Harvest expected in Lower Hutt
2000. Unity between churches in Lower Hutt Valley is unprecedented says Facilitator of Partners in Ministry, Seth Fawcet. He says many people who have been in Lower Hutt for a long time are testifying they have never had this sense of unity.
Senior Pastor of Hosanna World Outreach Centre Asafo Avia goes as far to say that it is more than unity.
“We have gone past the unity level”, Pastor Avia says. “The love of Christ is being demonstrated between churches in Hutt City which means we have got to the next level.”
He says churches are not building their own kingdoms but there is an attitude that this is “our thing”. There is “huge support” for each other in their obedience to what Partners in Ministry believes God is calling them to.
“It is a season happening all over New Zealand and around the world. There is a work of the Holy Spirit that is taking place.”
Church leaders meet on the first Friday of each month for morning tea and worship and prayer for the city. Seventy people attended on February 1 although they usually have lower numbers. Pastor Fawcet puts the increase down to the work of God.
From quarterly combined church prayer meetings led them to being held every first Friday of the month from October 1999. Up to two hundred people, sometimes more, attend. The purpose of these is to pray for the city and worship God.
When visiting American Evangelist Mike Livengood ministered for two years intermittently 20 churches hosted the preacher. From these meetings, Pastor Fawcet says there are testimonies of how people enlarged their perspective of Christianity in Lower Hutt when gathering with various Christians from different denominations. Previously they had a small view of the Church. Pastor Fawcet says there is an overt pride about Jesus because of the Spirit of God ministering to them and subsequently motivating them to actively share their faith.
Pastor Fawcet sees the evolvement of Partners in Ministry since 1997 as a journey. It started with leaders from Pentecostal and Charismatic streams and has broadened to include Baptist, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Anglican, and Roman Catholic.
He says they understand that when God touches lives that will flow right through all areas of city life including economic, social, educational, and business sides. This will mean, for example, business flourishing and workers will act with integrity as they recognise God’s presence prompting them to act well.
There are various expressions of church life, emphasising diversity, and Pastor Fawcet wants to encourage these differences as they all serve a function in the Body of Christ.
Pastor Avia says the common thread between the denominations is a heart to reach out to the lost and lead them to transformation through Jesus Christ.
Fawcet is personally praying for a Welsh-style revival and Pastor Avia foresees in 10-15 years that half the city can become Christians. Avia believes in strategies for this to work but now there is an emphasis on relationship building between churches. He says his vision can happen if churches work together.
By Peter Veugelaers.
Published 2000, Challenge Weekly.