A women’s worker for the Valley!

Dear praying friends,

We want to thank you so much for your prayers. We’re convinced that the Lord is using them to bring about his purposes among us, and through us to bring his people to himself across the Spen Valley.  And, to that end, we have some really exciting news to share:

I mentioned in the last prayer letter that we are encouraged to have regular visitors with us, and to be getting to know people across the town and valley. In the Lord’s providence the vast majority of these, particularly those visiting us on a Sunday morning, have been women. Several of them have been very keen to dig further into the Bible and to explore what the gospel is all about. As we’ve prayed and thought hard about how to serve these women, and indeed the women among our members who need discipling, we’ve come back again and again to the thought that we should explore employing a Women’s Worker.

This has been something that has always been part of the long-term vision of Spen Valley Church, we want to free up gifted, godly women to disciple and serve other women. However, our experiences of the Lord’s providence since September convinced us as Elders that this was something we should explore now.

Therefore, we discussed this whole matter as a church a few weeks ago. As I mentioned earlier, the Lord gave us remarkable unity. All church members agreed that employing a part-time Women’s Worker was a vital need for us going forward. The church was also enthusiastically unanimous that we already have someone gifted and able to serve us in this way within the church. As a church we believe that Dawn is already seeking to fulfil this role, but is massively hampered from doing so by her commitments in secular employment. The church therefore made the decision together that we should employ Dawn part-time from September to disciple and train the women in the church, and reach out with the gospel to women in our town and valley. We were very careful to make these two decisions separately so that we can’t be accused of simply finding a job for the Pastor’s wife.

We’re so thankful to the Lord for this unity and clear expression of his will for us. Please do give thanks with us, and please pray for Dawn as she take on this new role. Please especially pray for her as she seeks to finish well at school over the remaining weeks of the term. Dawn’s been teaching for nearly twenty years and loves her job. Please pray for her as she transitions to paid ministry. Please also pray for us as a family, as we get used to both of us being employed by the church and serving together on a more formal basis. Please pray for us as a church as we seek to help Dawn fulfil her role. Mainly though, please pray that the Lord would bless this move and bring real gospel fruit from it.

This obviously has huge implications for us as a church, as we seek to love and support Dawn in her new role. It also has some pretty big financial implications. The Lord has been very good to us over the last year or so. We received more than enough money to fulfil all our commitments in our first year, and have carried some over into Year 2 (beginning in September). In fact, we have been so blessed that we can fulfil all our commitments for almost all of Year 2 at current levels of income and outgoings (ie. employing Derek and myself). However, in order to employ Dawn we need to raise £15000 for the coming year. We have really challenged ourselves as a church to fund as much of Dawn’s salary as we can, and believe we can cover between 10% and 20% at least, through increasing our own giving. However, we do need to raise the remainder from outside ourselves. We firmly believe that this is the Lord’s will for us as a church and are therefore confident that the Lord will meet all our needs.

Please do pray as we write to churches and grant-making bodies this week and next. Please also do pray about whether you could help us in any way. If just half the people who receive this prayer letter could give us just £10 a month then we would be able to raise nearly half the £15000! However, we realise that this won’t be possible for a lot of you.

We value your love and prayers in Jesus’ name above anything. Please do continue to pray for us in this.

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