by Tim Harrold
The 2014 Transformation Thurrock Tour landed at TCF’s Tilbury Pride Mission Shaped Community last Sunday morning, 13 July.
For the last time in this current phase of TT’s activities, I addressed a local fellowship about the way forward and some of the challenges God is bringing to the church right now. This was done without a PowerPoint presentation, but feedback from those gathered at the TRAAC building next to the London Cruise Terminal was duly recorded on a flip chart by Vera (see the sheet below right).
I mentioned the themes that had been covered and that have emerged throughout the tour:
- unity – because Jesus has given to us the glory that the Father has given him
- discipleship – converting converts into disciples who make disciples who make…
- identity – coming into the revelation of who we are and how much we’re loved
- the mind of Christ – we think God’s thoughts much more than we think we do
- there’s always more – because God is infinite
- new foundations – that are actually ancient; that are prophetic and apostolic
I touched on the fact that in Coleraine in Northern Ireland, over the past 140 days, over 1400 people have come to Christ, How? Why? We want it here in Thurrock! (See below.)
When talking about the fact that we’re the ones we’ve been wating for, I encouraged this small and recently decreased group of believers – who meet a stone’s throw from the River Thames in an area considered one of the most challenging in the borough – with The Parable of the Pot Plant…
The Parable of the Pot Plant
Potted plants grow to the size of the pot they’re planted in. The bigger the pot, the bigger they grow. But no matter how big they grow, they’re still pot plants. They can never grow to their full potential in a if they’re planted in a pot.
But then the gardener decides it’s time to do some transplanting. He takes the plant out of the pot, and the first thing he does is too give the roots a big thwack with his trowel – just like the midwife smacking the behind of a baby to stimulate the lungs with a sharp intake of air.
Why does the gardener do this? Because the roots are all bound together – in the same shape as the pot from which the plant has just been pulled. The roots need to be separated and untangled to breathe… and when replanted in the gardener’s garden, to take in the sustenance from the soil, to drink the underground water, to grow out and stretch out in unfettered freedom.
And a replanted pot plant will grow bigger and better than it ever did before. No more stunted growth; no more restricted height, width and depth; and no more limited fruitfulness.
It’s not nice having your roots thwacked by gardener God, but sometimes it’s necessary for a bit of violent shaking and vehement loosening to get you out of the comfort zone – all so you’ll grow, taller and wider and deeper, to be the greatest your God-given potential would have you to be.
Tweets from 11 July:
- @_MarkMarx: 4 young men open their hearts to Jesus – for those that have lost count that makes 17 on the streets of Coleraine today! #miraclequestion
- @Alan_Scott: Almost 1400 people have come to faith in our town over the last 140 days. There is definitely a shift in receptivity.
- @Alan_Scott: The rate of those coming to faith and the numbers of those leading others to faith is increasing.
- @Alan_Scott: Where is this happening? Some in services, more in gathered environments such as schools, lots in ordinary moments and most on the streets.
Although this phase of the TT Tour is done, I will be speaking to group at the RCCG House of Praise on a related theme on the morning Saturday 9 August – the subject is: “The Gospel in Thurrock – History and Present”.
The TT Tour content remains available to any other fellowships wishing to receive this presentation. If you want to book the TT Tour presentation, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the way forward? See the article “TT Tour: our survey said…?”
Where has the TT Tour gone?
The 2014 TT Tour:
- 16 February – Fresh Hope Community (St Margarets’ Fresh Expression), Stanford-le -Hope – DONE!
- 2 March – Grays Methodist Church – DONE!
- 16 March – St Cedd’s, Stifford Clays – DONE!
- 23 March – St Mary’s, North Stifford – DONE!
- 30 March – Seabrooke-All Saints Mission Shaped Community (Thurrock Christian Fellowship), All Saints Centre, Grays – DONE!
- 6 April – Grays Baptist Church – DONE!
- 13 April – New Covenant Church, Grays – DONE!
- 4 May – St Margaret’s, Stanford-le-Hope – DONE!
- 18 May – St Mary the Virgin, Little Thurrock – DONE!
- 18 May – Stanford le Hope Salvation Army – East Thurrock United Service – DONE!
- 25 May – Grays United Reformed Church (part 1) – DONE!
- 8 June – Grays United Reformed Church (part 2) – DONE!
- 15 June – RCCG House of the Lord, South Ockendon – DONE!
- 22 June – Socketts Heath Baptist Church – DONE!
- 29 June – Destiny Chapel, South Ockendon – DONE!
- 13 July – Tilbury Pride Mission Shaped Community (Thurrock Christian Fellowship) – DONE!
- 9 August – RCCG House of Praise, Grays – “The Gospel in Thurrock – History and Present”