Friday, 16 September 2011

A Big Welcome

A survey by Tearfund UK revealed that 20 million adults in the UK pray. 13 million pray at least once a month and 9 million every day. One in three people believe God will answer their prayers. The morning of a job interview; the night when a family member was sick; the five minutes before an exam; most people have prayed in moments of desperation. Was someone listening? Was the prayer answered? People find praying helps and have had answers. Praying isn’t just for the religious. As we can see most people admit to praying at some time in their life even if they have given up on it later. Jesus prayed. He seemed to have access to God like no one else. He was always doing miracles and teaching about life. But he also spent much time in prayer and taught about it. What did he say? He said that faith was a crucial ingredient. He always responded to faith. On one occasion he said, ‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.’ Prayer is not simply about the words we say it’s about what we are thinking on the inside.

One place you might think of when you start thinking about praying is church. In another survey conducted by Tearfund UK  also revealed that some three million people would like to come to church on a Sunday if only they were invited. Some other interesting facts were: many people believe you need a ticket to go to church (where is the box office?); some believe church is like a golf club, only open to members; as well as some who believed they can only go if invited. Visiting a church for the very first time can be a tough experience. Where should I go? What should I wear? What time should I show up? What’s here for my kids? What can I expect? These and many more questions surface. I’d like to put you at ease. There are many churches here in Chester and Ellesmere Port where your first visit will be refreshingly friendly and enjoyable for your whole family.  If you came to Hoole Baptist Church we want you to experience inspiring music, helpful teaching and preaching, friendly people, and a place where you feel welcome and “at home”! This is a place where you can experience new beginnings! During the morning celebration there is usually singing, preaching that helps us to understand God’s word and how to live his way, praying, listening and responding to God and an opportunity to meet with others. Children and young people are in the main church for the first twenty minutes of the celebration, after which time they go out into their groups. There is also a crèche available. I would personally like to invite you along on Sunday 25th September; on this morning we shall have a special emphasis on welcoming guests to Hoole Baptist Church