The Church in the heart of the community…

I’m heading home after a cracking weekend in the quintessential English town of Chipping Campden. I had the joy of working alongside the Baptist Church as they reached out to people in their community in creative ways.

Once a year the town organises the Dover games, a historical games jamboree with music, folk games and food. Not only do the church compete in the games (and they won this year!) they also have a team reaching out to the crowds and this year we gave lots of free hugs and gifts too. This afforded opportunity to pray for people and to get to know people and invite them to the ‘Chillput Zone.’

This is where the church opens the doors of their building and serves tea and toast.

I took the opportunity to pray for people and was very humbled to meet people and bring words from God’s heart through the simple paintings I did alongside student of The Light Project College Sam.

On the Saturday I worked with the church in offering ‘prayer paintings’ out on the streets. Simple yet profound ways to connect with people!

On the Sunday I was booked in to be the speaker for the joint churches open air service. Speaking good news for those who were eavesdropping was such a privilege.

So now I’m returning home deeply encouraged that the church is in the heart of their community with some distinct gold news to demonstrate.

I am convinced that their success in seeing people come and join the church through the Alpha course (they’ve baptised over 200 people since running Alpha year after year) is down to their community connections. People know them and they know people by name.

The seeds of the gospel are sown naturally as they become more and more known and this helps the church connect in bold and creative ways.