Twenty-nine people from SSCB spent time with the Lord in prayer in simple ½ hour sessions. Our foundation arose from the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative, but our focus was on listening to what God was laying on our hearts and then interceding. May we all be blessed by what is shared, and inspired to pray onwards and take action.
Prayer: We came to the Lord in prayer, contemplating, singing and listening. We heard God – sometimes a gentle whisper and sometimes just realising that we ‘know it in our know-er.’ The Lord gives us hope for the future. He is in control and will never leave us. Amidst all the fear, anxiety and worry about the future that is going on around us, there is a rock, a solid foundation, a calmness, a peace, a Hope: a Saviour.
Fellowship: We are blessed by fellowship with each other; with so many people, past and present, shining examples of witness to God’s love and instruction. We are enhanced by the lessons learned from others, through their deep faith and quiet wisdom. In fellowship we care for each other and the community we serve. In fellowship we contact members of the Church Family through telephone, post or just a knock on the door (subject to COVID-19 restrictions), with ongoing prayer and E-pistle Newsletter delivery. Nobody is forgotten; everybody is included.
People: Remember those who find their way to our ‘Church on the Corner’. Pray for the seekers and for those who found Open Church and returned to join with us on a Sunday, finding a welcome. Pray for those who paused with us while passing through on their way to other countries. Can you identify and reach out to people in the Church Family and our wider community? We need more people to join home groups, to expand Wednesday morning prayer time and perhaps more of us could help with the initiatives such as Foodbank, Fair Trade and Street Pastors.
Mission: At SSCB we are called to be a light in the darkness; a safe space for those who need it. God is strong enough to overcome our failings and our doubts. We are not strong enough alone but if God is with us, we can achieve whatever he desires for us. Remain humble and focused on the Lord. Be Christ centred. What would Jesus do is both a personal prayer and a church one; a question to the fore of our thoughts, prayers, and actions. Take a step back and think how Jesus would handle a situation. If God is calling us to reach out to our community and those with young families as well as working with youth and older people, then how can we do this?
Discipleship: We want to build more one-to-one connection in the church. Can we aim at specific outreach focused at tackling loneliness? In particular, perhaps we can look at some kind of friendship group for men in the church. And we must remember single people. We can expand on the ‘drop-in’ and existing friendship elements in the church but can also try new things – maybe a men’s community/activity group or groups at weekends, reaching those who work full-time. We want to build friendship ties and godly ways in the Church Family and wider community, at a deeper one-to-one level.
Worship & Teaching: There is an absolute need for continued Biblical teaching and our own vital response to this. We seek a practical application to the teaching; it is not just a set of theoretical principles. We must encourage each other to respond; it is not just a series of nice stories on a Sunday morning. We must seek greater knowledge and understanding of the Bible not because we have to but because we choose to. The Word of God fulfils us, helps us align with God’s will and is an outworking of our love for Him.
Buildings: Can we expand Open Church on Wednesday mornings to become a drop-in for coffee, like our Saturday Café? How can we become more visible in our community, perhaps distributing information throughout the local area with details of church events and other activities at the church (Dean patchwork, badminton, Guides, Scouts, Rock Solid etc.)? Some prayed at home, others went on prayer walks during their sessions – from cold and rain to sudden sunshine and birdsong. Look after our buildings, yes, but remember always we have the voice of God within us because He dwells within us. We are never alone.
We are a small church but what we do, individually and collectively, in serving God in the community is heroic and seen in heaven. What would Jesus do … what will you do?
[from Timothy Pitt]