We are immensely grateful to God for the growth of the church over the last few years. But that leaves us with questions. How should we respond to this? If God blesses us so that we can bless others, how can we do this better? These are questions that we have been thinking and praying about as a church over the last few months. We sense that the Lord is opening the door for a Bold Gospel Vision.
Vision for Kidlington
There has always been a sizeable group from the church living in Kidlington. For a number of years we have been considering whether we could plant a congregation there- so that friends and neighbours could be invited to a local church. The time seems right to launch Grace Church Kidlington. On October 1st we plan to launch a weekly service at 4.00pm on a Sunday meeting at the sixth form centre of Gosford Hill School. This will not be an independent church immediately- many of those going to it will still be members of Woody Road. But it will be a significant undertaking which, we pray, will lead to more people hearing the message of Jesus. In order to develop this work we are seeking to raise the finances to be able to appoint an additional pastor who would start in September 2018.
Vision for Waterways
Alongside this, we would love to extend our work more locally. Over the last ten years we have had contact with the Waterways estate- around five minutes walk from the church on the opposite side of Woodstock Road. We have seen people become Christians from the area. However, we are aware that there is still a huge amount of need and we would like to do more to meet it. We would love to be able to appoint a part-time “Link Worker” from amongst the Christians on the estate to help us to grow what we are able to do there. We long that the result will be more people finding true life in Jesus.
We are still committed to the ministries we already regard as important- children’s and youth work, reaching older people through CAMEO, supporting the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, encouraging students in their witness to their colleges, reaching out through Christianity Explored groups, training people for future service, caring for each other and building each other up in God’s Word as we seek to live for Jesus. Adding a work in Kidlington and extending what we do in Waterways will clearly stretch us. This will only work if all of us are involved in it together.
With some currently engaged in ministries in Woody Road having a greater focus on Kidlington, there will be various gaps opening up. We are about to launch ministry teams- groups of people who will be involved in areas such as youth work, music, technical help, welcoming people and various others. If you are a regular part of the church but haven’t found an area of service then we would love to have you as part of one of those. The normal path to that would be becoming a church member. However, it may be that you are already a church member or church membership may not be appropriate for a particular reason- please do let us know if there are areas where you would be willing to serve.
We are aware that there are financial needs connected with this. We are looking at appointing two new workers and there will be costs associated with renting premises and purchasing additional equipment for a service in Kidlington.
Above all, please do pray. We are very aware that reaching out in this way is only possible if the Lord does it. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” We are very excited at the possibilities ahead- but are very conscious that we are deeply dependent on God to continue to work amongst us.