A Service of Unity, Thanksgiving and Mission
Dan Holland shares in a joint service in Basingstoke. This builds on the contact and success of previous missions and services with the local churches. There will be a specific TFM team present for the whole weekend but everyone is welcome to attend the service.
'Imagine if there was a Christian hub, a centre of strength and mission planning, a ‘city of refuge’ that resourced a whole region of the country. Christians would come and go, finding refreshing and being re-tooled, mission teams sent out and received back. This is the word that God gave us recently for Basingstoke, a town I knew nothing about before working for TFM.
It’s a nice enough place, unassumingly nestled in the Hampshire downs between Reading and Winchester. Three, week-long missions over three years, countless trips to preach and network and many conversations later, I know rather a lot about Basingstoke. I’ve crisscrossed the town on foot, by car and, of course, door knocking. Rather like Jacob, I am now inclined to reflect,
“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (Gen 28v 16)
There have been 3 mission teams over 3 years, we’ve worked with four churches. Some team members have returned repeatedly, this May’s mission was the biggest team with 13 members. Each time we go the favour of God on the team increases and the relationships grow in trust resulting in more fruitfulness. At the end of this May’s mission I kept repeating ‘this does not feel like an ending, more like a new beginning’. So we are excited to watch God’s greater purposes unfold through it all.
We return again this November, just for a weekend, to stoke those fires of mission. Already there are 17 TFMers who want to come back, to celebrate what God has done and strike out one more time into the streets and communities of Basingstoke. Watch this space Basingstoke Churches,
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart (Phil 1v 3-7)