At 10am the setup crew arrive to start the long arduous job of building the stage set for the 4pm meeting. A full crew are involved in rigging up a giant scaffold structure which holds a screen that would not be out of place in a cinema amongst other things. At around 2:30 the band and sound crew arrive to sound check and from 3pm onwards it seems like a small army of people descend on the place wearing black t-shirts which say host on them. From the tube to the front doors right to your seats, you will encounter a warm and friendly person who makes you feel like you are really important to the whole gig!
At 4pm everything kicks off. The sung praise and worship rocks the stage and I myself encounter God. There are bible readings, prophetic words, prayers, a tongue and an interpretation. In a place which is used to singing 'Your The One That I want' and 'Hopelessly Devoted To You', it was wonderful to be turning these things around and saying that Jesus is the one that we want and that instead of being hopelessly devoted we can be devoted and full of hope!!!
Adrian Holloway then gave the third in a series of four talks based on the book 'Just Walk Across the Room' by Bill Hybels. This is a magnificent, inspiring book on personal evangelism from one of the best protagonists of this form of evangelism. Adrian brought the talk in his own inimitable style and people walked out buzzing with the message.
We then joined others from the church in a coke up at a local pub. In all, B and I came away feeling greatly blessed in having the opportunity to visit this local expression of church being worked out in a completely different environment. We came away with ideas and a fresh vision for what church can look like here in the town of Reading and looking forward to seeing that come to pass.