Last night I spent the evening alongside some of my fellow brothers and sisters at Ivy seeking the Lord about a crisis in our church.
It is a wonderful crisis to have, but still an emergency.
In the last few months we have expanded our services and our congregations but we are absolutely bursting at the seams. Even though we have five services every Sunday, we cannot cope with the amount of people pouring through the doors. This is especially problematic for those running the children’s and youth ministries.
The rooms at the church are adequate for half the number we are seeing, but even then, not ideal.
Oliver Brockbank started our church over a hundred years ago. He held a small bible study, primarily at first, for his gardener. A man of means and vision, he was soon meeting with and teaching a small group of men. This grew sufficiently to warrant a Friends’ mission House being built next to Ivy Cottage in Didsbury. Some years later, Mr Brockbank put up an undeclared sum of money (thought to be over Â£3 million) to build the church we still meet in. I thank God for his incredible wisdom to do what he did for us.
As we sat and sought the Lord together last night so many words came to us about journey and unity. It was a privilege to sit in the presence of God alongside so many others, keen to see what He has next for us as a community.
We all need to embrace change. It can be hard for those of us who like things ‘as they are.’ I am not one for status quo -( the rock band or the saying) I like things to be shaken up a bit, spiritually speaking.
I am excited about the suddenness of this move. It feels like when the Israelites were freed in a hurry from Egypt and had to go without taking much with them.
At the end of our meeting, I had a picture of everyone placing their keys on the stage as a sign that we do not own anything we are given and need to give it back to God. As we stood together and put our keys down, laying down our ‘possessions’ before the Lord, Anthony used a prayer common in Anglican liturgy:
“Everything comes from you
and of your own do we give you.”
I am fully confident that we will journey together in unity towards a new Ivy. Our church strapline is “Knowing Growing Going…” Now I know why!
Whatever change you are going through today, thank God for those He has placed around you to help you on the journey.