This is the Ivy Grow Group Notes for this week. I rounded off the Colossians series last night but only spoke on one verse of it so not really much point in me going over that again…
Well what an amazing day yesterday was at Ivy MCR
Here are a few highlights from the things I personally witnessed, and I’m sure Ivy Fallowfield was great as always;
1030am service at Kingsway – I had more than a few people come and tell me, ‘We’re getting full again…’
There were some spare seats – but the received wisdom I’ve found to be true is that when your meeting room is 80% full, you’re full! SO…
Do we need to hire another screen? When? What’s the answer? Please THANK GOD for growth and PRAY for wisdom and provision.
4pm at Ivy Sharston
This service is getting more than 70 people a week already. Emily Bowyer did a great talk on ‘TOUCH’ and then an outbreak of hugging happened! SUCH a great time! . One new first time visitor who brought his whole family, Paul from Wythenshawe, (I know his name because I hugged him.).
Hmmm. Probably the first time I’ve ever written that sentence.
Paul was asking’Is it always that good? This is amazing. And the people he was asking were saying, ‘Yes, it’s always this good.’
And nobody wants to leave after – it may have something to do with the food? Delicious!
7pm at Ivy Didsbury
Well it was AMAZING! Everything you dream of for church. If anyone from your group was there (and we were PACKED) get them to tell you some of the unforgettable, mind-blowing, faith-stirring true stories of people who’s been abused and in prison, or successful and empty (to mention just a few ) of the EIGHTEEN people who ended up being baptised!!
Phenomenal. I said afterwards, if it isn’t revival, it’ll do till revival comes.
We hope to put some of the life stories people told – with permission- on the website soon but in the meantime PRAISE GOD for all He has done, what only He can do – changing lives forever! Please pray and spend some time, before we ask God for anything else – just looking back and sharing what you have to be thankful for in your Grow Group.
I couldn’t sleep too well last night – I was so excited about how God is moving at Ivy, I kept waking up and thanking him and praying, ‘MORE LORD!’
When I woke up and went to the car I started to think, ‘What can I sell, what can I do, to give more money so we can see even more people’s lives changed like I heard about last night?’ I suppose it’s a little inkling of how people felt in the early church:
Read Acts 4:23-end.
God doesn’t just want to shake rooms we meet in – he wants to shake the people meeting! He wants to shake off our materialism and greed and make us more like Him, and if we are more like Him we’ll be less attached to stuff that will perish and more concerned with those who are perishing without Him!
So our firstfruits offering at the beginning of 2013 is a chance to say , ‘I’m putting first things first.’
God must be first.
First at Christmas
First in the New Year.
First in our finances.
How do we put God first in our finances?
Jesus talked about money in 16 of 38 of his parables. He said it’s a test, a spiritual thermometer for the true state of our hearts. How can say we belong to Him when all our longings are for more belongings?
Martin Lewis of moneysavingexpert.com (a great site I highly recommend) wrote recently in the Telegraph about how many people get in trouble because they are buying ‘pointless presents’ at Christmas. A survey today reports that 21 million unwanted gifts will be received this Christmas!
Personally I have started to put some money away that I’m NOT spending over Christmas,(and I will STILL have a fabulous time) to be able to give a lot more at the start of the year to God’s purposes at Ivy MCR. I’m praying this will be our biggest offering ever and will demonstrate that we actually know what Christmas is really all about, so we’ll spend less to give more – and be happier to do so.
We are praying and putting together our budgets now for next year and there is a lot of pressure from the way the economy of the world looks and works for us to batten down the hatches, conserve, and not risk too much. But like I said yesterday – that’s not what got us here!
Recently in a quiet time the Lord said to me, ‘Don’t go for what Ivy can afford but what i shall reveal…’
PLEASE PRAY that out VISION will see the PROVISION so we can keep on seeing lives changed, families healed, and people come to know and love Jesus Christ.