Month: February 2016

Day 14 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – North Watford, Hertfordshire

I had been there before. In the early days I used to preach there every week. I had distributed tracts on St. Alban’s Road. I had knocked on doors on Cecil, Judge and Regent Streets. I had visited a church planter and his wife just after they learned she had breast cancer. I had preached in special evangelistic meetings. I had chaired members meetings. I had been there before. But this time was different. You see, I was going to North Watford to lead the friends there through the process of forming a new church.

Day 13 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Maidstone, Kent

Maidstone has about 120,000 people. The inhabitants of Maidstone are totally depraved. Sin has permeated and contaminated every part of every person in the town. No, they are not utterly depraved. They could be worse. In fact, they would be worse were it not for Divine restraint. But though the degree of their depravity is not utter, the extent of it is total nonetheless. They are without hope unless God intervenes.

Day 12 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Leagrave, Bedfordshire

I had been away from Edlesborough – a lot. Now a preaching commitment made a year earlier would take me away again. The fact that it was only a few miles away made it even worse. As I sat in the prayer room with a handful of others before the service, I thought to myself, “What am I doing here?” Don’t get me wrong. I love to preach. I was just tired. Trying to make conversation, a man asked me about how the work of Grace Baptist Partnership was going . That perked me up a bit. But when he told me he was a trustee for a building in Leagrave, Bedfordshire which could potentially be made available for a church plant, I soon realised I was exactly where I was meant to be that morning.

Day 11 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Lea, Wiltshire

Twas the day before Christmas. That morning I sent a quick Christmas Update to those on our email distribution list. In the update I opined about the lack of emphasis on village evangelism and sought to encourage support for a new replanting initiative in Ryarsh, Kent. That afternoon Robert and Rachel Oliver were travelling to Malmesbury, Wiltshire to deliver a Christmas card. Robert read my email on his mobile as they journeyed along. Upon arriving at Malmesbury they heard the sad news that the chapel doors at nearby Lea had closed. With the thoughts of my earlier email still fresh in his mind, he encouraged the lady – who had never heard of Grace Baptist Partnership – to get in touch. That very evening she wrote with a plea to help keep this village chapel open.

Day 10 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Halstead, Essex

“Can I have a word with you? I’m concerned about something I’ve heard. I understand you’ve encouraged Mr. Field to take up the leadership of the work at Halstead,” she said with a look of concern. “That’s right,” I responded. “I think he’s a good man.” “That’s not my concern,” she continued. “Don’t you think he’s too old to be taking on a responsibility like that?” “Well, I know he’s not a young man but I would think he’s got a few good years left in him,” I replied. “Years?” she exclaimed. “He’s in his nineties already!” It’s then that it dawned on me she thought John Field was taking up the work at Halstead not his son, Graham. I explained hoping she would feel better. I think she did – a little.

Day 9 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Halling, Kent

Can any good thing come out of Facebook? In the spring of 2012 we were planning our first conference for church planters. Our friend, Vic Gill, designed a conference logo which we used to publicise the conference. Kevin Felix Hollington, who was a member of a Grace Baptist church in Essex, saw the publicity on Facebook. He came to the conference.

Day 8 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Grays, Essex

Buoyed by the successes of the previous year – the formation of the Partnership, the planting of three churches and the revitalisation of another – 2011 began with great promise. The first day of the year found us going door to door in Grays inviting people to the Sunday services where I would be preaching for the next few months and to a weekly evangelistic Bible study based on John Blanchard’s ‘Ultimate Questions’ booklet. We had high hopes for this work. They would soon be dashed.

Day 7 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire

What’s wrong with your church, the lady asked? Not even the Christians in the village will go there! Lest you make the mistake of thinking – as I did – that she was just a busybody who didn’t know what she was talking about; she was right. Exactly right.

Day 6 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Chingford, Waltham Forest

After a period of decline left Kings Road Baptist Church in North East London with few members and no officers, services in the chapel were suspended. In 2012 Grace Baptist Partnership – in fellowship with Home Mission – developed a plan to replant the church. With the support of Hayes Lane Baptist Church in Bromley, Bernard Roberts and his wife Michelle were set aside to lead the work. Now more than three years into the project, they are seeing fruit for their labour and the small, increasingly-healthy church is growing.

Day 5 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Chelmondiston, Suffolk

What do you do when six of your eight church members leave? I suppose it depends on why they left. If they left because you were guilty of doctrinal or moral infidelity, you should repent and step down from church office. If they left because of unresolved personal differences, you should seek reconciliation without delay. But what if you sought such reconciliation and your efforts were effectively rebuffed? What do you then? For David Kelland and his wife these are not hypothetical questions but the exact situation they faced in Chelmondiston little more than three years ago.