Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day six 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.
6 February 2016
Chingford, Waltham Forest
Bernard Roberts, Pastor
After a period of decline left Kings Road Baptist Church in North East London with few members and no officers, services in the chapel were suspended. In 2012 Grace Baptist Partnership – in fellowship with Home Mission – developed a plan to replant the church. With the support of Hayes Lane Baptist Church in Bromley, Bernard Roberts and his wife Michelle were set aside to lead the work. Now more than three years into the project, they are seeing fruit for their labour and the small, increasingly-healthy church is growing.
With direct evangelism as their primary focus from the beginning, door-to-door work and small group evangelistic Bible studies resulted in the conversion of a local woman and in due course her baptism. This was followed a few months later by a second conversion and baptism. Though this man has since moved back to his home country of Zambia, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of these early encouragements. They would be needed. The road ahead would not always prove to be smooth.
Disagreements would arise between old and new members. Disciplinary matters – sometimes requiring outside assistance – would have to be sorted out. Difficult people who had ingratiated themselves to some members of the congregation would have to be dealt with. Discouragement would come to Bernard and his wife. It was not always easy for them to keep their focus. But, by God’s grace, they kept their faith.
The past year has been one of positive development. With a number of issues being resolved – or at least improved – the unity of the church is greater than before. The fellowship has also been encouraged by growth as a husband and wife (from a Muslim background) have been baptised and another family received into membership. There is, at last, a sense of forward movement.
There are, though, to be fair, still causes for concern. There is a recognised need for greater commitment to corporate prayer as prayer meetings are currently poorly attended. There is a desire for plural eldership but time will be required to train and test suitable candidates. There is a need for assistance with practical matters like looking after the finances, but people with appropriate gifts and desires will need to be identified. There is a goal to become a church that plants other churches but a greater measure of congregational maturity and stability at Chingford will need to be attained first.
Would you be willing to pray regularly for the work in Chingford? Would you seek the Lord for continued unity of heart and mind amongst the members? Would you plead with the Lord to provide men to serve this church as elders and deacons? Would you pray persistently for the spread of the gospel throughout Waltham Forest? Would you consider moving to North East London to support the ongoing growth and development of this small church?
If you would, please be in touch.
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership