It's been a good two weeks. I'm in Warrington, England with my friends Mike and Jane. They were pastors of a church I helped plant in Scotland. They sold everything and moved to Warrington a few years ago to plant a new generation church called Oasis.
Oasis is amazing. I love the energy, the way people are encouraged, and how they reach out to the community. Many of the people who now attend were reached, met Jesus, were then baptized, now are disciples and function as band members, creative arts people, outreach participants or serve in other ways.
One of my Bible college professors stated, "If a principal works in any culture it's God. If the principle doesn't work in any culture, it's probably American."
Serving their city works.
Oasis serves the community mainly through acts of kindness. They have served the people of the city from day one. In this culture nothing is free, and there is always a catch. When people receive a small gift, a coke on a hot day, a small bag of treats, or chocolate to celebrate Warrington people are impacted. The simple acts of kindness reaches the heart. They ask questions. Many receive prayer. Some meet Jesus then begin to attend Oasis.
We've gone out to the main shopping area in the town center. As we've served more than one person asked, "What's the catch?" We were able to share why, have great conversations, and pray with people.
One day the police came down after seeing us serving on CV monitors. Their response, "Oh, it just Oasis."
I prayed for a police woman. I simply stated, "I'd like to pray for your protection. Would that be ok?" She replied, "Thanks that would be nice." We prayed for her. Invited angels to be with her. Declared protection over her. We declared she'd have eyes to see and ears to hear and God's presence would be near her. We noticed her smile, gratitude and genuine up beat response. "I'm protected now. Thank you."
One lady who had pain in her back was shocked when her pain level moved from an eight down to a two. Most people we prayed for encountered the love of Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Several people mentioned they would like to pop in and check Oasis out.
They have a family service at 11am. At 6 pm a new generation service starts. This service is mainly made up of 20's and 30's. The style is fun, upbeat and has an amazing house band who lead worship. Last week there was a tangible sense of God's presence as we worshiped.
Since I've been here there has been a shift into prophetic encouragement and prayer. People are now stepping into the next phase of outreach. As they pray for people they are receiving insight, knowledge and encouragement for the people they serve. This connection to the Holy Spirit is wonderful to see and experience.
Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson wrote a best selling book The Externally Focused Church. My favorite line from the book. "Good deeds, creates good will, which opens hearts to the good news."
Oasis ... They are serving their way into the hearts of people... Tiz working in Warrington, England.
This is what Pattie and I do. We encourage, and in return we are encouraged. If you'd like us to come to your church or support us in prayer of giving. Simply click Invite Steve or Donor Box link.