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On Saturday the 8th February 2014 our family of churches, Relational Mission, are holding our inaugural worship conference ‘In Spirit and Truth’, hosted by the Community Church Bishops Stortford, in the UK.

It will be a day with extended times of worship, great teaching from Mike Betts, twelve fantastic seminars from leaders across the Relational Mission family of churches. The full programme & seminar list can be downloaded below:

RM Worship Conference – Programme & Seminars

Including lunch the cost of the day is £15.

Whether you are in our worship band, a musician, singer, part of the PA team, song writer or anyone who just loves to worship God, then this conference is for you. We would love for you to come along and be involved.

The conference will be a plumb-line moment for us as we consider what our expression of worship looks like. We want to be worshippers who are Spirit led, full of truth, creative, dynamic, wholehearted, cross-centred and so much more. You’ll receive teaching and ministry, be equipped to serve, be challenged to grow and ultimately encounter His greatness.

Download the seminar programmme and then

Book Now!

The gates of hell

The strategy of the church against Satan is offensive not defensive.

Many people misunderstand that, especially when you read a naff transalation of Jesus’ charge to Peter “Upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (NASB) or “all the gates of hell will not conquer it” (NLT)

Since when do gates overpower or conquer an army? Don’t armies attack gates when they storm a city occupied by the enemy? Gates are defensive structures.

The literal translation is “The gates of Hades will not prevail against it”. How could gates ever overcome the Church? The traditional outlook is that global church is in danger of being destoyed by the enemy but God preserves it.

Jesus is saying something very different. Satan’s fortress is in danger – we are the invaders, who will knock down Hades gates and walls and release the prisoners in side.

Paul tells us the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have divine power to demolish strongholds ( 2Cor 10:4). New Testament strategy is offensive not defensive.So  we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the earth. Not power to survive as a remnant in a bunker, but power to move out into the world and win people back to God.

 

Our great commission has been given by Jesus who has of all authority in heaven on earth . Out of that authority, we have been given authority to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18-20)

So let’s be a gateway for the gospel to go to the nations, not a fortress hunkering down hoping the gates of hell won’t overcome against us!

Pleasantly Surprised!Each year I have to write a short report on the Church for the annual accounts – not usually riveting stuff, but as I reflected back on the last year I was pleasantly surprised at what God has done in what felt like a pretty challenging and hard year for the Gateway Church.

Here’s the activity section…

Activities:
2011-2012 was a challenging year for The Gateway Church. Daniel & Alisa Foytik’s Russian outreach project came to an end in June 2011and a number of families moved on to other churches.
We moved venue to Gaywood Community Primary School, which offers more flexible facilities for a lower price.
 In September we launched a fortnightly youth club which is growing and already resulted in one teenager becoming a Christian.
 We relaunched the Eastern European outreach project by running a fortnightly International Café, which is advancing the Christian faith through ESOL lessons based around the Jesus Film.
 Two adults became Christians through a Start Course
The Gateway Church has also been instrumental in helping run the King’s Lynn Foodbank to provide emergency food to needy families referred by other agencies.
Average Sunday attendance for 2011-2010: 43 adults,12 children (6% increase on 2010-2011)
Small Groups: 3
New Converts: 2 adults, 1 teenager

God is good! Average attendance increased but more importantly we had our first converts! Come on Lord! We also ended the financial year accounting wise with a small surplus for the reserves of £1000. God is so good!

Keep praying! Keep inviting friends and chatting to them about Jesus. Keep gathering together on Sundays and in Life Groups. Keep giving generously and sacrificiallly to see His Kingdom established here in West Norfolk.

Above all look to God and who He is to empower you for life and mission. We are going to see some great promises from God fulfilled over coming years, so these are exciting days!

FiftyWe have hovered around the 50 mark for a while now and it’s a wall we are going to punch through! It’s a size of church that can feel comfortable for regulars but uncomfortable for newcomers too. Fifty people feels like an overgrown family – you do know everyone’s name but once we get regularly past it you won’t.

So should we break it?

1) God wants everyone to get a chance to repent of their sin and receive the good news of Jesus Christ and become part of His body, the Church (2 Pet 3:9), so sticking at fifty because it is nice is not really an option!
2) Jesus told a story of a banquet – the invited guests didn’t come so the host sent out the servants to go get people from the highways to enjoy the feast. We have a great church, where we feast in worship, hearing and applying the Bible and getting connected, growing and serving in our small groups. Jesus’ banquet story in Luke 14 is an invitation to go out and get more people to thefeast. If some don’t respond, go find some others!
3) In 1Cor 3:6 Pauls tells his experience – Paul planted, Apollos watered and God gave the growth. All of us have a part to play – some plant, some water but at the end of the day God is the One who will give the growth!
Should we break 50? Yes – its not about numbers it’s about people, who are finding Christ.

<h2>I want to be able to look around one Sunday in a few years time and see…</h2>

  • A Svetlana who found Christ through the international Cafe
  • Harry and Freddie who became Christians in the youth club and are doing a GAP year before going off to university
  • Anna who used to go to church, but stopped in her teens, ended up coming with Emma to a small group social and is now on fire for God
  • Tim and Anna, who still have plenty of questions but have made some great friends while playing badminton every Monday

To blast past 50, we will need to make some changes – there will be more small groups, more leaders be trained and released, a bigger pastoral team, an outreach strategy and great process to help people get connected.

Here’s the 6 steps we will be working through

  1. Pray We need to get praying, get God’s heart for our area and feel for it the way He does. Then we need to pray expectantly and listening for what He wants us to do both strategically as a church and in the day to day that will resultinKingdom buidling life change encounters with friends, family, neighbours and total strangers!
  2. Identify the Obstacles Take a good look at any obstacles to us growing: from simple stuff like car parking to small groups and finding leaders.
  3. Cast Vision Over the next few months, we will be getting vision from God of that preferable future for The Gateway Church that will inspire us to go for it. Alongside it will be some goals and plans onhow to put legs on the vision.
  4. Prepare – We need to start thinking like a church twice our size and working out how we can do it – from kids work, to ministries to youth and venue.
  5. Act Go for it! Hudson Taylor said “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God”. We will go for more evangelistic and community impact, build for those high Sundays like baptisms, Christmas and Easter and follow up everyone!
  6. Leave the rest to God – There’s a balance to church life of working hard and God working on our behalf.
    “The Christian’s motto should not be ‘Let go and let God’ but ‘trust God and get going!’” —J.I. Packer
    At the end of the day we rely on God to bring the growth and pour out his blessing on His Kingdom and His Church. Eph 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work in us,to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.”