Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
As I chat and pray with people at FBC, there seems to be a sense among us that we are entering a new season in the life of the church. Faversham Baptist Church has been around for nearly 150 years, and God has been at work in generations of its members, but what about the future?
The people of Israel, on their epic journey from Egypt to Jordan, had to learn three important lessons: don't cling to the past, don't grumble about the present, and be full of faith for the future. We must beware of the danger that David Watson outlines: "God breathes into his church fresh life by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit: man likes what he sees, organises it, regiments it, and the patterns therefore continue for decades, if not centuries, after the Holy Spirit has quietly made his departure. God's plan for continuous renewal becomes the Church's Society for Historic Preservation."
God is able to do new things, unless we prevent him. Are we ready for this? We need to keep on asking ourselves how deeply we desire the renewing work of God in our lives and church. As David Watson asks: are we ready to catch a new vision of the church as it ought to be, are we willing to change where necessary, and above all are we determined to keep our lives continually open to spiritual renewal?
There is much we need to work through, and we will not always agree on everything. But if we remain committed to the Lord Jesus, following his lead and maintaining the unity of the Holy Spirit among us, then I am convinced that we shall see the power of God at work in our church as never before!