Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Intern wanted @ RFC!

This is now the 4th year that we have been running  RFC Internships: 11 months working for the church with a specific project focus. 

Our program plugs into the theological & leadership training offered by newfrontiers. Our trainees get to spend 3 days a month with others from churches all around London & the home counties.

We already have one Intern confirmed to start this September, Kathy Bond. Her project will be Kids Church and Youth... but we still have a vacancy for one more. 

If you're interested in finding out more, please contact Scott at the church office. He leads the Intern Program for us and will be able to go through the details and potential projects on offer.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bike ride with TVT

This morning, Richard and I joined the hills reps group on the TVT Saturday ride. It was 30 miles of quiet country lanes, chat, and of course plenty of hills.

Needless to say, I was last up the hill most of the time ... and my bike has a terrible squeak in the bottom gears which added to my shame ;o(

I really enjoyed cycling new routes with new people. They are a great bunch and you get to know people much more than on a swim night (obvious really).

As we finished, the ride leader suggested we come along to the Tuesday night ride, ominously called 'the chain gang'. Sounds brutal.

I now feel tired, hungry, and ready to do anything that doesn't involve too much activity...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

10,000sq ft #2

So I've have had a great response about potential new buildings. A warehouse on Arkwright Rd potentially looks great, see details here (thanks Shelley!) Having spoken to the agents and Reading Borough Council, it seems as though it's in a 'designated corridor' where RBC are highly unlikely to grant change of use.  

So two things are now very clear to me: #1 This is going to take a lot of work to figure all this out. #2 We need a small team to help do this.

So if you like this kind of thing, are happy to do research / make phone calls, could you let me know! I now have more building details than time to look at them!      

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

10,000 square feet?

So far this year nine people have become Christians and we've baptised seven. Forty people have attended our membership course and our lifegroup attendance is at an all time high. On Saturday, the offices were at capacity for the quiz night, as is Toddler Group on Thursday morning's! 

Our Sunday venues are also beginning to feel the squeeze ... if everyone turned up we'd be in trouble! (We've booked the Town Hall for our 10th anniversary celebration in October, it seats 700!). 

Without a doubt, Jesus is building His church.

So my thoughts keep turning to a new venue in which we can do everything under one roof, giving us a base to better serve the communities of Reading.

Somewhere to gather youth and give them hope; rooms where we can equip people to get back into work/start a business; a safe space for children to play & interact with others; an environment where social barriers can be broken down; a place where the needs of the 'have-not' are met by the 'have'; a muster point for communities in our town; a space where people can gather to worship Jesus and love people. 

I desire for us to have a building where we can do all this, and more. 
And so my eyes are once again scanning 'To Let' hoardings on buildings. I wonder if we might try to lease a warehouse for 5 years in order for us to grow to 450-500 people. But then we'd also need planning permission for 'Change of Use' which is very hard to get. 

I am not even sure 10,000sq ft is the right amount, I just sense we need to start seriously looking & praying for a new venue. 

So, lets keep scattering seed, expecting God to multiple it 30, 60 or even 100 times what was sown ... and if you see a suitable venue, let me know!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Another perfect Monday with Liz

A Walk along the canal. The Cunning Man pub. Good books. Pint of Rev James. Lunch.

Friday, 13 May 2011

First lake swim of 2011

So I finally got round to pulling on my wetsuit and swimming 3 laps of Copthorne Lake.

The water was warm (18C), clear, and the sun was shining. It was 60 minutes of Open-Water Swimming at it's very best - unhurried, sunny, and not too busy.

Richard went purist and didn't wear a wetsuit, hardcore stuff given it's so early in the season.
Sadly, Craig couldn't make tonight's inaugural session, so I had to make do with occasionally swimming into Richard.

Best of all, the wind was behind us as we cycled back into Reading. A top ending to a top swim.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Newfrontiers Prayer & Fasting

So I am here for two days with Scott, Simon Benham and 500 other leaders from the family of churches we are part of. It's day one, I'm hungry and have the beginnings of a caffeine headache. But God is here, the worship is tender, the prophetic is inspiring.

So I am in the right place ... but a burger would be nice :0)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Hanging out with Church Planters

Today, Liz and I are spending the day with 7 other couples who have a passion for planting churches. 

It is always so stimulating to be around those who long to pioneer new works of God. I suspect a few tears will be shed (church planting can be brutal at times) and also some great 'suddenly God' stories be told.

A few of the couples are exploring their own calling, some are already planting their first church, two are planting their second. 

Liz and I are hosting the day, but we both know we will learn lots and also make some new friends.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Michael Ross-Watson & Newcomers Lunch

On Sunday we have a guest speaker, Michael Ross-Watson, and our Newcomers Lunch: 

Converted to Christianity in 1963 from a family background of spiritism, Michael attended Cliff College and worked as a lay evangelist in the Methodist Church (UK) from 1966 to 1969. He served with WEC International (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) from 1969 until the present time. Ten years were spent in Indonesia, pioneering among various groups. He has been ministering internationally as an evangelist and teacher since 1982. 

Michael will be speaking at both our morning and evening venues.

If you are new to RFC, I would like to invite you to lunch this Sunday, 12:30 at church offices. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Things to prayer about you don't normally see

To help you today ... and yes it was filmed on my iphone ;o)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

1st Thursday

As the Israelites stood before the River Jordan which was in flood (an impossible barrier to cross on foot), Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3v5). The bible goes on to record that as they moved in faith, the water from upstream stopped flowing (v16).

As a church we also have obstacles to cross in order to come into all that God has for us. Tomorrow we start a season of prayer/fasting on the first Thursday of each month, to help us humble/consecrate ourselves for Jesus.

If you haven't fasted before, can I gently say that most people can skip a meal in order to create time to pray. That said, please be sensible and don't feel guilty if you choose not to.

We shall be gathering at the church offices 8-10pm to worship Jesus and call on His name. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Hope Church St Petersburg

Josh and I had a really great time with Hope Church, they have clearly grown in so many ways. Josh led the worship which was bilingual, he coped really well with the language switching after each verse.

I felt so at home whilst preaching, its good fun having to reword phrases 'on the hoof' that are too complicated for translator. The church has such life and energy, the team here has done so well under Dave and Hanna's care.

Last night we had dinner with the leadership team, they are truly diverse: Russians, Brits, South African, even an Eskimo

It is a privelidge to partner with them in the gospel, I am so grateful to God for RFCs heart for the nations.