I was back in the West End this morning. It seems to be something of a hub for vibrant churches in the city…
Denomination: Good question! Not sure!
Date: January 20 2013
Service: Morning Service
Congregational Make-Up: Re:Hope has a real student feel to it. It seems to be made up predominantly of young people although there were one or two older people present (including me!).
Central Feature(s): On arrival at the church I was offered coffee and croissants. The fellowship is onto a winner right there!
The service opened with the Pastor inviting people to testify to answered prayer during the previous week. I admired this bold approach and yet recognised it was a very vulnerable moment for him. What if no-one spoke up? Two people shared ways in which God had helped them in specific response to their prayers over the past seven days.
The band then led in a time of worship and this was followed with the Pastor continuing the current teaching series on the Old Testament prophet, Elijah. It was a very engaging, Bible centred message on the theme of testing. His closing comment captured me – “I want God’s people in this generation to elevate obedience to God’s Word and commit to personal integrity of character.”
Stand-Out Moment: I could mention a couple of things but one that has made a big impact on me was the use of an old song during the worship time. The band sang, “Jesus paid it all,” a 19th century song that I haven’t heard since childhood. They wove this beautiful song seamlessly into a set of modern worship songs. It was wonderful to see this young (in age) church express their faith in language that captures something of the kingdom of God of which we are part.
Conclusion: The 10am would be repeated at 12pm and 6.30pm. I understand this is to accommodate the numbers attending the church. With all the recent chat about declining church attendance it is refreshing to see one that is bucking the trend.
Coffee and croissants are not the answer to this growth but they do helped to contribute in a small way to a warm and welcoming church family.