Warm greetings to you in Jesus’ name! As part of the New Life family, we are writing to communicate to you what we believe God is saying to us as a local church at this time and how we plan to implement the vision he has given us.
We believe that the Lord wants us to press in to see more of his supernatural power at work in every area of the church’s life but especially in our Sunday meetings. Of course, God’s power does not only manifest itself in miracles, healings and signs and wonders but also in godly character and Christ-like behaviour.
We recognise that if we are to see the Lord move in these ways, we will need consciously to rely on him and, in particular, to pray consistently for his Holy Spirit to work amongst us. We believe absolutely Jesus’ words in John 15 “…apart from me you can do nothing” but also his encouragement in verses 7 and 8 of the same chapter.
It is our belief that if we are to see the vision worked out among us, certain changes need to be made even if they are only temporary. The familiar passages about new wine and new wineskins in Matthew, Mark and Luke are much on our hearts. We think it is vital that we move together as one body in this new season, encouraging and supporting one another. There was a great sense of God ‘s presence and “togetherness” when we met altogether recently in one morning service and so the elders have decided that from Easter Sunday, 12th April onwards, we will have ONE Sunday morning meeting as follows:
- From 9.30am to around 9.55am we will serve refreshments
- The meeting will start at 10 am and run until 12 noon.
- We will seek to structure the meeting so as to give emphasis to the things the Scriptures focus on (in particular praise and worship and preaching/teaching) and to give time for the Holy Spirit to move, for prayer ministry and so on.
When we’ve served refreshments in some recent Sunday morning meetings, people have commented on how much it helps to encourage a greater sense of family and community. This is why we want to make refreshments available before the start of every Sunday morning service. For this to happen we will be forming some new “hospitality teams” so please consider getting involved!
With the recent changes in parking, there are ample spaces available for one service in the Jubilee Bridge and Centrale car parks.
As we move to one Sunday morning service, we want to encourage you to do all you can to be there for the refreshment time and especially for the start of the meeting at 10am. Our 6pm prayer and worship gatherings will be continuing as usual.
We would emphasise that we are anticipating God’s blessing to be manifested increasingly in the Sunday morning service and we also expect growth in numbers. Although there are practical challenges in moving to one meeting, we believe that these can be overcome. As we reach capacity we will consider the whole matter of our Sunday services again and we are open to hear from the Lord as to how to proceed.
While writing we would also like to update you with regard to the planned refurbishment of the Centre. We have completed our own internal consultation and have some concept plans and ideas which are now being evaluated by professional consultants to determine their feasibility and cost. Once we have heard back from the consultants, we will be in a position to let you know the plans for the refurbishment and the likely time-frame and costs.
Clearly we are in a time of change at New Life which will affect many aspects of the fellowship’s life. We recognise that change is not easy and in fact can often be quite uncomfortable but we also recall the words of a dying church – “We have never done it this way before”. Our God is a living God! He is the God of new things and we believe he has good things for us as a local church. To use the words in John 2 verse 10, he has “saved the best till now”
No doubt there will be challenges and teething troubles as we seek to pursue the vision God has given us. Please be gracious and patient as we work through the process of change and PLEASE pray that we will experience the Lord’s grace and help and receive all the wisdom we need. Our one desire is to see Jesus glorified and his church blessed.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. A summary of what we are saying is contained in the words of Moses to his father-in-law in Numbers 10:29 – “We are setting out for the place which the Lord said I will give it to you. Come with us… for the Lord has promised good things to (New Life)”
Yours in the love of Christ,
The Elders of New Life.