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16th October 2011
I find it hard to get excited about buildings. I lack the imagination required to look at an architect's plans and be able to picture what the building will actually look like once it's finished. Don't get me wrong – I'm pleased we're going to make more space for our children's work, I really like the idea of a coffee shop in the building and I think it's exciting that we're preparing for 600 here on Sunday mornings. And that is what has most motivated me to pray, fast and give during this season – not the building itself, but the anticipation of growth.
There are 203,000 people in Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill, Battle and Rye. At least 190,000 of them don't attend church. Over 55,000 are under 25. Among the 87,000 from Hastings & St Leonards, 24% of adults are claiming a key benefit and almost 6,000 have no qualifications at all; 29% of children live below the poverty line; 28% of local 11-year-olds haven't reached the expected reading level; and there are over a thousand unemployed 18- to 24-year-olds.
While building blueprints don't inspire my imagination, the bleak picture painted by these statistics sure does! As we reach out to those in our town and the surrounding areas – whether it's through Community Groups, a project serving the poor or any other means – we're believing God for growth because it's what He has promised to do, both in His Word and through the prophetic.
I may not be able to picture what this building will look like a year from now, but I can imagine story after story of transformed lives as we take the gospel out in word and deed. And that makes me want to pray more, fast more and give more.
Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-12
Next Prayer Meeting: Today at 7am (all welcome)
Tonight at 6pm we will announce on this blog how much has been pledged during the Season of Prayer, Fasting & Giving
Posted by Natalie Williams