Welcome to a New Year! As we start 2019 we just want to say what a joy it is for us to lead such an amazing church community.
This time last year Rosie and I were heading off on a Sabbatical. Since our return we’ve focussed on cultivating some new habits and daily practices that have helped us continue to grow. We’ve noticed, as we’ve looked at lives that are an example and inspiration to us, that often they have the same qualities and routines in common. They’re focussed on the things that really matter and they’ve fostered simple, daily routines that have shaped them.
For all of us, so many things contend for our attention. As we prayed about 2019, God spoke the phrase ‘Focus and Simplify’ to us. So this year we’re bringing into focus some of the practices and environments that will help us grow. We are focussing on the vision God has for our lives and our church. We are also simplifying the diary so we can put the spotlight on the most important building blocks of church: small groups, communities and Sundays.
Later this term we have a sermon series called ‘Formation’ which will explore some of the daily choices we can make to follow Jesus. The invitation and adventure is to follow Jesus, listen to His word and live more aware of His presence continually. As Jesus followers we want to become more like Him, living secure in our identity as loved children in His family.
As a church we don’t have a formal membership that says who’s “in” and who’s “out”. We are the kind of community where people take responsibility for their own growth and development as followers of Jesus. In the first accounts of the early Church we read that the people in that community “devoted themselves” to this life of faith together.
So we’re all responsible for our own growth! No one else can pray the thoughts in your heart. No one else can build the friendships you can. No one else can bring the perspective or encouragement that God has put in your life. We want to live life to the full. Over the years we’ve seen that the best way to deepen friendship and help our growth is when we learn to consistently love and serve one another with the gifts He’s given us, being committed to each other in small group and community.
For those new to faith or this church, we’re excited to launch the ‘Rooted’ course which will help you connect with God in every part of life. For more information, and to book go to bvc.so/rooted
Together we’re called to be a community of people who are learning to follow Jesus, live life to the full and make a difference every day. A community that is shaped by the big story of scripture, practising the way of Jesus, led by the power of the Holy Spirit in extending God’s Kingdom.
Andrew & Rosie