Generosity enabling ministry in Devonport
Devonport Community Baptist Church ministers to the local community in Devonport, Plymouth. Without a building of its own, the church meets in the local community hall. The area has 50% householder unemployment, a life expectancy almost ten years lower than anywhere else in Plymouth, a crime rate that is double that of the city average. The church receives a Home Mission grant, but in 2014 even that wasn’t enough – the church found itself unable to make ends meet. The minister, Michael Shaw writes:
'At a church meeting this time last year, I was given my redundancy notice. We are a small church in a very deprived part of the city, and the figures just did not add up. So I was all set to leave in May 2014. But by the grace of God I am still there, and my notice has been extended and extended through the generous support of other churches - currently it is September 2015!
'So this year has been an odd year for us all, not able to plan beyond six months, but the church has seen some amazing things happen, not just with the funding. On the first Monday in January we hosted the first joint prayer meeting of all the local churches, including Methodist, Anglican and Salvation Army. To our knowledge this has never happened before! In February we had our first ever joint service together, we had a harvest service together in the Autumn and we have a carol concert planned for later this month. In June we had a week of mission activity together as part of Hope 2014, where all the churches took part, or hosted an event. We now meet together on the first Monday night of each month - we have prayed together every month this year.
'The church itself had an amazing four baptisms at the end of August, which was a very special morning at the local lido. At the last members' meeting, five people came into membership, and at the end of that meeting, two others also asked to come into membership!
'We have, at the moment, a bit of a leadership crisis. Some of our former leaders have moved away and we don’t have many experienced Christians who can step up into this role. We also lack experienced workers who could help us provide much-needed youth work and a toddler group. Please pray with us for workers who can step into these roles.
'Our finances remain tight. We are so grateful for the support of the Baptist family through our Home Mission grant, and we have been humbled by the love and support of other local churches in our Association who have seen our need and generously made gifts to help us through our financial difficulties this year. Ministry and mission would be almost impossible for us without the Home Mission grant, so thank you from all of us to all of you who have given to Home Mission and made that possible. I am looking forward to 2015, in a way that I could not do this time last year for 2014.'
Please pray for Devonport Community Baptist Church:
For our leadership gaps to be filled
For increased financial stability to enable us to keep our minister beyond September
For our work in Devonport as we continue to share the good news about Jesus with our local community
Click here to read more stories about how the money you give to Home Mission is being used to bring the love of God to communities around the country.