Sunday, 20 September 2009


Just been away for a week to a little cottage in Worcestershire where we have been before. It was good for the soul, as the last few weeks have been really, really busy.

This summer we have had our main hall redeveloped to prepare ourselves for the move to Two Sunday meetings in November. This has meant all sorts of practicalities, decoration and building work being carried out.

Our new Church Manager starts a week on Monday. That has meant putting everything in place for their arrival, including me moving offices this week has needed to be sorted.

With other elders on holiday over August, as well as administrative staff, it really has been a case of "chief cook and bottle washer" alongside a couple of other staff to get through the summer.

Add in changes to the leadership in two cell groups that I have been heavily involved in and I was running out of steam a bit. Last Sunday was our Harvest Service in the morning, which was an excellent guest service, followed by a members meeting in the evening.

A week away has been a great opportunity to rest, recharge, and maybe even refocus.

We came back early from our holiday because Esther's little younger sister Naomi was being baptised. As I walked in I saw the LCD TV in the foyer with a welcome message had been installed. I walked past the new welcome banner and into the main hall. The new carpet looks great, as does the new decoration, as does the new stage, and the new lighting, new banner at the front, new projector, and especially for the baptisms the new remote control camera that allows the pictures to go up on the big screen. It does not look too flash, but it is a real notch up on what we had before, and it all takes so much less time to set up and use, so much less hassle for those who faithfully serve. The Lord stopped creating, saw that it was good, and rested. I felt the same way this week!

None of this stuff matters. It is, in many ways worthless chaff that will pass away. But it is also part of resourcing a growth in our Sunday congregation. That is why I was really excited today. Four candidates were baptised and publicly confirmed their faith, including three teenagers and one adult lady who is a former alcoholic who has had her life transformed by the saving power of Jesus. There must have been around 300 people there this morning, it felt really full, really energetic, really on the front foot. And then as I left I scanned the Alpha Course sign up sheet and found 21 guests and 5 students from a local international school.

4 baptisms and 26 coming to Alpha, wonderful. This is what we are living for. Forget the kit and the bells and whistles. We want to reach 21st century society with a 21st century expression of Church, and to see the gospel reach more and more people so that they can come to know the power of Jesus in their lives.

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