Pastors and praying friends,
The work of church planting and church revitalization is at the same time full of blessings and challenges. It is a wonderful thing to see people unified in Christ who have come from varying cultures and countries. Just this past week we had visitors from Lebanon, Malaysia, and Australia. I never tire of hearing how God is working in places all around the world. Currently, we are running a midweek Christianity Explored course that is aimed to give non-Christians a place to learn and discuss what the gospel is really all about. Sherry has started a ladies’ class on Sunday afternoons that is going very well.
Though there are many blessings, it has been a challenging couple of months for the church. Because of the high degree of regulation and bureaucracy, “doing church” here is not as simple as people gathering together for worship in a facility. T’s must be crossed and I’s must be dotted in order for us to press on with the real work of gospel preaching, disciple making, and church planting/revitalizing. Some legal organizational issues with the church need to be addressed so that the real work of ministry can continue on.
Furthermore, the ecumenical nature of the denominations that make up so much of the church culture in the UK causes us to be more vigilant in distinguishing ourselves as a people that are founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ alone. For good reason, the great London preachers Charles Spurgeon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones called for true gospel preaching churches to separate from the broad church approach that so many denominations in the country had adopted. Unfortunately, the watered-down, ecumenical, theologically liberal movement of churches have seen the decline of biblical Christianity for the last 50 years. The church that we are working in has ties to larger denomination that need to be cut.
This separation does not come without a cost however. For many churches, the denomination owns the property/building in which the church meets. To separate from the denomination means the loss of property and a church left without a place to meet. Of course, this is nothing in comparison to the real persecution that New Testament churches faced, and other believers face around the world even today.
These are real problems that we face today, but we rest in the fact that Jesus Christ builds His church, and we trust that He will continue to do a great work in this city and in His churches.
Chris & Sherry Waye
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