Following on from Living Church last year, we have been looking at how we can move forward with our Second Sunday services. It became obvious that there was no point in trying to plan any kind of ‘service’ unless we knew what people need. We also didn’t know how to find out what people need, and from this, the vision grew for SEARCHLIGHT.

The Vision:

Imagine a picture of darkness. As you look at it, you realise that in the middle of this picture is a rock. This rock is prayer. On the rock is a foundation stone – Our Lord God. Rising up, as we gaze, we start to see a tower. This tower is made up of all the building blocks that makes ‘Church’ – the physical buildings in Grove, and the community that makes this a reality. These building blocks might be worship, praise, bible study, fellowship, service, and all the other things that go to make up a church. At the top of this building there is a capstone. Jesus. This building supports the Searchlight. The Searchlight is the light of God and radiates all of the qualities of God that we understand – His mercy, love, grace, faithfulness, eternal parenthood.

As we stand in the beam of light generated by the Searchlight, we see ourselves, and each other, illuminated and bathed in God’s light. The light helps us grow, helps us see, nourishes and supports us in our life in Him. It highlights what we DO – our nurture of our children and our new believers, our fellowship with each other, our witness to the community. Our service to those around us.

But further than that, if we look behind us, the Searchlight is also beaming beyond us into the community in which we live, and which is changing around us. Perhaps we have never looked so closely with God’s eyes before? What can we see? Is God asking us to respond to what we see? Individually, in ones and twos? As a group?

The Searchlight Services:

Just as those who responded to John’s Baptism in Luke 3 asked, ‘What Would You Have Us Do?’, the Searchlight services will beam onto areas that we have not looked at before, and issues the challenge, what will you do? As the services develop, and we are led by the Holy Spirit, we do not know yet where we will be looking, or what God would have us do, but we are open to where He leads. We will be looking to Jesus, and we will be looking around, and we will be looking behind.

Some Early ideas:

Modern Slavery – this could be anything, from exploited migrant workers, to addiction. There is freedom in Christ – how can we share this to our community?

Poverty – anything from time to money, and the consequences of that.

Disability – our attitudes to ability and disability

What else? We are praying that God will be laying on people’s hearts the ideas of where the Searchlight should go next.

A Catalyst for Action:

We really don’t know where these services will go, or what the Light of Christ will illuminate, in our lives and elsewhere. But our prayer is that God will lead us, and that these services will be a catalyst for action – both personal and group.

Prayer:

We have a Church Without Walls praying for us and for our church – people from all over Britain and Europe, who have committed to hold us in prayer before God. We need more! Please think about if there is anyone you could ask to be involved, and please let Jane Greenhalgh (jane.x.greenhalgh@gmail.com) know, so she can add them to the email list. If you are already a member of our church and would like to pray for us, please do!