Nothing is impossible with Him
If you are a small church too and are struggling then do not despair, for our God is able to do far more than we can begin to imagine - like here at Laird Street Baptist Church. By Cathy Buntin
Four years ago Laird Street Baptist Church in Birkenhead faced the difficulty of having to close our family centre due to lack of funding.
At the time the area surrounding the church was under regeneration and local families were being moved out, leaving the church standing in an increasingly barren place. Following this we then found ourselves without a minister.
It would be easy to think God's work in the community had come to an end - but God had other plans.
After prayer God laid it on my heart to grow his church by using the gifts of the members, and with the support of the diaconate we began to encourage members to discover their God given gifts and to use them.
The deacons became a leadership team working together. When people use their God given gifts this enables the body to grow and this is what is happening now. New people joined the church and we had the pleasure of welcoming two new members into membership on a recent Sunday (24 May). Another person has since asked for membership.
Praise God we have a new community being built up around the church. It is very different and we now have the privilege of seeking God's wisdom as to how to interact with the local community.
People thought the church was closed so we placed new notices outside that would be relevant to their thinking and understanding. After prayer it was decided to open a coffee morning each Monday. After a very slow and discouraging start this has really taken off, and we have people coming in from the local community.
We are now starting a new venture with one of the local agencies in the area - The St James Centre - whereby on the first Tuesday of each month we are inviting the local community to join the church family for a 'bring and share tea'.
This started on Tuesday (2 June) and is an exciting time for us. Hopefully this will create space to interact and get to know the new residents in our community with opportunities for the Gospel to be shown in practical ways.
Planning ahead we aim to have a BBQ (British weather permitting) and hold a couple of concerts.
At our last service (Sunday 31 May) we had a visit from BMS Mission worker Judith Cook's parents, Peter and Gill Cook (Judith is serving with BMS in Thailand). This was a really encouraging service, after which I had the opportunity of leading someone to the Lord. What an amazing God we have! This is what mission is all about, serving God, sharing with people and telling the message simply.
If you are a small church too and are struggling then do not despair. Our God is able to do far more than we can begin to imagine, nothing is impossible with him. Remember it is his church we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. We are part of a great plan. God is awesome, amazing and very much in control of all that happens to us.
Everything that we faced as a church in the past God has been quietly and faithfully working out his good plans and purposes for us. Through all that we have been through together as a church family we have grown together and we can only look forward to all the good things that God has in store for us and there is more to come. Be encouraged do not give up keep your eyes fixed on Jesus the Author and finisher of our salvation. All the glory and all the praise go to our mighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Cathy Buntin is the secretary of Laird Street Baptist Church, and has been pastoring the church for the last three years. She has completed four years at theological college, and has been recognised by the ministerial recognition committee for local recognised ministry