from Edwin Hughes of Grays Baptist Church, Thurrock Epicentre visioncaster
Sunday 24 October saw the successful launch of the first UNITE 30/31, a united youth event at All Saints Chafford Hundred. I don’t know the exact numbers attending but there seemed a good turn out of young people from many churches and youth projects.
At the last general Epicentre meeting it was decided that to proceed with the Epicentre project we should first see if it would be possible for the youth leaders to get together and put on a united youth event and see whether it would be well attended. Last night I believe both these criteria were met with great success.
The time now feels right to bring you up to date regarding our discussions with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) with regards to their partnering with us in Thurrock Epicentre with a big event now named “ROCK THE UK”.
During what were intense negotiations we reminded BGEA of their original vision to partner with the community in the community and advised that there was no venue in Thurrock big enough to meet their original 2000+ aspirations for a one night event. After taking this into consideration they finally agreed to our preferred solution to do the big event over two nights at the Civic Hall Blackshots with a capacity of 750 per night.
On the back of this we have made a provisional booking with the Civic, for Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2011, with a view to Will Graham (Billy Graham’s grandson) coming to preach the word preceded by a concert with a band yet to be confirmed. In the last few weeks there has been a slight hitch in as much as Belfast and Exeter have pulled out for varying reasons so BGEA are trying to get other partners on board with Manchester a strong possibility. So currently we are still awaiting confirmation that they are in a position to proceed.
At the last committee meeting it was felt that if BGEA were not prepared to proceed by about the end of November that we should book the Civic for 24 September 2011 and find a band and speaker to run our own event which we could run under the Unite 30/31 banner. It was felt that we might find it harder to fill two nights without the support of BGEA behind us. However, that could depend on who we get to fill the gap. If we feel they might be a bigger draw then two nights could still be an option to consider.
Secondary to that, if BGEA are not willing to do the rest of the project with us we would have to
find another partner willing to provide training or come up with a program of our own that would give our young people sufficient training in evangelistic and leadership skills and provide sufficient discipleship training after the big event. (Maybe using the BGEA materials if they were willing to let us do that otherwise having to source something else).
Whatever happens the committee feel we should proceed with something rather than nothing, as there seems to be a current groundswell of opinion that something desperately needs to be done for the development of the youth of our churches and to reach out to the youth in the community that don’t yet know Jesus as their Saviour.
At Unite 30/31 Kev McGlade of 29th Chapter spoke to the young people gathered about Acts 17 being an indicator to turn the world upside down. There is no doubt Paul in that chapter certainly stirred things up wherever he went and left a lasting impression. Kev then encouraged the young people present to become UNSTOPPABLE DISCIPLES with the majority of them standing to receive an anointing from God to enable them to be that.
I think it is clear that we should endeavour to nurture the anointing that was imparted last on those young people and put in place a united program that will enable them to fulfil that destiny. I don’t believe that we should let go of this opportunity to grow a better youth culture in the place God has given us the task of looking after.
So I would like to encourage you to attend the next Thurrock Epicentre meeting on Monday 29 November 7:45pm at Aveley Christian Centre, so that we can pray, discuss and finalise a program that will seek to set the young people of this borough alight for Christ.
If you are not able to attend could you please ensure that there is at least one representative from your church attending so that we have a truly unified presence of as much of the whole church of Thurrock as possible at this meeting.
A logo has now been designed for Thurrock Epicentre – see the top image.
The picture shows Edwin with Colin Baker at a previous Epicentre meeting.
Transformation Thurrock supports Thurrock Epicentre – a vision of united mission that is far greater than any one church.