On Sunday I was at Bromham Baptist Church. Bromham is a sizeable village on the outskirts of Bedford, and the church, located in a spacious, attractive, modern building, is a large, vibrant, serving, growing community. I'm leading a church weekend in a few weeks time so I was being introduced to the church by preaching at a Sunday service – I trust there won't be too many cancellations as a result!
The worship, led by Mark Hatto, who is doing an excellent job as the church's minister, was contemporary employing a large group of musicians. During the service there was opportunity to share testimony and a number of people contributed.
One person talked about their recent experience of being vulnerable; another, of how God had spoken to her on the way to work, providing assurance; and someone else spoke about an event held on Saturday, as part of Hope '08. A sizeable group from the church washed cars and provided the drivers with home-made cakes and tea and coffee – all free! And 109 cars were washed!! It was fascinating to hear of the reactions of people in the village. And this wasn't an isolated event. The church has purchased some quality Christian books for the local library; they've planned community litter picks; and they're providing flower baskets for the village. All this is part of a deep desire to bless the community and communicate Christian hope.
It was really good being with this part of Christ's body, and I'm looking forward to the weekend – all I have to do now is prepare the material for five sessions!