Now we feel God calling us to explore. This is our present reality.
At the advent of the pandemic and the first lockdown, we had to make some quick decisions about where we could meet.
The social distancing guidelines laid out by the government meant the space at Gidea Park Methodist Church (GPMC) was no longer sufficient for a church our size. You may remember the church leadership team felt God directed us not to return to GPMC once our time at Stubbers comes to an end in May.
We have been very blessed to have a place to meet over the past year and are so grateful to Stubbers for allowing us to use their Walled Garden exclusively.
Since making the decision not to return to GPMC, the leadership team and trustees have been praying and seeking God’s will for what comes next. At present, we expect to be in a temporary building until we can purchase a place of our own. Renting a facility for our sole use could also be a short-term solution.
We feel God has spoken to us through prophetic visions that detail our journey and where we may end up.
On April 1 2020, James dreamed that he was in a car driving up a very steep hill at a 110° angle.
It was terrifying since he thought, ‘How can the car not flip backwards over itself’ but the key to its safety was to keep moving forward until it reached the top. He finally did reach the end goal at the top, and there was a great sense of relief. One of the necessary factors to the car not tipping over on its side or flipping backwards was to keep moving forward.
To make a turn to the right or left would be disastrous, and to stop would be equally dangerous since it would be impossible to get going again. James believes what the Lord was saying through the dream is that the church needs to keep moving forward whatever our circumstances.
Our present situation may seem scary and impossible, but the lesson is to keep moving forward in prayer and faith.
Gary, a new member of our church, had a word for the church before we found the Walled Garden at Stubbers. He said he saw a tent that we would be meeting in.
The original vision I had of the tent and building had strong underlying themes. The tent was only ever a temporary place of worship, and the building was a place of permanent dwelling for regen as a fellowship and will continue.
We will at the 11th hour cross the Red Sea and be in our own place of worship. The symbolism of the Red Sea opening up is that the season we had in the tent will be gone, and regen will march into a new place of worship and a new season for the fellowship as a whole.
He later had this word for us on March 7 2021:
I was praying about a building last year and have been since. What I haven't said is that mid September  I suddenly received a vision of a map of Romford and saw on the map North Street, Romford – around Matalan.
We believe God is calling us into our own space:
To live out this vision, we’re seeking a physical home that offers space and flexibility. Full ownership of the building would enable us serve the needs of our church family and the wider community, however God leads us.
With this in mind, we have been scouting out properties currently available and have been blessed by so many of our church community joining in the search. On the whole, we have faced silence and closed doors in lots of different areas in and around Romford, but we viewed a possibility that matched the picture Gary had, which may well be an open door for us.
‘Unit J’ fits well with prophetic visions we have received. Situated in central Romford and a five-minute walk from Matalan, it's a two-storey building that would provide a spacious and well-maintained base to grow our ministry and mission to the local community.
All these resources, of course, come at a high cost, with the asking price set at £1.65 million.
If we were to seek to purchase it, it would be a financial challenge that we have not come close to facing before. When the church trustees chose to leave the Methodist Church in 2014, we did not have the finances on hand to ensure our ‘success’, but we did have an assurance by the word and prayer that what we were stepping into was the sovereign will of God.
Regarding paying our way, going it alone has not meant going alone at all; the Lord has been with us every step of the way. We have said it many times, "God’s will is God’s bill." Hasn’t this been true for regeneration? Over and over, when we have committed to giving above our means, the Lord has provided. Every time he has come through.
The primary question we have asked over the years of our simple obedience has been this, ‘What is the Lord leading us to do?’ Not, ‘Can we afford this?’ ‘Is there enough money in the bank?’ Faith to believe the impossible can appear reckless.
If the Lord is leading us in pursuing a building of our own that is financially beyond our natural means, it has the marks of a faith venture. The writer of Hebrews doesn’t pull any punches as regards faith:
And without faith living within us, it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him.
The primary point is not mere faith or lack of it but passionately seeking God, to pray that we would seek His will alone. Let us each ask the Lord for faith in this way, to believe for the impossible, whether for this building or something else we can grow into.
No other venue we have enquired about has presented itself to us with such a fantastic possibility for ministry and growth as a church.
We believe God has led us out of GPMC and, in his divine guidance, has led us to Stubbers. For the church to expand its ministry, we believe owning our own space is integral to the vision for mission, both locally and beyond. We are so thankful to the Lord for how he has provided for all our needs over the years.
To achieve what God is calling regeneration into requires us all to invest and commit to this vision. We want everyone in the church to get on board with the vision in two ways:
By praying for this vision to be fulfilled
By doing our part as church members by giving prayerfully and sacrificially to this vision, as each person is directed by God
We realise it could appear foolhardy to believe that our small church could raise anywhere near the amount needed to purchase a building of our own.
However, the scripture we felt was linked to James’ dream of driving up the vertical incline was the story of Jonathan and his armour bearer exhibiting audacious faith by taking the fight to the enemy. Before literally climbing up on their hands and knees on the steep ascent to the battle, Jonathan made this incredible statement of faith:
Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.
Jonathan exhibited ‘crazy’ faith. God was faithful in bringing victory when the odds were stacked against them.
We are excited for this next chapter in the life of regeneration church and hope you are too. Let’s be expectant and obedient in all the Lord has called us to be and do.
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