This was the first newsletter, sent out on 25th September 2014. To subscribe to the list click here.
Thank you for taking an interest in the life of this church plant and signing up for our mailing list. As you no doubt realise, we are at the very beginning of this new venture and we desperately need your prayers and support. I'd love to bring you up-to-speed on our progress so far, and then give you a clue as to the direction we see things going in the next few months.
The Journey So Far
It was only in late February or early March of this year that Sie Yan and I settled on the decision to plant a church in the South Bank area of London. This came after a process of seeking God's will about the next steps for us that began the year before, but other avenues we had pursued did not seem to be right for us. When the idea to plant in the South Bank came to mind it gained traction very quickly as we began to realise the need in the area. We invited a number of people from Westminster Chapel to join us, and some said yes!
Over the past six months we have seen the ways that God has led us and provided for us, which has been so encouraging. The team who have been involved from day one are exceptionally gifted and diverse, and were clearly God's choice in ways we could not have anticipated.
Our search for a venue was a bit hairy and there were a couple of false hopes as promising opportunities slipped away. But we finally located a function room in The Horse & Stablespub, just 20 seconds from Lambeth North Station, and a few minutes from Waterloo Station.
Despite there being so few of us we didn't feel it was right to hang about for too long and only meet in homes. It is difficult to imagine inviting someone to church in a home (in our context at least), and obviously, being in London means that our homes are somewhat compact. So we decided to take a punt and start a Sunday meeting, which will begin this Sunday!
We have also been busy organising other behind-the-scenes aspects of church life. We put together a website, a budget, and are working on becoming a registered charity. Along with all of that we have been praying hard!
The Next Few Months
From where I'm standing it's hard to predict how the next few months will pan out. But we're starting our Sunday meetings on 28th September, and people have begun to show interest in joining us.
We want to keep things as simple as we can by focussing on our Sunday meetings and midweek Life Groups. Besides the obvious challenge of organising more events when we are so small, we also feel that a bare calendar will afford us more opportunities to engage with people outside the church.
All going well our hope is that we will have 30 or more committed people by Christmas. We would like to have a more official launch in January, with some kind of celebration to mark the occasion. It didn't feel right to attempt this now as we would likely get a big crowd on the launch day, then go back to our original 9 or 10 the next week!
As things get under way I would ask that you pray daily for the life and fruitfulness of this church plant. There are obvious things we need in order to begin to get momentum and grow. These include:
- A good start this Sunday with people joining
- Our hope of growing to 30 or more by Christmas
- Early fruit with people crossing the line of faith & getting baptised
- Success in registering as a charity by January 2015
Along with this I carry certain long-term burdens, and I would invite you to start praying into these. It can be difficult to see beyond the immediate challenges of just beginning well, but if I look ahead with hope to what we will become, my passion is to see a number of things come to pass. First, we hope to be a church-planting church, with a focus on planting churches in other parts of London. Second, we would love to one day own a building in South Bank where we can have a permanent presence. If you intend to carry Grace London in your prayers over the long haul, then take a note of these things and join me in praying that they come to pass.
Thank you for support. It means a huge amount to us!
Grace & peace,