“God’s heartbeat – resonating with the immeasurable pain and grief God feels for each person who doesn’t know Him.”
Key verse – Acts 1 : 8
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses.”
Jesus gives us a clear picture of how God feels for those who don’t know Him when he tells the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15), who demands his inheritance early and takes off. When the money runs out, he decides to return, ashamed, hoping that his Dad will let him be a servant in his household – meanwhile the father is watching for his son. Consider this father’s heart. Is he looking to punish his son, to teach him a lesson, to disown him? No, all he wants, all he is desperate for, is to have him back. When he sees his son returning, he runs to him, hugs him, kisses him, treats him with honour and celebrates.
Consider this father’s heart, how he must have agonised and grieved over his lost son. How he must have watched for him for hours every day, dreading the thought that he may never come back.
The father in Jesus’ story is God. The son? Anyone who doesn’t know him – everyone who you know who doesn’t know Him.
As we prayed about our Vision at our Leaders Day Away in November 2019, there was an agonised cry of someone seeking relief from awful, immeasurable pain. We realised God was speaking through one of our number, crying out, this is how I feel for each person who I have created, who does not know me. It was God’s cry to all of us present that afternoon, calling out, “Please understand how much I am hurting for your friends who do not know me.” We were startled, stunned, shocked, amazed. It is God’s cry to each one of us, to you too, that you become fully aware and know the pain and grief God feels for each person you know who doesn’t know Him.
Why? Simply so that I will care more for my friends, neighbours, relatives, work colleagues to experience God’s love. So that I will pray more for them, that I will be Jesus to them, that I will do all I am able to do to help each one to know God and turn His pain into joy.
Reasons to believe…
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” Psalm 127:1
Other than our faith in God, strengthened as He speaks to us, who is clearly building something significant amongst us at Gleneagles, we have several reasons to believe that the above plan is credible and plausible.
- i) The example of other similar churches that have grown as described above in various parts of the UK. An example in our own locality is Christ the King Church in Kettering.
- ii) Our current growth whilst meeting in a school hall.
iii) Plans to build 3,000 homes adjacent to the Gleneagles Estate between 2019 and 2029, which will more than double the size of our parish.
- iv) Significant increases in our giving as our annual budget has increased from £25,000 in 2007 to £90,000 in 2019, plus over £180,000 given by church members to the Church Building Fund since November 2011.
- v) The potential of both existing ministries and new ministries to grow and develop.
- vi) Our current growing people resources.
vii) The active partnership with Gleneagles Social Club / Vicarage Farm Community Association. The church continues to run events at the Social Club attended by members of our local community, including Wellitots for parents and toddlers, Death Café and Bereavement Support Group.
On November 9th, 2019, the following word from God was shared by someone unfamiliar with Gleneagles Anglican Church and unaware that we are currently praying and waiting on God for the resources we need to build the new Church and Community Centre:
“Continue in prayer, in faith and with thanksgiving.”
We continue in prayer knowing that God’s Got More!
In the short term, that is, for the next year, the next step of our Mission Plan is expressed as
Gleneagles Anglican Church is a growing congregation of about 100+ adults with 20 children and teenagers with another 25 children and teenagers attending our mid-week groups. Our Electoral Roll has grown from 42 in March 2007 to 91 in March 2019. Our Vision, which we believe is based on God’s word to us, is to continue to grow and the constituent parts of our long term Mission Plan are based on an expectation of God’s continued blessing on us, resulting in spiritual growth and an increasing number of people enjoying that blessing. Our Mission plan is:
1 – To have a purpose-built Church and Community Centre constructed.
The land has been purchased, all planning has been done and Planning Consent was given in December 2013. The new building includes a worship area, multi-purpose hall, large kitchen, café/foyer area plus other rooms. Such a building will facilitate our worship, enhance our ministries to serve the community and be available for the use of community and the wider church.
2 – To develop all our existing ministries particularly those that serve our community.
3 – To develop new ministries that will serve the community and maximize our engagement with the community.
4 – To develop pioneer ministries in the form of one, or possibly more, fresh expressions of church.
5 – To work in partnership with other agencies, sharing our resources (and facilities as they become available), so that Gleneagles Anglican Church continues to be a strong and active part of community life.
6 – To continue to grow spiritually and numerically so that, once we have settled into our new building, we begin to move towards making full use of all the space and facilities available.
7 – To increase our staffing levels as the opportunity arises and resources can be found.