Saturday, 20 October 2007

Hope Community Church

Planting churches is the best evangelistic strategy for the UK.

Given the large number of commuter churches and the tendency for evangelicals to slip into professionalism (whether of the sermon-lecturing variety for the Reformed, or the worship-leader variety for the Charismatics) in ministry, the time is also ripe for small, flexible congregations which emphasise and practise every-member ministry.

[I didn't make that stuff up, by the way. Tim Keller, the Crowded House and all kinds of wise and exciting Christians have influenced my thinking on church...]

So, Rock Baptist, who have nurtured me and Kate for 5 years in Cambridge, have now (at last!) planted a new church (presently it is a 'church-planting initiative' as it is not an independent church congregation, but who's quibbling over terminology...?!) which is called HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH, and is based in the east of Cambridge.

We meet in a school hall (Cherry Hinton, a suburb) one week, and in a tiny Baptist chapel (Teversham, still a village, just) the next. After a late afternoon 'service' we eat together. There are fewer than 15 of us, and it's wonderful! It really feels like, and really is, a community. We also have a lot to learn and a long way to go...

Mission statement:
Under the Lordship of Christ, we seek to be a Gospel-centred, Spirit-led community reaching out in love to the people of Teversham and Cherry Hinton. We are committed to the Bible, to prayer, to making disciples and to growing the church by planting further congregations. We want our witness to be holistic and flexible, based in loving relationships and on seeking to serve those around us.

At our first specifically evangelistic meeting last Sunday one visitor professed faith in Christ! Praise the Lord! And there are many other encouragements from this truly team effort. Soli deo gloria!