News and Articles

11 March 2014

Refresh Update - ‘Help from Unexpected Sources’ - No. 3

John Risbridger 2019 John Risbridger Minister
Church building external

'Are we practical atheists in our workplace, in our homes, in our spending patterns, on holiday . . . ?'

That was one of the key challenges from our exploration of Colossians 1 on Sunday morning, as part of our continuing exploration of whole-life discipleship. A practical atheist is someone who claims to believe in God but whose life is not shaped and influenced by that belief.

Here’s a story to inspire us not to be practical atheists on holiday – and with a nice little twist in the tale.

Our dear friends Richard and Margaret Blake have just come back from a time away, much of which has been spent aboard a large ship. With the captain’s permission, they established a small group, open to all, for regular Bible study and prayer. During their time on board, it was thrilling to see the group grow and to find God at work in the lives of those who came along. Far from taking away from their holiday, this wonderful experience of Christian fellowship greatly enriched it.

Towards the end of their cruise, they shared with the group some of what has been happening in Above Bar Church. They explained the different doors the Lord is opening us to reach out to people in need in our city, in word and action. They asked their fellow travellers to pray for our member’s meeting at the end of February. Afterwards, a member of the group from the US, in whom God had been at work in a lovely way, told them how moved and fascinated he was by the stories of the Big Breakfast group and by the church’s desire to reach out to the city in new ways like the Christians Against Poverty centre. He presented them with a cheque for $1000 to help us get the new initiatives under way!

Isn’t that amazing: a man from another country, in the middle of the ocean, praying for us at ABC and getting out a chequebook to support our work?

Could it be that there are other sources of unexpected support for the Refresh project?
What about people who worshipped in the church years ago and look back with gratitude to how the Lord used ABC in their lives? What about students from the last decade or so who have moved on to other places, but who remember their time here with warmth and thankfulness?

We’re wondering if you could help us get in touch with such people.
Val Sewell and Pat Pavey are working together to establish a database of such people whom we would like to invite to become friends of Above Bar Church. We would love to tell them about the way God is opening up new opportunities for mission, and to explain the challenges we are facing in the Refresh project. We would love to ask them to pray for us. We would love to give them an opportunity to make a financial contribution if they are in a position to do so. We would love to see this group of ‘friends’ growing over the years ahead and to have the opportunity to keep them in touch with the life of the church into the future.

Could you spare a moment to think and pray about whether there are people you know whom we could approach? Please get in touch with Val or Pat with any suggestions (either directly or via the church office).

Please take a moment now to pray that the Lord would move the hearts of people outside Above Bar Church, as well as those of us who are regular attenders, to support the Refresh project in prayer as well as financially.

John Risbridger Signature


1 comment

Clive Jones on March 11, 2014

“What a fantastic encouragement and wonderful story of how God uses our everyday situations and circumstances for His glory when we make ourselves available to Him. A challenge to us all to reflect the love of Jesus in all of our lives. Thank you Richard and Margaret maybe you should keep on cruising? ”

Add your comment