Six of our missionaries, previously workplace chaplains, introduce their new roles...
After six years as a hospital chaplain, I now work alongside Rev. David Foster at Manor Park Christian Centre, reaching the multi-ethnic East London community around the church. I visit door to door, support the youth work, train house groups in evangelism and follow up new contacts made via the church. We’ve set up a Foodbank and partnered with other local churches to run a mini-mission.
My new role with East Hill Baptist Church in Wandsworth includes visiting contacts at home and street evangelism with a partner church. Our brand new outreach cafe, Springboard is up and running and I teach individual English classes for the Brazilian congregation who meet at EHBC. The Biblical Hebrew class I teach for the church’s college is run in the Spread Eagle, our local pub. Where else in the world would you hear Biblical Hebrew in a pub?! It’s been a popular course, with 20 or so in attendance!
I love my new role partnering with the Ecclesia church plant in LCM’s Lewisham centre. They seem to like having me on board too! Outreach to this area stretches and sharpens my discipling, evangelism and time management but God has given me numerous opportunities to share the gospel on Saturdays during our outreach on Lewisham High Street. I’m working on a condensed training program for evangelism and setting up a food distribution project to enable lots more engagement and evangelism to happen between the church and this needy community.
If I had to describe my new role in a sentence: ‘To enable the Spanish Baptist Church in West Norwood to reach the whole community where its members live and work, regardless of their nationality.’ I help with the local Foodbank, visit Spanish-speaking businesses, chat to shoppers and shop staff and may join the Street Pastor team in Elephant and Castle. I’m doing evangelism training with those who come out with me and another group are attending the course I run entitled ‘Sharing Jesus’.
‘Is there life after chaplaincy!?’ Had you asked me that question six months ago, I would have answered: ‘I’m not sure, but I’m willing to give it a go!’ Through periods of disquiet in my heart the overarching sense of God’s peace has reigned and I now feel like a young child left alone in a sweet shop! To see the intense interest of my new Dagenham-ite friends when I shared my faith was a privilege beyond comparison!
Jeff is team leader at our Bethel Christian Centre in Becontree. You can read more about the ministry in Dagenham in our recent post 'Signals to Footfalls'.
Bow Baptist Church, now 60 adult and 25 children strong, paints a pretty inclusive picture of a typical multi-cultural east London community, (without of course, the representation of the substantial Muslim population of the area.) As a missionary attached to BBC, my focus is mostly on evangelism and discipleship for and through the church. I lead services, contribute sermons, run Bible-in-Art events, and serve in most church activities. I’m also developing friendships with a number of locals in needy and challenging personal situations. Please pray that as God clarifies the specifics of my new role, he will give me the grace, wisdom and effectiveness to carry them out.
Please pray for these missionaries as they settle into their roles and share God's love in their communitites.
This article was first published in our magazine, Changing London, Summer 2015