Boldness, Early Birds and Batons
They raised their voices together in prayer, “Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”. (Acts 4:24, 29, 30)
This prayer, uttered by the first church community in Jerusalem was a response to the threats made against the Apostles Peter and John and the church. And as we step forward to tell people about Jesus, speak God’s word with boldness and pray for the sick I am sure you are also aware of some measure of resistance as the enemy puts up all sorts of defences and deceptions to stall the advance of God’s kingdom in Headingley and Leeds.
I believe that God is about to do an amazing thing amongst us. For a long time we have received promises of this and we have been preparing. And so I invite you to get on your knees and pray for the church, for your housegroup and housegroup leaders, for the children and young people and their leaders, for the trustees and leadership group and staff. Pray for our protection from the deceptions of the enemy. Pray for discernment and wisdom as we seek the Lord’s purposes. Pray for courage to do the stuff.
And pray for the Doing the Stuff conference: for the team doing the work in the background, for Robby has he prepares and visits, for all the people whose lives are going to be touched and transformed that weekend.
Please note that the next Early Bird price expires TONGHT at midnight so if you haven’t booked, do it now!
We are part-way through our Doing the Stuff series in preparation for the conference. You can download the pod-casts and some of the texts on line:
Does God Speak today? (David Flowers)
How do we Join In? (Kate Newman)
Does God Heal today? (Dr James Garvican)
Praying for the sick. (David Flowers)
Sharing your faith. (Ben Newman)
Servant Evangelism. (Pete Sammons)
Passing the Baton
One of the most difficult things for leaders to do is to pass the baton – to handover their leadership role to someone else. The challenge is to do it for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right way and in a healthy state. After much preparation and planning John and Eleanor Mumford are in the process of handing over leadership of Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland to John and Debby Wright. I think this has been an exemplary transition so far – thoroughly planned, well communicated, demonstrating honour and humility.
The process of the transition will culminate in a celebration party on 19 September. After that John & Eleanor will focus mainly on working with Vineyards around the world whilst John and Debby will split their time 50/50 between leading Trent Vineyard and VCUK&I.
If you haven’t seen it already I recommend that you watch the announcement of the handover when it was made at NLC 2015 (go to the Vineyard Churches website, find the NLC podcasts and select the announcement). There are other resources there for you to peruse – FAQ’s and an interview with John and Debby.
Joining in with churches in Headingley
We are part of Churches Together in Headingley and you will find information about this on our website with regularly updated events and announcements. One of the regular events that takes place, in which all churches are invited to take part, is the Good Friday Walk of Witness on the morning of April 3. This is a short walk from the Arndale Centre to the front of the Arc where there is a time of worship and testimony.
This clashes with our traditional breakfast walk on Ilkley Moor but if you would prefer to stay in Headingley, please do join in. They would like some additional help from singers/musicians and from people who could be interviewed briefly about their faith. Please let Sue or Anne know (in the office) if you would like to help and they will put you in touch with the right people.
40 Days of Lent, 40 Reflections, 40 Simple Acts of Generosity. Do Lent differently this year with the highly popular 40acts.org.uk. It starts on Wednesday.