Theydon Bois is just within the boundaries of the M25 in Essex, but despite its proximity to London it’s a large residential area that retains a village feel. The Baptist church there is making big strides forward. In its efforts to reach more people, it is trying to develop Bible-based worship that is relevant to all generations, while developing a more missional approach by being committed to several strands of community service that don’t necessarily take place within its own walls.
A great example of this is the church’s support of the area’s Alcoholics Anonymous group. Although this is held in the church building, the church does not organise or run the group. It’s a similar story for Community Cuppa in that the church is not responsible for running it but enthusiastically supports it. You might think that the name is self-explanatory but the group’s Facebook page goes further, describing itself as ‘A youth club for adults.’ As well as cuppas, an impressive array of home-made cakes figures prominently.
As the church seeks to attract more families to hear the gospel message they have put youth work at the heart of the church. Two years ago there was no youth work, but now there’s an after-school drop-in centre called Livewires which attracts 30-plus primary school children every week, with the church’s involvement in the local school, particularly in leading assemblies a notable factor in bringing about this growth. Last year the church hosted the local primary school’s carol service, and had a joint harvest service with the local Anglican church and the school.
Breakfast church services are also proving popular with families, regularly attracting congregations nearing a hundred.
Bible study in home groups have also grown significantly with three groups that run for six/seven week sessions at a time.
The church holds a stall at the village Christmas market, utilising the ideas from “Get in the Picture”. They also have strong support for their carol service from the village on Christmas Eve, with the church at near capacity.
The church kitchen is undergoing extensive renovation, and once completed will allow them to be more proactive in serving the village with, for example, a daytime lunch club to help build relationships and support, allow them to do more with breakfast church, and more missional events around food.
• Kitchen renovation will go smoothly.
• We hope to develop a youth club for secondary school children, a 6th form club, and for the 20 somethings.
• We plan to host a school carol service this Christmas and invite parents. Pray it will have a positive impact on the school and community.
• We are hoping to employ our own youth worker in time. Pray the Lord will provide the money we need to achieve this goal.
• Pray for our new Growth Group that provides an introduction to the faith for those new to the church and Christian life.
• Pray for our Junior Church that meets during the Sunday morning service, for a new leader to run the group, and an increase in the number of children coming along.
• Pray that we can find new and innovative ways to reach out to the young who are young married and single.
• Little Cherubs – The parents and toddlers group, more leaders so we can expand the group, and also to develop strong relationships between the parents and church.
• There are four deacons standing down in April 2020, including the Church Secretary and Church treasurer as part of our six year rule. Please pray that God will raise up new leaders within the church.