#ilovechurch - 18 years of church planting

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SVC 18th Birthday Party (2015)

Miss the #SVCParty vid this morning at church?! Fear not for here it is! Keep your eyes peeled for photos coming in the next few days and if you have photos you'd like to send for our party montage, email them to socials@suttonvineyard.org. Thanks for making it such an awesome night!!

Posted by Sutton Vineyard Church on Sunday, 14 June 2015

[/x_video_embed][fbvideo link="http://www.facebook.com/SuttonVineyardChurch/videos/1083273311686846" width="540" height="270" onlyvideo="1"] Last Saturday night, my church celebrated being 18 years old, with a party.  For the first time, I was asked not to be involved in budgets, planning and knowing what was happening.  I expected to turn up, enter quietly and party with everyone else.  Our church had other ideas however.

The limousine they booked to pick us up, and the welcome with everyone outside to great us was overwhelming for the introvert in me.  But I will never forget the look on the faces of people there, some from years past who have moved on, some who have been with us since the start of our church and then the cluster of newer and very new people.

A tableau of welcome  and celebration, and for Bev and I a moment, a unique one in 18 years, of accepting some specific attention.

The best part after the slightly embarrassing welcome was what came next.  The hugs, sharing stories of the past - good and sad, and the joy in thanking people who had made our church possible.

So at 46 and after 18 years I feel like we have just gotten started.  Church planting has been my life's investment, and I am ready to do it all again.

What are the best bits about church planting?  I think being part of sharing in the lives of others, as they engage with Jesus, the roller coaster of ups and downs, of life and the Kingdom of God writ large on my daily life.  I wouldn't swap it for anything.

The book of Philippians is my most treasured book of the bible.  When I die I want to be buried with my bible open at it's first chapter.  As I met with my church family last night, I had Phil chapter 1 in mind, and it is my prayer again for my wonderful church family today.

3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.