‘Grace to Serve’ is a ministry investment at Hope Church, Bethel and Calvary to support and train a full-time co-pastor and to develop the church’s ministries with a particular focus on evangelism, increasing our outreach into the locality with the gospel and helping the church prepare for future ministry.
Alun Johnson has been called by the church to work in partnership with the present pastor Steve Darby in this venture. The initial project will be for two years, but it is hoped that this may be extended, subject to the Lord’s provision, and may become the pattern for the church in the longer term, with the possibility, God-willing, of training others in the future.
Alun has served as a deacon and the church’s youth/children’s leader and has recently left his job as a primary school teacher which has given him valuable experience in a senior management position. His preaching and leadership gifts have been recognised by his own and other churches, and he has completed four years’ theological training on the Evangelical Movement of Wales Theological Training Course.
Hope Church at Bethel and Calvary is an independent evangelical Baptist Church affiliated to the AECW (Associating Evangelical Churches of Wales). The church serves the former mining villages of Cefn Hengoed and Penybryn and the surrounding locality, an area with high unemployment and great social and spiritual needs. By increasing our ministry capacity and outreach opportunities, we pray that the Lord would bless and extend the work.
GROW in the grace and knowledge of Christ together with God’s people (by praying together often, preaching and teaching God’s Word in whole church gatherings, smaller study groups or one-to-one, meetings for particular groups, visiting to give spiritual support and encouragement, and engaging in further study to improve knowledge and skills in handling God’s Word).
RECOGNISE and develop gifts for service (identifying church members’ gifts and how they might be used to serve God, providing and facilitating training, meeting with group leaders to review programmes and practices).
ASSIST and partner with other gospel churches (being available, when possible, to preach for/help local churches without a pastor or with fewer workers, building upon fellowship and co‑operation with other local gospel churches through shared prayer and events).
CONNECT with the local community (strengthening existing links with schools, Community Council, a care home and other groups through community events and visits, door-to-door visitation and literature distribution, exploring ways of supporting people with particular needs within the community, e.g. people with disabilities and carers attending coffee mornings, debt advice through Christians Against Poverty).
ENGAGE in evangelism (prayerfully growing our capacity in enabling and connecting with others to bring new regular gospel opportunities plus specific evangelistic events, preparing and purchasing gospel literature, Christianity Explored groups and so on).
Prayer and financial support
As we plan for this ministry we pray for the Lord’s guidance and provision. In addition to funds that Hope Church was initially able to allocate, generous gifts from individuals and churches and also ministry support grants have been gratefully received. In God’s goodness the full support for the first two years has now been met and we are prayerfully looking to the Lord for the additional support needed for the joint ministry to be extended to a third year. As a church we seek to be good stewards of God’s resources, avoiding unwise risk but also trusting the Lord for His provision as He shows us the way forward. The aim will be for the church to move towards fully supporting the work within a few years if it pleases God as we seek the glory of His name.