The 20th century cartoonist James Thurber once said, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
For church planters, going in knowing all of ‘the answers’ is a temptation. The desire to have a go often comes with a catalogue of things that you want to do differently from the place you came from. Besides, you have seen what worked for Keller/Pilavachi/some other big dog. That’s bound to work for you too, right?
For 15 years Jubilee Church has been active part of the Christian community in Farnham, serving schools and working with parents, young people and children. In all we have done we have sought to see God and our neighbour loved as we pursue our motto of: loving God, loving others and loving life. Over those years we have felt God shaping us as a church to have an impact not just here in Farnham but also in the surrounding area. Three years ago a few of us journeyed to Bordon & Whitehill to join the Christian community there to start Jubilee Church Bordon. Now we find ourselves on the edge of a new season as we embark on becoming one church in three locations.
This year we are going on another journey, another adventure…this time to Aldershot.
The New Ground Elders & Wives met in Brussels for 24-hours in January. Claire Musters tells us all about it.
An early morning wake up, breakfast at St Pancras then all aboard the Eurostar…
It was Friday 20 January and approximately 150 leaders were heading to Brussels for the New Ground Elders and Wives annual 24-hour conference.
We were gathering in Brussels for fellowship, teaching, and worship – but also to experience the city for ourselves, as it is one of the latest earmarked for a New Ground church plant. It was incredible to hear how we have gone from having 6 church plants in 2015 to 26 this year!
Towards the end of last year we [Relational Mission] launched our 2016 Christmas appeal to partner with our friends Edward and Fridah Buria to support the next phase of the community empowerment programme in Meru Kenya.
The aim of the appeal is to raise funds to help refurbish and complete the Isiome Hope Centre in Kenya and in so doing provide apprenticeship-style courses in IT, electronics, masonry, media and community development.
These courses will help young people transition to the workplace by equipping them with the skills they need for employment. This programme will empower the young people to make choices for their own lives and move forward into a different future.
This year’s [Regions Beyond] team visit to Master Builders is aimed at helping each individual team member encounter God in a powerful way. Find out how you can be involved.
This year, we are taking a team to Master Builders, our annual leadership conference in Clarens, South Africa, which will be led by Andrew Hudson from Christcentral Church in Penge. The dates are 27th March – 2nd April 2017. The team will be made up of people from all our Regions Beyond churches. This is a wonderful opportunity to travel on a mission team to Clarens.
John Hosier is a fairly remarkable chap. In my book, anyone who can pastor a church and raise Matt Hosier at the same time has got to be fairly impressive; John has been doing these things for four decades, and just recently he stepped down after serving as an elder for an astonishing forty-seven years. Here is a guest post of his, reflecting on ten convictions which have not changed over a half-century of ministry. It’s well worth your time:
Convinced of This
It’s over 47 years since Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and said: “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” As that happened, I was beginning my ministry in a small Baptist Church in Southampton. At the time that was one small step for me, though hardly a giant leap for mankind! And now, having just stepped down from eldership, this is a brief summary of a message I preached about my convictions 47 years on, based on Paul’s statement that he is “convinced of this” (Phil 1:25; admittedly I have played somewhat fast and loose with the context!) Here are ten things that, for all that I have learned and changed, I remain convinced of.
About 3 years ago I [Alan Frow] read an interview with Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message version of the Bible and pastored the same congregation for 35 years. When asked what the most defining moment of his ministry was, he replied, “It was when I stopped trying to fix people and started teaching them to pray.” That statement stopped me dead in my tracks and re-defined the way I’ve led our church ever since.
While one of the main tasks of an elder is to pray for people, we must beware of people outsourcing prayer to us. We are their pastors, not their priests, and a culture of prayer begins with every believer, believing that Jesus has made them a priest, with their own access to God through the sacrifice of Jesus. Growing a culture of communal prayer in a church is hard work but it’s been the place of most tangible reward. Communal prayer has anchored and propelled us in ways that no other ministry has done.
Jonathan Crowhurst who leads the Exchange church in Aylesbury was diagnosed with Myeloma (a cancer of the bone marrow) in November 2014. A year later he was given the great news that he is in complete remission! Saturday 4th February is World Cancer Day and we wanted to take a moment to hear about his story of healing. It’s likely that most of us have been affected by cancer in some form, and it doesn’t always turn out the way we would have wanted. However, it’s good to celebrate moments where we see breakthrough, and remember God is still good, even in the darkest of circumstances.
Our journey into extraordinary prayer has just begun. So much of our world remains broken and needs the restoring touch of Jesus.
So let’s go again on the 17 March 2017!
ENOUGH is a prayer meeting like no other. It’s for all ages, so bring your children – there’ll be plenty for them to get involved with. There will be food, we’ll share communion, plus we’ll worship together, and there’ll be the chance to meet real church planting pioneers (via video), plenty of creativity, and of course the opportunity to ask God to change the course of history as we pray together.