2014 has in many ways been quite a difficult year for us as a church. We have had people leave and faced unexpected challenges. But the Lord has been faithful through it all.
One of the great success stories of this last year has been our monthly Teaching and Apologetics sessions. Matthew and I have taught on subjects as diverse as Understanding Atheism, and Reaching Out to JWs. But we have also enjoyed the ministry of some wonderful teachers.
Our old friend Pastor Ian Moulton taught on the errors of the Word of Faith movement...
Bobby Gilpin of UK Partnerships for Christ covered Mormonism...
And Vincent McCann gave a fascinating talk on Occultism in the media.
|My injuries a day or so after the attack.|
This was a difficult year for me, as in February I was assaulted for preaching the Gospel in our local town centre. I have been open air preaching for quite a few years now and whilst threats are common, this was the first time I had been violently attacked. But the Lord's a great healer and I am please to say I am back on the streets again!
In March we stood outside the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall Memorial celebration. We wanted to be a witness of the true gospel of Jesus Christ...
...not everyone was delighted to have us there!
In summer we held a leafleting campaign called "Get Right with God in 2014." I produced a free give-away DVD with a short gospel message on it and we finished off by preaching the gospel in Stockport Town Centre.
We continued with our monthly Bring-and-Share meals, enjoying a good time of fellowship with others.
In July we had a stall at Stockport Carnival giving away free Bibles, tracts, DVDs etc.
The weather has been great, which has given us an opportunity to really get out on the streets and talk to people about their salvation.
In October we held our Reformation Sunday celebration. It was great fun getting the children involved and teaching them about the sacrifices made by Christians during the Reformation.
Our ladies have built good relationships with one another and have provided support, both practical and spiritual.
This year saw the start of Sunday Club, our new children's work. The children learn to pray, listen to a Bible story and sing songs of praise. They also play a fun game and have a Bible memory verse to learn each Sunday.
We finished off the year with a combined Carole Service and Nativity drama. It was well attended and the children loved being involved. It is a great way of bringing mums and dads and grandparents into the church to hear the truth.
Thanks to everyone that has helped, attended, worked, preached, taught and cooked this year. We couldn't do it without you!
In some ways I think this year has been a "wintertime" for us as a church. It has been a year of labouring, without much increase and yet it has also been a time in which some have returned to the church, for which we are thankful to God.
We have seen our Open Air Team has grown in number and in zeal. It has also been a year in which we have started our HelpBank; giving food, nappies and such like to families in need. It was a blessing to be able to send out food hampers this Christmas as an expression of basic Christian kindness.
May I remind you all of the verse the Lord gave to us as a church:
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)
Let's hold fast to God's word until we reap!