One of the things I like about returning to Driffield is seeing what has changed over the years. I was born and raised in the town, then left for University going back a few years later with a wife and family to buy a house; now we return to the same house to use as our holiday home. The town continues to change and develop. Shops change hands, a butchers shop is now a micro brewery, the supermarket I worked in is now Iceland and Stuart's Fish shop is buying up the rest of the chip shops in the town.
I love seeing what these shops are now selling. You can work out what they are selling by what is in the windows and the special offers they have on display.
This year we have been reading lots of books on prayer. One of them has caught my imagination "The Grace Awakening" is about a retreat centre in South Wales and we plan to visit it next week. What caught my imagination was the list of stories about how the lives of people have been changed by meeting with Jesus. In many cases these stories could have come straight out of our church here in Leigh, miracles and encounters with God that changes who people are: peace in difficult circumstances and amazing provision at times of need. That's what is happening with us at Leigh.
The only difference? They are talking about it, recording it and letting people know.
Do people walking past our building know that there is a God that can change their lives, a God who loves them and is willing to meet with them inside? Is our 'shop' advertising our products?
We so often want people to come and stay and be like us. I guess as we should letting people know that there is a place for forgiveness, peace, deliverance, healing ...all available free without commitment or cost. Jesus healed people whether they followed him or not. Its about encountering Jesus and not singing songs, finding healing not just preaching and finding a Saviour rather than a social club.
Folks come to our toddlers in the most part because of recommendations, they come to use our facilities but find so much more.
So lets start talking up the fact that Miracles do happen, people who are lonely can find a friend, those that are ill can find healing.....whether they stay or not.