News and Articles

19 February 2014

Introducing ‘Refresh’

John Risbridger 2019 John Risbridger Minister
John Risbridger - new

Following Jesus; Blessing the world. That’s pretty much the heart of what God has called us to as a church.  But recently I’ve become increasingly convinced that he is calling us to a real step change in making the vision a reality.

It was really exciting for me to see the Leadership Team giving its 100% backing to an exciting plan a couple of weeks back. It’s a plan to develop our city-centre ministries, ensure full-time-equivalent youth work provision in the future, invest in new mission partners, and begin a programme to transform our building into a highly visible hub of welcome and mission in our city.

We’re calling the whole project, Refresh because it’s about working out our vision to bless the world, and bringing our building in line with that vision.

Since then things have been moving quickly. 

  • We spent a moving evening as a church in prayer, seeking God in repentance, committing the whole vision to God and begging him to pour out his Spirit upon us.
  • People have already begun increasing their giving and offering their time to make the vision of Refresh a reality.
  • Teams are coming together to sharpen our focus on the building development and on the challenge of communication and prayer.

I have been challenged and inspired by these words from Psalm 126: ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.’  Rising to this challenge is going to cost us.  For some of us, it may change our lives significantly – following Jesus is sometimes difficult. But beyond the tears of sacrifice lies the joy of sharing in the harvest!

Please join with us in praying for the teams working on the Refresh project and for the church members as we come together to consider it later in the month.

John Risbridger Signature

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12)



Noel on February 21, 2014

"All the best for the project! En passant...

‘It was really exciting for me to see the Leadership Team giving its 100% backing to an exciting plan a couple of weeks back.’

Exciting is (in terms of authorship attribution-type analysis) a ‘youth-speak’ ‘plus word’. Twice in one sentence is especially indicative. I’ve rather given up trying to get Marcus (a former student on one of my MAs who I greatly support of course) to stop this (‘part-sell, ’part-tell‘) postmodernist constructing the reader/hearer as consumer (amazing’, ‘exciting’, wonderful‘ etc). Marcus talks about a ’bouncy' style but I think it goes much deeper than that in terms of the medium being the message. My 1998 article in the area seems to have worn quite well, and was picked up 12 years later by the editor in EN ( [The observed church language examples are all anonymised...] The end of the article posits the possibility of our consumerism becoming hedonism - are we closer to that now than in 1998? Also resonating from the article to today are recent insights flagged by the Tory MP Rory Stewart about the movement from worship of ancestors to worship of descendants ("

Ken Ferguson on February 22, 2014

“Just great to see this community of Christians pushing always forward - you inspire me ABC for sure and I’ll be praying with you.... PTL.”

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