18th November 2014

Moving to a new Sunday venue (part 1 of 3)

On Thursday 6th November we hosted two very important family meetings. The elders, along with other leaders, made the announcement that we are going to move our two Sunday services (9.30am and 11.30am) to one 10.30am service and meet at Harris Academy Bermondsey from the 11th January. We also talked about the dream that as City Hope Church outgrows Harris Academy we would launch locally based congregations as we become one church that meets in different places on a Sunday.

What follows is the first of three blog posts that looks at the vision for this decision and then some of the pratical challenges that we face as a church. This post looks at our need for 'faith' in this new venture through a story found in Joshua chapter 5 verse 13 to chapter 6 verse 5.

Joshua needed to take the city of Jericho as the first step in taking the whole of the Promised Land. Unfortunately "the gates of Jericho were securely barred" (6 v1). It wasn't going to be an easy job! More encouragingly God spoke to Joshua saying "see I have delivered Jericho into your hands" (6 v2) and then proceeded to give instructions about how he and his men could win the victory.

It is significant that before Joshua had been given instructions on the victory strategy, he had an encounter with God. Before any talk of battle and victory, (5 v13-14), God told Joshua to worship him and take off his sandals because "the place where you are standing is holy" (5 v15).

God wanted Joshua to have this ‘holy ground meeting’ with Him before moving into battle. Deuteronomy chp 24 v14 says "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory". This is the lesson Joshua needed to learn and remember before going into battle.

We must remember it is not going to Harris Academy that will bring us 'victory' (nor for that matter will staying at Drummond). Neither of those buildings are 'holy ground' to us. Rather, encountering God, hearing him speak to us and obediently responding in faith is the 'holy ground' we want to be on. It is God we need if we are to see our friends, family and neighbours come to know Him and see City Hope grow to be a church of over 1000 people. We believe God has spoken to us about the move (more on this later) but it is not primarily the move or the new venue that is exciting: it is the fact that God is speaking to us, leading us forward in all the plans He has for us.

As we 'move' let us do so prayerfully, seeking God's wisdom, guidance and power every step of the way. We will need it!

Posted by