There are two key words burning in my heart at present.

The first is ‘synergy.’ This word was brought to me by a minister at the start of Garry’s and my ministry as leaders of GPCC. ‘Synergy’ means ‘the interaction or cooperation of two or more organisations to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.‘ I feel the interation and cooperation of local churches in our ‘Dearne Churches Together‘ network is producing something far greater than any of us could achieve individually. Moreover, our interaction and cooperation with 4FrontTheatre (who will be in our area once again today and tomorrow) is, I believe, enabling us to reach children in our community in a greater way than we could ever hope to achieve on our own. I am thrilled to be able to partner with this Christian theatre company, to support their talented team and to give local children the opportunity to hear the gospel message in such an entertaining and thought-provoking manner.

The second word which God has laid on my heart lately is ‘seminal’, which means ‘of essential importance’ or ‘strongly influencing later developments’. This word came to me a few weeks ago as I was proofreading the first draft of my former boss’s doctoral thesis. I felt his words on fundamental British values in education will prove to be prophetic and will strongly influence later developments in the education system in the UK. As I have been pondering this word, however, I feel that God is saying that what we all do now as Christians serving God in our communities and in our generation is seminal. Nicky Gumbel (Bible In One Year, 25 June 2019), says that prayer ‘can change the course of events’, citing David’s impact on the nation of Israel long after his death (see 1 Kings 15:4-6) For David’s sake, God preserved his line and raised up a king to succeed him (Abijah) and by making Jerusalem strong. (1 Kings 15:4) God had promised David an enduring kingdom (2 Sam 7:16) and David prayed for the fulfilment of this promise (2 Sam 7:25-26). Later in the book of Kings, we see how God kept this promise and how David’s prayers were seminal, strongly influencing later developments.

I believe what is happening in the Dearne currently reflects these two words, ‘synergy’ and ‘seminal’. Please pray for the outreach at the Hill school and Gooseacre in Thurnscoe and Lacewood and Carrfield schools in Bolton-on-Dearne this week and for the community performance of ‘Fisherman’s Tail’ this evening at St Helen’s Church Hall, where about 100 people are expected to be present. Pray for a harvest now, but also pray for the future impact of this outreach in our communities, that as the name of Jesus is lifted high now, there will be an ongoing impact throughout history because of our witness and prayers today.