This feels like a monumental occasion, writing my final blog of the year. Next week, although I am around, I won’t be coming in to the church office and won’t be writing my blog. So this is it, the last one of the year.
The plan for my first term at RBC was simply to try and get to know people better, remember names, but most importantly to listen to people. I think I’ve done pretty well… although I still get names wrong – sometimes with hilarious consequences, unfortunately I can’t repeat the stories here, but trust me, I’ve been red faced on a number of occasions. We’ve explored the simplicity theme together and to be honest I think we are not even scratching the surface of things we could simplify within RBC.
I do have some real hopes and ambitions for 2018 which I believe come from prayer, reflection and listening.
I’d like to see the baptistery used more regularly, I’m baffled as to why committed Christians in our church haven’t followed Jesus’ clear instruction, ‘believe and be baptised’. But I also am confident that in 2018 we will be blessed with the baptism of people new to salvation.
I pray that our church will continue to grow, not so much with people moving from different churches but with new people coming to Jesus afresh.
I think we are being called to pray together more determinedly. As I talk to pastors who have experienced growth and renewal, the back bone is always committed prayer times. So in 2018 we are going to designate a prayer area in the building and have a lot more 24/7 prayer type events.
Planting, yes church planting -I want to start talking about how RBC can either plant new churches or plant into existing churches. There’s many areas, some quite close to us, that would be made better by a new form of church being started and shaped there.
In January we are going to start talking, thinking and praying about our Sunday mornings and whether or not it’s still right to continue with two morning services, or are we being called to something new. This means going into the new year holding everything lightly, whilst responding strongly to the voice and direction of God.
Wherever you are over this Christmas period I pray that you truly know God’s hope, peace, joy, light and love.
May the joy of the angels, the wonder of the shepherds, and the peace of the Christ Child, fill your hearts this Christmas time; and the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be with you all now and always