with the ministry “until I felt called to something else.” But then that “something else” came along, and Taylor will spend next year helping pioneer a Globalscope-style space to develop a community of young professionals in her city.
A blended ministry
“I’m still part-time at Globalscope and also part time on a team with Anchor Church, a new church start-up led by a group of English people in Birmingham,” said Taylor. “The church came to me with their vision of reaching the city and its needs.”
The church will launch a co-working space in Birmingham because the city is a magnet for young people, many of whom work from home. They see an opportunity to provide Christian community and also help with networking and training.
“The concept is a little bit marketplace ministry, a little bit church, and a little bit Globalscope,” said Taylor. “So many students stay here because they don’t want to leave Canvas. Now we can say, ‘If you loved Canvas, here’s an amazing place that’s similar but will better fit this new stage of life you’re in now.’”
“And it’s a good fit for me because of what I learned about community, hospitality and building relationships at Canvas,” she added. “I’ll be there to talk to people as they come in. We’ll also have office space for the church, and maybe a coffee shop, a ministry for refugees and the homeless community and a ministry for young professionals. The area around the church is affluent, but on the outskirts is extreme poverty.”
Taylor has always had a fascination with England, due in part to “my early love of Jane Austen” and her REACH internship with longtime CMF missionaries Timothy and Tammy Aho.
“I’m so happy here,” she said. “I have that deep-seated contentment of being where I’m supposed to be.”
And she especially loves living in Birmingham.
“Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe,” she said. “These young adults have grown up in the post-Christian world; church for Christmas and weddings only. They need to see relationships with Jesus lived out, and that’s the best part of Canvas. They say, ‘This is not what I thought Christianity was!’”
Taylor sees England headed in a good direction spiritually, with a slow but steady increase of people showing an interest in Christianity. She notes that there’s especially a lot of cool things happening in the church despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m sure Satan wanted to use the pandemic to isolate and bring people down, but recent statistics show that 33 percent of England’s people say they have connected with a church online for the first time during the pandemic,” she said. “At Canvas, it’s been the coolest thing; students who’ve moved away have connected again online, and they remember how much they loved it. They want to keep doing stuff together online even after the pandemic.
“It’s a good reminder that God is still active and that when we don’t know what’s going on, He does,” she added. “He can bring amazing things out of events that we don’t understand!”
Birmingham, Canvas, Church Catalyst, England, Globalscope, marketplace ministry, Taylor Batte