A story of ‘Regeneration and Rest’
From an article by Kairos Connexion
Hope Whitby is a ‘Network of Families on Mission.’ They have a rhythm of weekly meeting altogether - Hope Meets, Hope Eats, Hope Rests and Hope Has Fun. They love their town as well as a one-on-one relationship with God. They love being family and telling others about God while serving their town lovingly. Bec Coates, who co-ordinates the network, writes in December 2022:
With every challenge there is opportunity if we look for it. In each church the post lockdown era has given us the space, freedom and opportunity to rise to the challenge of the ‘new thing’ that God is doing.
For many Christians, including us at Hope Whitby, God spoke very clearly through the words of Isaiah 42:18-19 “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” The new thing for us has looked like this, Regeneration and Rest. An oxymoron you may think – but read on!
It started with prayer. A deep longing for both more one on one connection with God, but also a more regular rhythm of praying together and a greater onus on praying in every group we run. Little local ‘houses of prayer’ began praying in their geographic locations and prayer walking the streets all over Whitby and the surrounding villages asking God to send revival.
A complete overhaul of the way Hope Whitby operated was on the agenda – the words ‘Simplify to Multiply’ ringing in our ears. The regeneration process began. But most importantly, this would be with a much-needed rest week built in for us. We follow an unrushed Jesus, so we too should be modelling an unrushed life. A life where we are available to those who need us.
The result was a new and creative way of being family on mission together. ‘Hope Meets’ (contemporary service) now meets on the first Wednesday of each month in a restaurant, while ‘Hope Eats’ meets in a school on the second Sunday of the month with a family service and an opportunity to eat together and receive any food/sanitary hampers if needed. ‘Hope Rests’ on each third Sunday and every last Sunday ‘Hope has Fun’ at various locations; in homes, walks, meals, ice cream parlours etc. (The rhythm of our home, children’s, youth, men’s and women’s groups have remained the same but each group has seen both numerical and spiritual growth.)
Working from our rest has resulted in many things. We have had over forty not-yet-Christians join us since September 1st 2022. God has also opened up being able to lead collective worship sessions in three schools, heightened our involvement with our local council/councillor, and enabled us to build up links through our foodbank (Malachi Storehouse) with social services, early help, schools and North Yorkshire Horizons. We currently run a warm space in a local café which attracts around twenty people each week too.
We hope this is an encouragement to you and we are so grateful to God for all He is doing. Please keep praying more workers in for us, as it is so true that ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few.’ Luke 10:2
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From an article by Kairos Connexion, 07/03/2023