Ambushed By Faith

Since planting River Church Sutton back in 2004 (then known as Sutton Family Church), we have welcomed many new local churches into the borough that we have really grown to love.  This has produced a wonderful sense of partnership between the churches. So I was surprised when I struggled with the news that Everyday Church (formerly Queen’s Road Church) - the church we were originally planted from - were planning to plant again into Sutton. Why was this any different to the others we had welcomed?

As I started to process my questions before God I felt there were three key areas I was struggling with:

Personally - insecurities started to rise to the surface. Maybe they don’t think we are doing a very good job and need to start again? Maybe they don’t agree with our vision and direction of the church?

Geographically - Why Sutton? There are many boroughs with far fewer Spirit-filled, bible-preaching churches than Sutton. Surely Sutton should be way down the list?

Relationally - We have the same DNA, similar values and theology. If they were gathering people from Sutton why not encourage them to join us? Even our apostolic oversight is from Everyday!

As I was processing these questions and feelings, I felt God pinpoint that I was struggling with rejection - almost like a child whose mum or dad had started a new family and the older child was wondering how they would fit in.

Beautifully though, as I recognised and repented of insecurities and dealt with any sense of rejection, I suddenly felt faith come into my heart for Everyday Sutton! God spoke to me through Luke 5 where the disciples called to their partners in another boat to help them haul in the miraculous catch of fish. I started to get excited again about how many boats we would need to securely bring in this great catch that God was going to bring to Sutton. I was truly ambushed by faith and so by the time we announced the news to River Church we were able to be authentically excited and ready to help and support the new plant in any and every way we could.

What I wasn’t expecting was questions from other local church leaders -questions about whether we had split from New Ground or had a “falling out”. However these questions were actually easy to put to rest as we explained our unity and desire for partnership. What helped greatly in this area was the humility and servant-heartedness of the Everyday leadership. There was a real desire to fit in and complement what was already on the ground. And they have proved this in their actions, as a year on, Everyday Sutton are fully integrated into the life of the borough and are a valued part of the wider Church in Sutton.

God is clearly on the move - we may need more boats!