— June 2015 Meeting Report —
A group of almost 20 pastors and church leaders met on the 10th of June in Boroughbridge to be encouraged by the Word and encouraged in the work of church planting in North Yorkshire.
John James (Pastor of Crossway Church, Northfield, Birmingham) reminded us that God delights to work through people who see themselves as weak, instead of strong. The task of church planting will often take us to end of our resources, but it’s in this task that we learn God’s strength. We learn to preach a strong God, and not a strong self. John greatly encouraged us all from his own experiences of finding God to be strong in his weakness as a church planter.
Martin Woodier (Pastor of Bethel Church, Otley & Ilkley) also opened the Word and called for bold faith in the mission of church planting. Speaking from 1 Samuel 14, Martin observed how the eye of faith sees problems as opportunities, seizes on those opportunities, and goes on the offensive. The gospel poverty of North Yorkshire is a great problem, but it’s one that God has provided the answer for — planting gospel-centred churches who will plant other gospel-centred churches. It’s time to seize upon the answer and move forward by faith in the planting churches all over needy North Yorkshire.
Scarborough has been highlighted by Plant North Yorkshire as an area of particularly great need. Chris Haley presented some insightful research on Scarborough, its people, and its churches (or lack thereof). Several pastors gathered also had helpful personal knowledge of Scarborough’s history and need.
The big news of the day was an announcement of God’s provision in answer to our prayers. An unnamed Anglican Evangelical minister has seen the need in Scarborough and desires to plant a gospel-preaching church there. His plans are still in the very early stages of development, but a church could realistically be planted by April/May 2017.
We are thanking God for the way he is answering our prayers for labourers and continuing to pray for a multiplying of churches and a great harvest in North Yorkshire.