Last July; just over a year ago, Guy Miller came to preach at our Sunday services.

He prophetically challenged us as a church, likening us to a beautiful pond that people would travel to from all over London, as they once did to lakes in years gone by.

He saw three seasons of growth coming, new pipes being laid and old ones being cleaned out from this pond. The first pipe distributed water all across London through becoming a centre of excellence for the training and releasing of church planters. The second pipe was the blessing of Ephesians four ministry gifts. And the third pipe was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in power.

This was timely for us, not least because we have felt called for some time to become an Antioch type church, a beachhead for mission in London and further afield. In October last year, after much prayerful discussion, we launched our revised Mission, Values and Vision. A key part of our mission, in “bringing the kingdom of God to the heart of the nation” is “planting churches: founding new ones and strengthening others”.

It was an ambitious statement; one that excites and awakens faith but also gives a sense of nervous anticipation (you know the feeling). Indeed, it was hard to conceive how this could come about but for God to make a way.

But now, a year after Guy’s visit, we are on the verge of sending out our first church planting team, led by Andrew Haslam, to plant Grace London in the Waterloo(ish) area.

We’re excited about this, not only because it’s a key step to the realisation of our vision – “We see a growing city centre church, along with daughter church plants and revitalised congregations across London and wherever God sends us” – but because we believe it will result in many more precious people, coming home by crossing the line of faith.

To mark this significant occasion we’ll be holding a commissioning service for Andrew and the core team on Sunday 31 August at our 11am meeting. We’d love for many supportive people to come and join us, and celebrate the opening of a church planting pipeline, as we seek to send out our friends with God’s blessing to do great exploits for Him.

To help us remember, and hold on to the prophetic word Guy brought, for which we can now see the first fruits of fulfilment, he gave us this short, powerful poem.

There is a pond at royal mews / Which birthed such life that filled the pews / A doctor prescribing detailed prescriptions / Breathing great hope with Spirit descriptions / Yet summers came and winters froze / Words of steel transposed to prose / And yet this great pond that faith had started / Turned green and dank, much life departed / But then one day God’s workmen came / And clouds rolled in with heaven’s rain / Three water courses, three trenches dug / The first an outlet not a plug / To train, release, to give your best / first fruits planting, heaven’s blessed / The second a pipe, called Ephesians four / that blows off hinges with the door / And finally a spring of living water / heaven’s outpourings on sons and daughters / The city rejoices, its pond restored / Its Saviour King again adored.

Oh, and, if you’re looking to be a part of an Antioch type mission base church, and/or to get involved in church planting or replanting in the future why not consider checking us out, getting involved, and playing your part!