It's a New Day!
“All change, all change!” We used to hear that cry on railway stations in the past, when one train had reached its destination, and it was time to change to another. Some of the leaders heard this prophesied at our recent European Leadership Conference. There is nothing wrong with the first train at all, but it has reached its terminus. It’s now time to take another train, so that we can get further in our journey.
Individual Christians have their journey, and need to keep moving with God. Equally, churches have their spiritual journey of faith, and also need to keep moving with God in order that each generation may lay hold of God’s purposes for their generation.
And what is needed to keep moving with God?
· First, there needs to be a renewal of vision. Some vision takes us part of the way on our journey, and God wants to give us fresh vision – or renewed vision. Sometimes our vision fades, and we need a fresh focus. Ultimately, we need a vision of God’s Kingdom filling all the nations of the world. Only that will keep us pressing on forward, through weariness or disappointment or simple hardwork!
· Second, there needs to be a renewal of hope and promise. God’s prophetic word was what kept Old Testament people looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Equally, God’s prophetic word keeps us straining forward in hope and expectancy for better things. It releases faith in us for us to keep fighting, and ministers joy to us even in the midst of hardship
· Third, we need to see God’s grace and provision along the way. This tells us that God is with us, caring for us, interested in the journey. Often God’s reassurance to his people is simply this: “I will be with you,” says the Lord. And that’s all that counts! We’re not on our own, we’re not abandoned, and we don’t have to struggle in our own strength and energy! God is there to help us.
The expansion of our facilities at New Yatt Road marks an end of one journey, and the beginning of another.
· We now have much better facilities that we can put at the disposal of our local community. We need to pray that God will give us creativity as to how they can be used, and bring our facilities to the attention of the community around us. This is a facility provided by God, where God is present as prayer and praise is offered to him at least six days a week, and where he wants to bless people.
· We now have a much better springboard for the church in North Witney and the regional churches of West Oxfordshire to gather and reach out from. The principle of God’s people gathering to be fed and blessed, and scattering to sow into and bless the community is still an important pattern. Let us pray that the church uses to the full this fresh opportunity, becoming even more missional than ever before.
· We now have The King’s School on one site; one family, together, for the good and blessing of the whole family. The peace, joy and presence of God that fills everything in the school is absolutely marvellous, and everyone who visits the school witnesses to it.
Our overall vision, whether we are thinking about the local community, the church or the school, is for the Kingdom of God to come in greater measure where we are. We believe that God in his power and healing presence wants to visit people all around Witney and West Oxfordshire, and we want to be carriers of that to all around us. We want people to know King Jesus personally for themselves, and be members of God’s family, which is our great privilege. We want, as they used to say in Wilberforce’s time, goodness to become fashionable, the name of God to become widely known, and the fame of God to be blazed abroad everywhere.
May God help us, in this new day, to be willing to change all we need to change, and to surge forward with zeal to fresh destiny with Jesus. For the King and His Kingdom!
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind, and straining towards what is ahead, I press on to the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”