Howard Kellett
Think Bigger

Godfirst is growing! This is to be expected as God has ordained that healthy things will, and should, grow. We have grown numerically, through our exceptionally cute new babies, and 40 new people who have joined Godfirst this year (including 15 great students). That's a net growth of around a third, making us a community of about 120 adults and Kids.  Spiritually we've recognised our first elders and more have people stepped up to lead, and we will be baptising people in a few weeks. We thank God for this growth of our small part of his Kingdom.

God’s Kingdom is destined to grow as Isaiah prophesies about Jesus:" Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end" Isaiah 9:7a

Whilst amazing to be a part of, growth can be challenging, often requiring much of us, and can sometimes include a period of vulnerability. However, in my experience churches grow most when they decide not to settle for small and safe but stretch for growth, even if this means being vulnerable as they rely on God to do what he has promised. Much of the growth we have seen in the last two years is down to the bold step we took to move to the Parabola Arts Centre.

The Elders and leadership team believe that Godfirst is ready for another period of growth. We believe God has prompted us to be ready to function as a church of 200 by 2020! Growth although it can seem natural comes from God.

In June this year we felt God take us by the hand and like Abraham take us out of our small church tent and look up. We heard him whisper, “think bigger”. Fixing our eyes on God we resolved to grow our giving away to 20% of our income by 2020, and we are increasing our giving in line with this target year by year.

As we plan for growth we already have in place many of the things we would need for this to happen, an excellent Sunday venue, great Godfirst communities, faithful giving, and real transformation is occurring in people's lives.

However, the current limiting factor to this plan is our staff and leadership capacity. Many of our key leaders are carrying multiple responsibilities and are at capacity.  Currently we a staff team of four, I am a full time member of staff. Lucy (Money & Kids) and Flik (Comm’s and PA to HK) each work a day a week, and Abby (integration) works 2 hours a week. We need to increase our leadership capacity if we are to grow into all the things God has called us to do.  Therefore, we would love to employ another full time member of staff to better serve the church and strengthen our discipleship and mission.

We do not yet have a person in mind for the role. We are looking for someone with a broad range of gifts. The person needs to be theologically robust with developing leadership and upfront gifts, strong on strategy and operations, an outgoing person with good people skills. We are trusting that God will provide the right person so we all think it’s brilliant to have them with us at Godfirst!

The costs to employ a new staff member will cost between £26 and £34K a year for a salary range of £23 - £30K. The Elders and strategy group believe that we should ask you - the church to support a Special Offering this October to raise at least £14K, half the 1st year’s salary, but hopefully significantly more!  Godfirst will then be in a strong position to purposefully find and employ a new staff member.

This Special Offering will take place on Sunday 16th October, and you can either give on the day or beforehand. You can give via bank transfer (details on the giving envelopes) using the reference SPECIAL, by cash or cheque inside a giving envelope marked SPECIAL, or you can give a pledge with your name and email address, inside an envelope marked SPECIAL.

Employing a new staff member will create a short time of financial vulnerability which we hope to cover firstly through the Special Offering, and secondly by people already at Godfirst start giving towards 10% or even increasing giving beyond 10%. Lastly I  believe we will continue to grow as new people get caught up in what God is doing amongst us and start to give.

Let’s Pray – Let’s Give – Let’s believe God! Let’s pray in faith that God will provide the right person! Let’s give with faith that God will provide as we give our money to what God has called us to do together!