On the 3rd weekend in November a small team of us went to Chester-le-Street Methodist Church to share with the good folk there in our first Together Weekend. These Together Weekends offer an opportunity to think, pray, learn & share ideas about mission. Everyone is encouraged to consider their unique place in the mission of God & to think about how as a local church they are serving their communities.
I want to offer two reflections…the 1st being my thoughts as I got ready to leave the house on the Friday evening. The 2nd reflection, being my thoughts as I sat listening to people share testimony during the Sunday evening service.
FRIDAY EVENING (at home getting ready)
I can honestly say I have not felt so nervous in a very long time! Would people enjoy it? Would they come back after the first session? Would the material be well received? Had I remembered everything? Etc. etc. I’d told the planning team that the weekend would help the church to engage with God in a new way as they thought about mission & how to share the Good News with their communities. Now I was wondering if I’d promised too much….had I expected too much from this first Together Weekend? Was I about to let them down? Let the team down? And worse still…..let God down?
SUNDAY EVENING (during the service)
Wow! What a fantastic weekend – better than I had ever hoped. I can’t believe how well the people at Chester-le-Street have participated with this. They were open, fun, expectant and incredibly enthusiastic. I think a highlight was watching them prayer walk their own building – seeing the mission opportunities & praying for all those who gather for different groups & activities. And now I’m sitting in this service listening to people share their own reflections;
“There’s a real buzz around the church – we’ve been challenged about what we can do & not about what we can’t do.”
“I’m old now & I thought there’s not much I can do. God has given me a kick in the pants this weekend & I’m full of enthusiasm – I CAN do something!”
“The team all prayed for us as a church & it was really powerful for them to acknowledge that God is working in this place.”
So that was the 1st Together Weekend.
I’m excited for Chester-le-Street Methodist Church. Their minister, stewards & congregation are passionate people & have a sense of excitement about their future. Please pray with me that God will continue to bless them & guide them.
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