I wrote a few weeks back about the importance of fellowship with other Christians. One of the things I have longed for over the past nine years is closer fellowship with other evangelical, Bible-based churches in the local area. On Sunday I believe we took our first step towards this goal.
For the past few years the Friends of Devonport Park have held an annual fun day. We have in the past tended to run our own church stall. This year, for the first time ever, we teamed up with Devonport Baptist Church and the Salvation Army from Haddington Road. It really felt a positive move forward seeking to engage the local community together. Each of us were doing our own activity, but together under one tent – and isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? In the past we’ve often seen churches coming together as trying to do one joint activity, usually not very well, with our main focus as making sure we don’t cause offence to anyone else. But here the Baptist Church had a fishing activity for the children, the Salvation Army a craft table, and we handed out various items of literature. And without much coordinated planning the whole seemed to work very well together.
It was definitely only a first step. At the moment it’s basically just the leaders who are starting to meet together. But who knows where this may lead? I am convinced that if we are to build the kingdom of God effectively in Stoke and Devonport, we need to be working together. The body of Christ is so much bigger than any one denomination. And the mission is far bigger than any one group can harvest working on their own.