regeneration - Feb15

Monday, 9 February, 2015

Members of the regeneration leadership team share the story of their journey to an independent charity and sustainable church.

Duration: 5:56   | Download Download video (flv) | Download Download video (wmv) | View on YouTube


Alicia Edmund: regeneration has existed for 10 years and has recently become an independent charity. The journey, from experience, has been a long one and I can see how God has evolved the leadership and the people within the church but, at the heart of it, God's vision for this church has remained and is one that the leadership team here has pursued which has resulted in us becoming an independent charity.

Jason Piper: As a church we've had to become more or less financially self-sufficient and God really laid it on our hearts to challenge us in a sense, to become independent and to raise the funds ourselves.

Ruth Poch: regeneration was born out of our youth work so when we were given permission to plant regeneration in the year 2004, it started purely with teenagers.

Jason Piper: Over the last 10 years we have seen the church grow, which has been really exciting to be a part of. We're also a sending church; we really believe that as a missional community that we send out people who are members of our church to go and spread the gospel – whether that's at university, different parts of the country and even as far as different countries all over the world.

Ruth Poch: We started to have quite a few vulnerable adults coming to us which could have been seen as an unusual mix, having teenagers and vulnerable adults – some of whom have quite severe mental health issues – but, from the beginning, we'd been deliberately intentional about it being a very inclusive community. So anyone who would come, or anyone we would encounter, could feel that this is a community where they can belong.

Alicia Edmund: Since the beginning our pastors have also been very intentional in investing in individuals and particularly the gift of leadership; being proactive through one-to-one mentoring and pastoring and encouraging young people in the beginning to step into areas of leadership and to be responsible in different areas of church. But the importance of leadership development is us placing a heavy emphasis on discipleship; discipleship underpins leadership skills and gifting. In essence we want to encourage any individual to continue their relationship with Jesus, to be transparent, to be serving, to be humble and these are key features and part of our church.

Ruth Poch: Last year we entered an interesting season and it began with someone pointing out that they felt that the core body of the church were getting burnt out in that we were doing so many things, and it really felt right to seriously prune our programme and particularly focus in this new season on prayer, waiting on God, hearing from him afresh about what particular ministries he wanted us to be born out of this new season.

Alicia Edmund: The pruning season was a particularly difficult time for me. During the discussions between the leadership team, one area of ministry that we talked about was the homeless shelter and I was overseeing that area of ministry but we agreed as a church that we wouldn't be hosting that, the night shelter, any more and instead would hand over the night shelter to another church.

Ruth Poch: Almost most interesting in this time has been the fact that we've really had to strip down even where we were meeting; the heating was condemned in the sanctuary of the church so we had to meet in a back hall. We then stripped the worship band right back just to an individual playing a guitar and someone playing the box. It all felt completely stripped down but out of this season the church has known an incredible new growth numerically and also in depth of discipleship.

Alicia Edmund: And God challenged me that if he's asking me, and this church, to step back from an area of ministry, it's for our own good, it's for us to grow in relationship with him, to pursue him in prayer and only to pursue him in different ministries that he is calling us too rather than out of popularity or strength.

Jason Piper: My prayer for regeneration church is to see it become a place where God's Kingdom truly comes; a place where young people, old people, people from different backgrounds, different places, have a freedom to worship in spirit and in truth.

Alicia Edmund: My prayer, my longing, is to see a community of believers striving after God's heart in this community and individuals pursuing their own giving, calls and areas of ministry and all of that being rooted in a heart of praise and thanksgiving and a heart of worship.

Ruth Poch: I'm just excited by the lives that we've seen transformed by the love of Jesus Christ and that's our hope for the future, just to see many more people encountering Jesus and having their lives totally changed. We want to continue to see people fulfil their potential in Jesus, to be sent out as they already have been but to see many, many more people just going out into different places in this world, serving his purposes. So we're really excited as we believe this is really just the beginning.

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