Month: February 2016

Day 24 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Workington, Cumbria

I’m not an apostle. I didn’t see the resurrected Lord. I didn’t receive the apostolic commission. I haven’t been given the ability to perform miraculous signs and wonders. Jack Jenner is not from Macedonia. As far as I know he has never even been there. But be sure of this one thing, Jack has been saying come over and help us in Cumbria as long as I have known him.

Day 23 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Wood Green, Haringey

I will never forget the day Ben Cunningham handed me a tract as I walked down Wood Green High Street with my family. Who could have dreamed that a tract and a brief conversation would set in motion a chain of gospel events that continues till this day?

Day 22 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Wigan, Manchester

I’ve always had a lot of time for Matthew Gray. When I first met him he was a deacon at Grace Baptist Church in Southport. He then signed up for our training group at Radcliffe Road Baptist Church in Bury, Greater Manchester. Though Bury is not just around the corner from Southport, he faithfully attended the sessions month by month. In time he would take up the pastorate of Jireh Baptist Church in Wigan. He continued – despite the demands of a new pastorate – to meet with us in Bury. In fact, when we finished the two-year training cycle it was at Matthew’s request that we continued with additional studies for well over a year more.

Day 21 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Walthamstow, Waltham Forest

London’s oldest Baptist church closed in late 2014. The closure of the church once served by luminaries such as William Kiffin, Abraham Booth and Ernest Kevan deeply saddened many people. The closure of the historic church, however, was more than a blow to ‘denominational’ hubris. It was a dent to efforts to evangelise one of London’s most diverse and rapidly growing towns.

Day 20 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Thamesmead, Greenwich

A work needed to be done. But surely there was someone else better suited to do it. The Lord would have to help me if I was going to be of any use at Thamesmead. He did. But he used people. Let me introduce you to some of them.

Day 19 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Southall, Ealing

Jeff Noblit, long time pastor of Grace Life Church of the Shoals in the United States, was preaching to his congregation in Alabama. What he didn’t realise was that his extended audience included a group of young men in Southall, West London who were viewing the sermon via the internet. As he gave an illustration he made mention of a church planter in London, England. That piqued the curiosity of these young men. Was there someone else in their city that believed the same doctrines they had recently embraced? Would that person be able to help them plant a church in Southall? One of them contacted the church in America to see who Pastor Noblit was talking about. That’s when they learned my name and received my details.

Day 18 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Sonning Common, Oxfordshire

“My husband and I just wanted to send a word of encouragement. We were so excited to see your leaflet come through our door in Sonning Common. We are both born again Christians who attend Greyfriars in Reading. We pray that God blesses you as you reach out to the people of Sonning Common and that people would come to Christ through the course you are running.” The email sent to one of the elders at Caversham Evangelical Church in Reading was an encouragement. Especially since – interestingly enough – professing Christians can be among the rudest people you can encounter doing door to door work!

Day 17 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Snodland, Kent

In an age when many churches have turned inward and have little real concern for their own town or village much less for neighbouring towns and villages, Halling Baptist Church is slightly unusual. At an age when many men are either hanging on to tradition or hanging up their boots from Christian service altogether, Mick West and Nev Long are a delightful exception. The continued presence of a Baptist witness in Halling is in large measure due to their grit and determination. However, they don’t live in Halling. They both live in Snodland.

Day 16 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Sky City, Haringey

When Wood Green Shopping City was opened on 13 May 1981 by HM Queen Elizabeth II, hopes were high that this major urban development would ‘transform’ one of London’s poorest boroughs. The six storey high complex – occupied by shops on the first two floors and housing on the upper four floors – promised to bring thousands of shoppers to Wood Green and to improve the lives of the hundreds of people who would live in the development. Without a doubt the former aspiration has been realised as an average of 221,000 customers a week pass through the more than 100 shops and 80 market stalls in the complex. The realisation of the latter aspiration, though, is a bit trickier to measure.

Day 15 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Ryarsh, Kent

You have heard it said, “Door to door evangelism doesn’t work.” I wholeheartedly agree. It doesn’t work. It never has. It never will. I would also add that ‘Christianity Explored’ groups, guest services and open-air witness don’t work either. Not even staples of our evangelistic diet like mums and tots groups, youth club and seniors teas work. That’s right, none of these methods work.