'God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG)
For a long time now, I’ve had the image in my mind of a doll’s house. I’m sure it doesn't need explaining, but a doll’s house looks like an ordinary house from the outside, however you can open up the front, revealing all the rooms, furniture and little people inside.
When I look at the Everyday Church building in Southfields from the outside, I see a doll’s house. Some of us have been praying for some time that it would increasingly become a hub for the community – that we would open up the front of the building (figuratively speaking), and allow local people to see all the way inside. That they would begin to see all that God is at work doing behind those walls – the people that He is at work shaping, week in, week out.
One way that we’ve sought to achieve this is to open up the whole building to local parents and carers on a Thursday morning. The toddler group that had been meeting on Thursday mornings in one of our halls, was closed for a few weeks, and we made some changes and developed the team somewhat. On Thursday 5th March, a new look ‘Twiglets’ group was relaunched! The soft play area was set up, the balloons were pumped and the queue of nearly 140 parents/carers/kids lined up eagerly outside.
“Why go to so much effort to put on a fantastic group for local babies and toddlers??” I hear you emphatically ask!
Because God loves Southfields. And He loves the people that live there – whether they’re parents, carers or little kids. We recognise that we have the space, resources and team in place to be able to serve such people and in doing so, we’re hoping to get the opportunity to reveal some of God’s goodness and love along the way. And we’re quite unashamed of our motives!
Every Sunday morning at church, we proclaim that God has a great plan to change and use everyday, ordinary people. We believe that He will be doing the same thing on a Thursday morning at our church venue. It might just happen through playing with toys…or a doll’s house perhaps!