The story is getting out there…
We were so very blessed to get BIG coverage in this week’s Worksop Guardian. Sophie the reporter was go generous with her time and then in her comments.
It was great just chatting when she came to the Golden Ball. My first “proper” job was as a reporter on the same Worksop Guardian. She seemed keen to know how I got from there to teaching and how it was I began my own journey with Jesus.
What we were touching, with both my own story, and the story of Poplars, is a huge story with so many twists and turns. What blessed me, was not that all of the detail turned out exactly right, but that the love that God has invested in us was seeping out of the words she wrote.
I wrote on Facebook the piece that appears below. It really isn’t any kind of a “put right.” It is what it says at the beginning – a “Thank-you”:
- Thanks Sophie for listening.
- Thanks Sophie for telling the story in such a way that we don’t appear to be a bunch of religious maniacs
- Thanks Sophie for touching the real business of the Gospel – the love, the grace and then the power.
Anyway, here it is – my personal thanks to Sophie, and my personal thanks to anyone who has joined us on the journey so far. It’s also a thanks to Jesus and a welcome to anyone looking for home…
for giving Poplars Church such a generous coverage in this week’s Worksop Guardian. You have been generous in so many ways. You gave us your time and your talent and your wonderful warmth of spirit which presented Church as a body of people taken up on a fabulous journey with Jesus.
I didn’t altogether recognise the man you interviewed and want anyway to fill in a few gaps. I feel that the intention and execution was nothing but wonderful, but the work isn’t my work. The work is Jesus’ and the workers are so very many.
I got in on the back of so many wonderful people – which is the real truth of all of our lives.
Poplars would not be without Derek and Mo Wilkinson – it was their home in Woodsetts which gave a home to the very embyonic Poplars Church.
I would not have been allowed to be changed by my Romania experiences if it had not been for Norman and Ann Daniels – pioneers and chief drivers of the work in a country that we all saw had been ravished when the borders opened in 1990.
The building called the Golden Ball is a home for the work of the church because of the grace of God expressed through the generous giving of so many and their stunning willingness to dig deep and then work hard – it has been such a joy to be allowed to share in any of it.
If there must be a leader then I am privileged to share that role with many older and wiser (or wiser if not older) than myself and I sit in the company of a younger group who will see far greater things than I have or will.
Thank you Sophie for seeing through the religious facade that has often accompanied any thought of, or discussion centred on God, Jesus or the church.
I maintain that Jesus was not given to bring us yet more religion. He came to give us life and the walk with him is electrifying in its wonder.
This is the real story of the Golden Ball because it is the home to the work of the church, and the church will only ever be that group of people – often the weak and foolish in other people’s eyes – who have allowed themselves to be wooed by God’s love, find themselves lost in his grace and amazed at his power.
Sophie, our time together was a delight.