This has been an exciting year for us as a church family.
We began the year with two days of prayer and fasting, focusing particularly on the plans to launch as a multisite church in the Autumn. The month also featured baptisms and dedications.
By February our new small group programme was in full swing with more groups than ever available. There has been excellent feedback on the variety of small groups offered throughout the year, enabling people to develop new skills, make new friends, and to go deeper in their relationship with Father God.
There were lots of opportunities to learn new skills and hone existing ones in March, including special events for the youth and parents. This month also featured a Mother's Day service with the amazing Olly Goldenberg. Olly is brilliant at all-age services and we loved having him with us again. There was a lot of laughter as Olly hosted a 'battle of the vegetables' on stage! Lettuce was flying everywhere.
Easter Sunday fell in April this year, and we had a great time with Paul Manwaring of Bethel Church, Redding, who retold the story of the prodigal son from an unusual point of view. We also held gift days to raise finance for our multisite plans and various other items. A huge thank you to everyone who gave for their generosity.
The summer months are always full of highlights for our children and youth. Our children's work grew steadily throughout the year and culminated with our summer weekend away being sold out. Next year we plan to run two weekends to ensure everyone gets chance to go. Our Friday night social meetings have seen more children bringing their friends along for a time of fun at the end of the week. This year also saw us launch a small group for children on Friday evenings, which has been well received.
In August a large number of our youth attended newday, a week-long event with excellent teaching and worship. Many came back transformed and intent on following Jesus. In October, Hope MK encouraged youth from across the city to make a difference both practically and spiritually to our local communities. The launch of a Friday night Youth Academy has also been a huge success, giving some of our teens an opportunity to dig deep into their faith.
In September our plans came to fruition as we launched as a multi-site church meeting in two locations: Fox Milne and Wolverton Mill. Since then we have seen Sunday attendance increase by 17.5%. While this is great, we have a heart to grow big people, not just a big church so it has been even more thrilling to see many people make first time professions of faith and to baptise 11 young people in December, with more to come in the New Year.
Throughout the year, we have celebrated more and more stories of people encountering God on the streets and in coffee shops through the Love MK team. Recently the team were able to encourage a childminder who was having a bad day and feeling ready to give it all up. She left the coffee shop with a fresh excitement about the difference she makes through her job. We have heard numerous stories of God's favour on people in the workplace, with unexpected promotions and pay rises, new jobs, and also amazing opportunities to be a people of influence in key areas from education to healthcare.
We can’t wait to see what God will do in 2018!
Do let us know your highlights of 2017. Contact us on Facebook or using the form at the bottom of this page.