Grace Church Beckenham Venue Prayer Update
By Matt Dew-Jones, GCB Pastor
Two years into life at Grace Church Beckenham, and as we've sought to reach out with the gospel, we've found two things to be true when it comes to venues.
1 – Praise the Lord – he has provided for us really well every step of the way (however last minute it might have sometimes seemed to us!)
2 - We've really struggled to find a good longer-term option that will let us grow beyond our current average of 40 adults and 20 children in Beckenham.
Now, Beckenham Public Hall (the building we use for a parents and baby group and had aimed to launch in) has been put up for sale by the council. While there's a small chance a new owner might rent to us, in God's kindness, he's made it seem increasingly plausible we could enter a bid ourselves.
We're grateful God has given signs of growth amongst us, but it's still a very big thing for a still small church. We'd love you to join us in praying the Lord provides everything we truly need.
This opportunity came up during a series in Haggai, so, drawn from that book, here are a few things you could pray for…
While the book of Haggai is primarily about returning exiles rebuilding God's physical temple, its main message is ultimately that GOD is building his spiritual temple, the church. He is re-making a home with and for his people through his ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King (foreshadowed in Christ's ancestor Zerubabbel). Pray we'd be joyfully confident that God IS building his spiritual house; however small the physical reality might look.
Pray that amidst the practical consideration of a bid, we'd keep prioritising the building of God's spiritual temple, the church, as people trust Christ and are built up in him. God could do it all himself, but he has chosen to do much of his work through his people as they turn from 'self-build' projects. Indeed one problem in Haggai's day was that people were neglecting to build God's house and were pouring all their efforts into panelling their own houses. Pray we'd keep giving ourselves to THIS great task, not a physical church building.
But if a long-term, week-round venue will enable the building of God's spiritual temple, then please pray he provides. Pray God provides like he did in Haggai 1 as God's people sacrificially give. But please pray he provides in other ways too. In Haggai 2, God's people panic because they feel so small and weak. But God tells them not to fear because 'he is with them' and because the ‘silver and gold are mine'. Much to everyone's surprise, God overrules through Persian King Darius and funds much of the building work through secular local governors (see Ezra 6)! Our relationships with secular organisations are good, but please pray God overrules as we discuss different options with the council and others.
If you would like to find out more, please see this proposal.
But please pray. The Lord hears and answers. This time last year, we were praying for The Bridge Battersea's venue issues and then 'out of the blue', the Lord presented them with an invitation to 'graft' into a really great venue in a neighbouring estate where a previous church had struggled.