South Region Update
We are passionate about the local church - it is the body of Christ on earth. Each of our 5 local churches is a unique bit of Jesus that our communities can touch. We aspire to see each of those churches healthy and growing - a place where lives are changing for the better through salvation, encounter with Jesus and discipleship. We aim for everything we do to be geared to strengthening, helping, encouraging and serving local churches.
Heaven on Earth
When Jesus taught us to pray, Our Father, [...] Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10), he was calling us to pray that all the goodness of heaven should be seen on earth. When Jesus told us that we would do greater things, he was telling us that we are made to be part of seeing that happen. We are the people of His life giving presence. Our dream is simple: that churches are places where heaven invades earth, changes it for the better, and spreads out from the church to the community.
Serving our communities
A church is good news. That good news should be touchable, tangible, noticeable good news. Street Pastors, running food banks, providing debt advice, running toddler groups and serving coffee for free at a market stall are all examples of where we live this already. These ministries make the good news of Jesus real, and touchable. It is good, just because it is good. It is also good because it shows clearly that the spiritual message of salvation has real, life changing, benefits not only in a life in eternity but also in this life.
Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it [...] How awesome is this place! [...] this is the gate of Heaven.” (GENESIS 28:16-17)
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells us that the gates of hell will not withstand the advance of the church. The church was never crated to be static, but rather to be on the advance, seeing heaven become more and more real on earth.
A vast number of people live in the villages around our region, and many members of our churches live in them. Our passion is for the church to be a resource base from which those who live in villages can draw resources and impact the village communities. We dream of a small group in every village, living out the life of God in their village. Planting churchesWe are so passionate about local churches we want to see more of them. The churches in Wantage, Abingdon, Didcot and Swindon didn’t exist thirty years ago. People have been saved, healed, delivered who wouldn’t have been otherwise. God continues to challenge us to think of those who are destitute in one way of another - physically, spiritually, emotionally - and we want to reach them both where we are already and where we aren’t - yet! For example, Berinsfield is one of the most deprived areas in Oxfordshire; 70000 people live in Newbury and Thatcham together and there are few churches; then urban area of Reading is home to around 220,000 people and is a significant student city. Each of these places can only be the better for more churches, more of the heaven lived out, more of Jesus ...
This passion is about you—God created you to change the world for the better and we invite you to be a part of this adventure, to come on the journey with us, in each and every of these areas! Villages, Cities, Outreach, Compassion, Church building ministries ... How is God calling you to see his kingdom come?