16 – 22 of June
In the Bible we read of a number of occasions where God’s people gather, with a purpose, to pray and fast.
For more information please visit our fasting page which explains more about fasting. This page is concerned with the purpose of this prayer and fasting time.
We are at one of the most exciting times in the life of EMBC. God is growing the Church and we have to continue to explore how He wants us to be available for more growth. What we are facing is not uncommon in Church life,
“most Churches face growth barriers when attendance reaches 65, 125, 250, 500 and 1,000” – Nelson Searcy
If you look across our Baptist Churches in Scotland you see Churches stuck at these places. We are at one of these “barrier points” at the moment. Our average attendance is now hovering around 250. If we remain as we are we will stick at this point. Two actions will enable us to punch through this barrier and move on to the next phase of growth.
- Increase our accommodation. Space is a barrier to growth. When a church reaches 80% full it is “perceived” by the attenders to be full! Our Growing Space team is tackling this barrier. Nelson Searcy comments “Do not introduce a second service too early. It’s better to grow to 300 or 400 before starting one”.
Certainly since the last church meeting it has become evident that any move to two services in the morning would bring considerable challenges, particularly in regards to people resources. Searcy identifies our challenge well, we need to grow a bit more before we can make the final decision on moving or not moving to two services. This in itself might just be an intermediate step, before moving to bigger premises or church planting.
To help us continue to know the right way forward the Leadership Team have employed an architect company “McLean Architects” to do a feasibility study on the church sanctuary. Don McLean, Managing Director of McLean Architects, is a member of the Scottish Baptist Property Group, and has given us advice in the past. In brief we have asked that this study identify potential for additional seating capacity. If we could grow by another 50+ then we would be in a much stronger place to move to two services and then onwards.
- Increase Staff. Increasing accommodation by itself will not enable us to punch through the growth barrier, there needs to be an increase in staff also. Two possible areas of staff growth, may be around administration and community engagement.
Exciting times and stimulating challenges require God’s people to come together and pray.
There is clearly a biblical precedent for God’s people praying and fasting for the purpose of more clearly discerning His will.
In Acts 13 and Acts 14 we read of two incidences where fasting and prayer positioned God’s people to be more receptive to our God who loves to guide us “He guides me along right paths for His names sake”
We are calling the Church family in EMBC to a time of prayer and fasting during the week of the 16 to the 22 of June. Our focus is specifically the above issues, increasing space and should we increase staff.
On Friday the 20 and Saturday the 21 of June the church will be open for prayer.
We would love you to come along on one of these days.
The prayer room is also available during the week and can be booked through Joanne Gray, in The Village Centre.
Then on the evening of the 22 of June we are having a Baptismal service
this is what it is all about, people far from God coming to faith in God. This is why we wrestle with the big issues of where God is leading us, we want to see His Kingdom growing in our time and in our town.
On the 26 of June we will be having a church meeting
At this meeting we will share and feedback on what God has been saying to us as a gathered church family.