On the 29th April 2012 a number of us met together for the first time as a new church in Richard and Kim's home. Yes, it was a squash getting 30+ adults plus children into a lounge, but there was also a great sense of unity and purpose as we began to worship God together. Although we had been together for many years, this was to be a time of new beginnings, where we put the past behind us and focused our hearts and minds on what lay ahead.
Starting a new church can be both exciting and daunting, but if we learned anything in those early months, it was to "Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and not lean on our own understanding". We knew that if we were going to become a fully established church, reaching out to a community of lost souls, we would need to move out of a home and into a public building. We started to search for potential premises and thought we had found the ideal location. We enthusiastically made enquiries only to find out that it was not available.
At this point God spoke to us very powerfully about how He wanted us to move forward, using the story of when King David attempted to move the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem on a wooden cart. There was nothing wrong with David's desire to return the Ark to its proper place, but he was not paying attention to the finer details of how God had said it should be moved, i.e. on poles carried by the Levites. David's mistake was very costly and after several months of prayer and reflection he tried to move it a second time, only this time following very carefully the instructions God had laid down. It says in 2 Samuel 6:13 that they took 6 steps and then stopped to worship God.
God's word to us was very clear. We realised that we were starting to run ahead of ourselves and that we needed to put the brakes on and pay careful attention to what really matters to God. We were to take small steps and be constantly listening out for God's approval before moving on.
This has been the way forward for us since then. In every decision we have made we have earnestly sought God's approval before taking the next step. Moving to Frenchay Village Hall at the beginning of 2013 was one such step. God made us aware of the premises and as we laid this before God there was a great sense of rightness. God has given us a real heart for the area around Frenchay Village and in particular for the students who are studying at the UWE.
We may not be a large church at this time, but we are a church who is committed to taking God inspired steps all the way into the fulfilment of His wonderful purposes.