Today is day three of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
3 February 2016
My questioner came straight to the point. Everything that can be done has already been done. People have prayed. People have evangelised. Meetings have been organised. Nothing has happened. Isn’t it prideful of you to think you will succeed where others have failed? I resisted the temptation to respond with the obvious rejoinder – Isn’t it prideful of you to think that no one else can succeed because you have failed? – and gave what I trust was a more helpful (and humble) reply.
Who said I thought I was going to succeed? I am well aware of the fact that in the eyes of men I may fail spectacularly. I am under no illusion otherwise. And, even more to the point, who said others failed? We can’t conclude that those who have faithfully prayed, evangelised and taught have failed simply because they didn’t see the fruit of their labours. If that’s the case Biblical and church history are littered with such failures.
Sensing my questioner was warming to my reasoning, I continued. It is precisely because others have prayed, evangelised and taught that I must go. If I don’t go, they and others will conclude that their labours were in vain. If I go and the Lord gives his blessing, then they will see the fruit of the hard work they have done. Humanly speaking they can’t succeed without me. Nor can I succeed, without them. Very well then, go. I did and the Lord has given – and continues to give – gospel success for His glory.
Over the past few years much gospel labour has been bestowed on Charlwood and the other picturesque villages of Surrey’s Mole Valley. Gifted evangelists funded by Crawley’s Maidenbower Baptist Church have fervently prayed and faithfully preached the gospel from door to door in village after village. Special events featuring well-known speakers have been organised and until recently weekly meetings with the highest standard of teaching have been conducted. Sadly, though, the longed-for and laboured-for fruit has not yet appeared.
I hope to spend three months in Charlwood in early 2017 – much as I am doing in Ryarsh at the present time – seeking to re-establish a viable church in the village. I do not go because others have tried and failed. I go because others have tried and finished what God gave them to do. May I ask, that even now, you begin to pray for me?
Pray that God will teach me lessons this year in Ryarsh that I can put to good use next year in Charlwood. Pray that God would stir within the hearts of at least two couples a desire to move to the Mole Valley to support my efforts. Pray that God would give me clear insight into how to proclaim the gospel to wealthy, self-sufficient villagers. Pray that souls will be saved and a local church formed for God’s glory.
Pray also that those who have laboured for the gospel in Charlwood in recent years will rest assured that their labour in the Lord is not in vain. Not because of me. But because of Him.
Warm Regards in Christ,
Grace Baptist Partnership