Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day eight 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.
8 February 2016
Bruce Massop, Pastor
Buoyed by the successes of the previous year – the formation of the Partnership, the planting of three churches and the revitalisation of another – 2011 began with great promise. The first day of the year found us going door to door in Grays inviting people to the Sunday services where I would be preaching for the next few months and to a weekly evangelistic Bible study based on John Blanchard’s ‘Ultimate Questions’ booklet. We had high hopes for this work. They would soon be dashed.
The first Sunday began encouragingly enough. There were 14 people present. The next Sunday there were seven. The seven who didn’t return after the first week – members and attendees of the previous church – never came again. At the time it was a great disappointment. But in hindsight it was the best thing that could have happened. In a week’s time this revitalisation project had become a replanting initiative. Turning back was not an option. We had to press on.
Who were the seven who stuck around for the second week? I was there along with my youngest son. Bruce and Kate Massop, who I was encouraging to lead the work in Grays, were there along with their son. Then there were two others – who apparently didn’t get the memo from the others after the first week! – who had attended the church formerly but were not members. Take the ‘interlopers’ from London out of the equation and there were two others. One of them would soon leave.
The big question was would the Massops be willing to take up the work? If so, would they be willing to move to Grays? How would Bruce lead the work when he was teaching full-time? How would their son adjust given his stated preference not to move to Grays but to remain in London? What would happen if they didn’t come to Grays? We had no Plan B.
In the goodness of God the Massops were willing to take up the work. They did move to Grays. Though it was a struggle Bruce did manage to find time to do everything. In time their son adjusted quite well. His conversion and baptism greatly aided his adjustment! No Plan B was needed after all. Whew.
A new church – with a clear confession of faith and covenant of membership – has been formed and Bruce Massop has been called as pastor. People have been converted and baptised and likeminded believers have joined with them as well. Needs, though, remain. Needs that can only be supplied through prayer.
Would you pray that the Lord would raise up other leaders to serve alongside Bruce? Would you pray that the Lord would continue to meet the spiritual and financial needs of the church? Would you pray for funds to continue to improve the ageing chapel? Would you pray that the grace of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would continue to come to Grays?
We would be greatly encouraged to hear that you are willing to pray for this work – and these workers.
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership