At Easthampstead Baptist Church we have different congregations, but we are all working together to live out the values, mission and vision that we believe God has inspired us with. Here you can find out more about these different things and we hope that as you read them you will get a feel for the type of church we are seeking to become.
On Sunday 31st January 2010 we gathered together to remind ourselves of the 'Chazown' that God has given to us as a church community. 'Chazown' is the old Hebrew word meaning dream or vision. Click here to listen to the talk and to find out about that vision.
Vision is not about reality or what is. Vision is all about our dreams and aspirations and what could be with God’s help. We are dreaming of what we might become in the future. With God’s help, by 2015 we dream of…
Becoming a church which is a vibrant, exciting and creative place where Christians are encouraged to grow and give, where non Christians are loved and welcomed, valued and included and in turn encouraged to discover the love and grace of God. The church is numbered in the hundreds and thousands and is therefore making a real impact on the community around it. The church is working really hard to help those in poverty and suffering injustice, children are all over the place and older people are respected and included. All the people of South Bracknell have heard of EBC and know it as a vibrant place, they are impressed with what it does and the people in it and they think of it as a place to turn to for help, advice and spiritual experience. We see a church where people, no matter what there spiritual condition are welcomed and challenged to move on in their spiritual journey. For those who are Christians, EBC is a place where they are challenged to see their faith as central to their lives. People are encouraged to let God transform their lives so that their relationship with God matures and deepens and that is then reflected in their desire to serve and bless others.
Growing as we see people daily being saved as they are introduced in creative and imaginative ways to the love of God. Social events, seeker targeted events and lively and relevant services are all being used to attract non Christians and in particular those using the building. The people who are a part of EBC are challenged and encouraged to build friendships and invite people to things. As well as trying to attract non Christians to come to us the church is also going out in to the community to make the love of God known.
Blessing our local community through community action projects with 6 or 7 partner organisations in the town. We are involved with teenage and single mums, we are involved with helping those who have no money or food, we run parenting and money management courses in conjunction with the Christians Against Poverty (CAP), local schools and the council.
Exploring creative children’s and youth work that means EBC is a place full of children and young people. During the week exciting school assemblies including music, puppets and video clips are taking place in each of the 4 or 5 primary schools around us. Children are then invited to attend holiday clubs, to take part in musical productions, to attend social events created just for them and to attend fantastic children’s work that happens at the same time as some of the services. There is also a children’s oriented worship event for children and their parents. During these events the church building is full of children and it has been decorated in a creative way.
Helping people around the world as we reach out to those in need. We are sending teams of people out via Tearfund and BMS to help on projects alleviating poverty. We have a closer engagement with AIDS victims and AIDS prevention. We are sponsoring 100 children in South America through Toybox and having a real impact on the numbers of children on the streets there. We run practical action services across all our congregations where people are encouraged to contribute to the work of these organisations.
Experiencing God and therefore becoming people who are passionate about God and passionate about EBC. We see EBC as a dangerous place for Christians to be, because they are being challenged to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Christians who cannot help but reflect the glory and love of God. It is a dangerous place because people are challenged to give sacrificially of their resources to advancing the kingdom of God. It is full of people who dream amazing dreams of what God can do and who are prepared to take risks and embark on an adventure with God. We have a network of small groups whose primary purpose is the building of community. The groups are encouraged to care for one another through prayer and practical help. The groups also explore the topics discussed at the various services in more detail. People are also encouraged to get together in prayer and accountability partnerships or triplets. We are helping people discover and use their gifts and are committed to excellence – right people with the right gifts serving in the right place with the right attitude.
This dream or vision is a bold one, we realise that it is big and beyond our ability to do by ourselves. We recognise that we need and rely on God’s help. We could dream of smaller, easier things…but who wants to give their lives for a small dream?!