Calling our city back to God...
...the revival and transformation of Sheffield
The vision for St Thomas’ Philadelphia has long been ‘calling our city back to God’. In this season, that is clearly defined as the revival and transformation of Sheffield. Our vision amounts not just to calling our city, but to seeing our city called. Seeing the power of the gospel bring personal and city-wide transformation.
One of our church’s greatest strengths is that we deliberately find the balance of both/and. We both ‘gather’ together as family for worship and encouragement and we ‘go’ to love and serve our city in Missional Communities (MCs) and the places we live or work. We both prioritise times in His presence together and preach the gospel to the city. The Lord has shown us the power of both/and during the past few years and we’ll continue this way because that balance can be key to fostering revival and then coping with it when it comes.
This past year we have seen great encouragements towards our vision. Sunday services enjoy a deep presence of God. Our centrally-run Alpha Course led 40ish people through the gospel and many have made commitments to Christ. Most recently, the launch of ‘Get Connected’ will help people find their place in this large family. We run Sheffield’s Christians Against Poverty (CAP) centre which in 2011 has served 65 families with debt problems and seen 10 families become debt-free in recent years. We’re also seeing an increase in conversions both through the effect of long-term relationships and MCs and immediate decisions on the street through ministries including Healing on the Streets.
This is a season to sow seeds across our city and to reap the harvest of our initiatives, some over many years.
There is both a call and a cost to our vision. The call is to personal revival – it starts with you and me living sold-out lives for, and because of, Jesus’ love - in our everyday contexts. The cost means a life interrupted, as we invest our time, money and resources into the ministries of this church and into loving and serving our city. As we stop for the one in front, we will together reach many.
Let’s take this journey together.