Church Round-Up (October 2017)
It’s been a busy couple of months for churches after everything started up again in September following the summer break. Here’s a round-up of some news, ideas and milestones from churches across the Fellowship.
One of the things we love to share with the family are ideas for mission and ministry. That’s why it has been so encouraging to hear about thriving prayer meetings at some of our churches.
Often, one of the problems of an evening prayer meeting is that by its nature the whole church family is unable to attend. So some churches have been hosting prayer breakfasts designed for everyone.
Praying as a Family – Witham
It all started about three years ago when our fortnightly midweek prayer meetings had dwindled to less than 20 people, writes Tim Diaper, Pastor of Rickstones Church in Witham.
As pastors, we were thinking hard about what to do because it was a real struggle to get people excited about praying. Then, at the 2014 Leaders’ Conference, we heard Tope Koleoso share about the way his church approached prayer meetings and that got us thinking.
What we ended up with was replacing midweek evening prayer meetings with a monthly prayer breakfast on a Sunday morning, before our main service. We started in 2015 and it’s been going strong ever since.
We start with a full cooked breakfast and then pray for the life and ministry of the church, and issues further afield. At least 50% of the church family attend regularly which was the whole point of the venture, and it’s encouraged us that so many are eager to get to church at 8:30 on a Sunday morning!
What is particularly encouraging is hearing people pray who had never previously been part of the corporate prayer life of the church. This is especially so of the children. We encourage them to take part and pray with the whole church family too and it’s such a blessing to hear children as young as four praying with members in their 80s! It’s a perfect start to the Lord’s Day.
Praying as a Family – Milton Keynes
Our Family Prayer Breakfast is a way to involve all ages in our week of prayer, so at the moment it only happens once a year, writes Richard Wardman from New City Church in Milton Keynes. The aim is to get children praying in creative ways, but also to encourage families to pray together.
In the past we have had tables with different prayer-based activities, a pick n’ mix prayer breakfast, and this year a prayer bookmark to colour in and then use as a prompt to pray. It has been so encouraging to hear the prayers of children and young people, and to see them praying with one another and their families.
We know from experience with our own children how hard it can be to get children praying, so hopefully these prayer breakfasts help to spur others on as well. Perhaps we will start having them more often!
A New Pastor
A new chapter began for Emmanuel Church, Leamington Spa, with the induction of their pastor James Midwinter in September, writes Bill James.
James worked as a lawyer before being called to the ministry and training at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He was assistant pastor to Ray Evans at Grace Community Church in Bedford for two years before coming to Leamington Spa in August.
In addition to a large contingent from Grace Community Church, the Emmanuel Church family was joined at the induction service by representatives of Wycliffe Church, Sheffield, where James had been in membership while a student and met his wife Hannah. There were also some from Monyhull Church, Birmingham, where James and Hannah were members for seven years, during which time James served as a ministry assistant for a year and an elder for two.
At the induction service, John Tindall of Chessington, who had been a formative influence on James, led in prayer. Ray Evans preached from Philippians 3:7-4:1 on gospel-shaped leadership. He spoke of the need to be rooted in the gospel of grace, to persevere through discouragements, and most of all to strive for the fruit of love in yourself and the church fellowship.
James was called as Associate Pastor to work alongside me. However, since his call, I have been appointed Principal of London Seminary and will be leaving Emmanuel at the end of November. Please pray for the church as they seek another pastor to work alongside James.
It’s been two years now since The Globe Church launched on London’s SouthBank, writes FIEC London Director Trevor Archer.
Recently we’ve been meeting at Willcox House (home of the Proclamation Trust) but now that 100 people are regularly attending on a Sunday, we have needed to find a new venue. Pastor Jonty Allcock has found us a lecture theatre in Guys Hospital that is just a few minutes from London Bridge.
Our new venue can seat 300 so it gives us plenty of scope to grow. We can also get it on a week by week basis so only pay for when we need it. Meanwhile we are able to keep the Willcox House venue for food on a Sunday as well as our two midweek meetings.
We’ve been encouraged by new folk turning up during September and if everyone came we would have a congregation of more than 130 so it’s the right thing to move venues.
So please pray for The Globe as we continue to see God at work on the SouthBank.