Connecting with each other.
How many Christian events around the UK support each other.
By Abby Guinness, Head of Spring Harvest Programme.
Many may be surprised to hear that, behind the scenes, those involved with different Christian events communicate often and pray for each other. We really enjoy connecting and supporting one another as we serve the Church with opportunities to meet for worship, teaching, prayer and so much more. As the Coronavirus spread and cancellations were announced, I invited representatives of just a few of the larger events to gather over a video call to consider the impact of the pandemic on our gatherings.
This recording was made in the first week of April, shortly after ‘lockdown’ had begun in the UK and just as Word Alive, the first Spring Harvest break and Festival of Life were meant to be in progress. Big Church Day Out, Keswick and New Wine were a few more weeks away, all with enormous challenges now to face as they considered the way ahead.
I hope you will find it refreshing to hear that none of these organisations think they are essential to the health of the Church! All are more interested by the health of our nation’s faith than the survival of our events (although of course we are keen to sustain those we employ). Paul Harcourt from New Wine describes our gatherings as an ‘accelerant’, which seems right. We are resourced and encouraged when we get together. God uses all of these events to equip believers and build his Church. But ultimately, he can do that in any number of ways, around any kind of obstacles.
It was interesting to hear during the discussion that everyone felt there would be an increase in prayer across our nation, and that has subsequently been shown to be the case, even reported in national press. The opportunities for Christians to show and share their faith are increasing as people ask big questions and consider what life is all about. Additionally, everyone felt keen that a step-up in unity would be an outcome of this season as the Church faces the challenges together.
We are being given a new opportunity to love and serve our neighbours as we join in God’s mission in a changing landscape. We don’t know how long it will be before we gather in large crowds again. The future path of these organisations is unknown. But we will continue to love each other and work together, because we will always be the body of Christ.