It was early 2019, Rebi and I were in Bristol for a meeting with a local church. We were being asked to provide some support and training for their team for an upcoming children’s mission that they were looking to run. This meeting had sparked a number of conversations for us about whether this was something that we were meant to pursue, or if it was going to be a one-off. We had some time before the meeting, and we decided to take a bit of a walk around the city.
As we walked, we were talking about what would later become Colab, and we had even batted around the idea of basing the new thing on the passage from 1 Corinthians 3:9, which talked about co-labouring. We had even suggested to each other, tentatively, that the working codename for the idea would be Colab.
As we walked, we went past a row of shops. There was a small independant shop, selling clothes or interior design packages, or kids toys (I have no idea), and its name was Colab. We both stopped, and smiled and continued to chat. That moment was one of those moments.
It had been something we had talked about before, so we continued the conversation. We both had similar and complementary passions, and we felt called to similar things.
When I say called, I’m not entirely sure what I mean. Pulled might be a more appropriate word. Or nudged.
The nudging grew stronger after that day, and we decided to put some of our ideas down in writing. At the close of 2019, and the start of 2020, this idea started to pick up speed. We had two or three people that we were in contact with getting in touch asking for consultancy, administration support, and training. We started to see a thread, so we continued to pull.
Rebi was furloughed in April 2020, and like with a lot of people, found herself with more time than normal. Rebi began training as a coach and began to offer that regularly.
We still weren’t convinced that this Colab idea had legs, or whether it was just one or two things here and there. We had a few more proper conversations about our hopes and dreams for it, and in the summer of 2020 really started to put time into the project.
More consultancy opportunities came about with a church-based in Dudley – supporting them with their church administration, and helping them project manage one of their mission projects which involves delivering meals through the holidays to vulnerable families.
We built a website. Designed a logo. Organised our first events. We speculatively shared the idea with close friends and family. And the nudge continued to become more apparent. So we went for it.
We are still in the early stages of this project, but we are excited to see where Colab will go. We have a vision for the first year, and we have some goals that will help us grow a community around the project, and measure this nudge, testing, praying, and exploring. Thank you for your part in it.
Currently studying Theology, Ministry & Mission at St Mellitus College, Jack enjoys learning, growing and challenging ideas. Alongside this he runs his own graphic design business, which is a great outlet for his creativity.