Firstly on behalf of the Deacons can I wish you a very happy New Year.

We enter into a new decade and it certainly doesn’t seem like ten years since the “Millennium”. A new year in one sense can be exciting, in it being a fresh start with new plans but also met with uncertainty of what the year has in store.

Let me ask a question, “What do you have a passion for?” The word usually invokes a meaning of “something we have a strong feeling for” or “something we are so excited about or committed to that we want to share it and get others involved and committed to”.

A Passion For Life (AP4L) is a nationwide initiative organised by the Regional Gospel Partnerships, who are drawing together local evangelical churches to plan a variety of missional initiatives culminating at Easter 2010. God willing, it will be a great opportunity to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming that marvellous Easter message of His saving death and resurrection for a needy world. (For those of you with computers why not look at www.apassionforlife.org.uk)

The plans for 2010 started in 2009 and working in partnership with Laburnum Road Community Church, we are hoping to use AP4L as a platform for outreach, mission and evangelism beyond Easter and into future years.

I trust your interest has already been stirred, but what does this mean?

Firstly we need to be a prepared people. In our evening services starting in January, we will be working through the “Prepared For Mission” DVD and taking time to study and to become a motivated people with a passion to see people saved.

Secondly, during the year we hope to have a number of events we can use to engage with our community to help bridge build and lead to opportunities to share the gospel.

Colossians chapter 4 verses 2-6 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”.

Two words are highlighted that we all perhaps need to dwell and meditate upon as a challenge.

We need to pray for those opportunities, we need the wisdom to reach the community of St. Matthews Estate and we need to be a prepared people ready to engage with unbelievers with the gospel message.

Can I encourage you to come to the AP4L evening services, but also importantly, devote yourself to prayer, it needs to become a habit – why not join us for our midweek prayer meeting?

If you want to know more about AP4L or what is this “gospel” or Believer’s Baptism or Church Membership, why not speak to or contact one of the deacons?

Steve Hardy.