I am writing this sat in my garden, attempting to escape the organised chaos inside the house. There are boxes everywhere, toys across the floor, food items that need eating today, and now the movers have arrived. It is the joy of moving day. It is a day of sadness and excitement, and these two words capture how we feel at the moment, but can also be apt words to describe our reaction to Kingdom ministry.
As you all know the Kennaugh’s are moving to Stalybridge where I have been invited to become vicar of Holy Trinity Church. We are incredibly excited and yet also sad. It is exciting to follow where the Lord leads and discover where He is already at work. It is exciting to move to a new place and try the local take-aways. It is exciting to make new friends and visit new places. It is exciting to go on this adventure as a family together: Family on Mission.
However, it is also sad to be leaving St Marks and Chester. We have all made some great friends in nursery, school, the school gate, play group, and church. It is sad too that we won’t be here to see what God is going to do in and through the family of St Marks.
There has been much change in the three years I have been at St Marks and change can be a difficult thing for some of us. We struggle when our way of doing things or approaching things is altered. We even struggle at church when there is change. We may even feel sad about it. But we must remember that change is good. Christine Caine a pastor at Hillsong recently put it this way; ‘Healthy things grow, and growing things change. If we allow fear or doubt or shame or insecurity to hold us back from something new God is calling us to do, we may miss out on His greatest purpose for our life. As believers, we go from strength to strength, from glory to glory.’
Think about that phrase for a moment ‘Healthy things grow, and growing things change’. Whilst I do not advocate change for change sake, when we do see our church ministry looking a bit different to what we are used to, perhaps it is a sign of health and should be embraced. I say this because I truly believe we are on the verge of seeing the Kingdom break out in Lache, Saltney and Saltney Ferry in a new and powerful way. Doors are opening into the community and relationships are being built that are affording the church greater access and influence in our parish. New passions and dreams are being released within the church family and new people are joining us all the time (Praise God)! Therefore, what we know and love at St Marks may look slightly different going forward, but can I encourage you not to feel sad about this and how things used to be, but excited about what God is now doing. Perhaps too, think about what part you have to play in the extension of God’s Kingdom, for as John Wimber used to say ‘Everybody gets to play.’
So I really am sad not to be here to see what God will do over the next few years, but I am excited to know that God is on the move here and lives are being changed for Jesus. That is why we meet, why we gather, why we do what we do: So lives will be changed for Jesus. We are about extending God’s Kingdom, making disciples, and becoming more like Jesus ourselves. And it is a wonderful privilege we should treasure and partake in.
Let me leave you with this scripture: ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit’.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Thank you for everything,
Love and prayers,