Next year is going to be a big year in the life of the church. Since September it has felt like we have moved into a new season as a church. Where it had felt like we had only STOP signs they were changed into GO signs in the autumn.
Here are just a few examples of this new season.
• Youth club opened and over 50 young people already on the books
• Alpha course began
• The flow of God’s Spirit moving amongst us in new ways
• Weekend with Paul Hopkins and what has followed included testimonies evening.
• Legacy came through of £150,000
• New external room bookings
• Work restarted upstairs
• Huge savings made in costs of completing the work (around £80,000 so far and we hope will continue to raise)
Back in September as Elders we were praying and asking God what are the keys that are going to unlock things for the church. Jesus promised that he would give us the Keys to the Kingdom and so as we prayed, we asked what keys we were to use to unlock areas of church life. Once again, we have learnt what it means to trust in God’s Timing and it has led us to the ask the question, ‘what is God doing amongst us at this time?’
As I have reflected on that question two words have come to mind as our focus on next year. Trust and Love.
In a few days you will be asked to put an ‘X’ on a ballot paper, and you will be deciding who you trust to lead this county at this time of crisis. OK, maybe trust is too stronger a word. Maybe, you will make your decision based on who you think will mess it up the least!
Trust in people in authority is at all-time low in this country we are told. Whether it is politicians, police, journalist, teachers or doctors. We just don’t trust people like we use to. How many of us google our symptoms before we see the GP and then do the same with any medication, they might prescribe for us. Today, we are not sure who we can trust.
We, also, live in a time when so many people need to feel loved. There is so much disagreement in this nation. I have never known us so divided as a nation, in my lifetime, as we are now. Our nation needs to heal, and could it be that God is positioning His church to be part of that? A church united like never before ready to love a nation divided like never before. Sounds like God might be in this all along.
This leads us to our theme for next year which is ‘Trust in His Love’. This is based on two scriptures.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
It is captured in this picture of the Lost Son returning to the Father. A picture of trust and love.
Now all of this could be amazing as God is moving in this new season. However, it leads me to ask the question, ‘what is He asking of each of us?’
I think the answer is simple and profound, BE READY!!! Get in the flow of what God’s Spirit is doing. As Mary challenged us a few weeks ago, jump in the river.
So, roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
What is it that God is going to do? I don’t know, but all that he has taken us through over the last few years I don’t believe is without purpose.
I don’t fully know what might happen next year because it is God who is leading the church and He will build His church.
But God does require something from us? Well, you will have to wait until Friday to read the rest which will be sent via email and also on the blog.
Please remember prayerfully our building fund gift day this Sunday (1 Dec) to raise £40,000.