The six churches in the roots+rivers family have just finished a month of preaching and prayer in which they have sought to move forward in faith together.
Al Barnett, leader of Aston and Cote Church, shares an update.
We kicked off with a regional celebration, where Liam Thatcher (Oxford Community Church) envisioned us to live in the power of the Spirit and seek God for an increase of faith for the adventures He has ahead for us. We followed this with a series of three shared teaching topics in our churches, under the title of ‘Walking in Faith in Challenging Times’. This included a ‘preacher swap’ week, where we shared our preachers around to speak in different roots+rivers churches.
We reinforced this with a shared month of prayer, based around a prayer leaflet, with topics to focus our prayers across the region for the four weeks. This was the first time we have tried a ‘region-wide’ prayer and preaching focus and we feel it has been a very positive month, although not surprisingly we can see ways we could have made more of it – in particular finding more ways to pray together.
We believe God is calling us to ‘widen the paths’ between us as a family of churches and we’re going to use the months of January and April 2023 to again have a shared preaching and prayer focus. We’ve been encouraged by the sense of a rise of faith during this time and there has been some good feedback from the churches, as we have sought not to be conformed to the anxious climate of our current culture, but to rise in faith, overcoming fear and living generously and adventurously!
One early example of fruit from this was an offering taken in Aston and Cote (with about 30 members) for a Hardship Fund, which has so far raised about £2,000. We’re looking forward to hearing more testimonies as we continue to strengthen the ties between the churches and lay hold of what God has for us in the months ahead!
Author: Al Barnett, Aston and Cote Church