Our Hope for the community of Shepherd's Bush
Shepherd's Bush is an area in London that needs Jesus.
Right now it is diverse but it is growing to be even more diverse in culture, ethnicity, as it continually wrestles to be a community that gets along with one another. There are other religions that are fighting for territory and dominance. You'll see many religious groups, such as Jehovah's witnesses, Muslims, and even Christians standing, preaching, as well as shouting at the public about their religious views.
The hope that we have is not just that people would listen to the gospel. The hope is that they would experience the gospel through word and deed.
It is through ministry in showing mercy to the poor, homeless and vulnerable that God would be glorified in our actions. We long to build relationships to come alongside people so that they would experience God (in all of His goodness) through us, not just His teachings through us.
We take seriously the duty of preaching the word of God with utmost importance but I've learnt that to preach, you must practise and without practise, you cannot preach, rather you should not preach.
We long to reach out to all people groups, of all ages.
There are many churches that are established that have Nigerian congregations, English, Polish, Ukraine, but the people of Shepherd's Bush does not just consist of these ethnic groups. If you look at the schools in London, you'll see many children absorbing each other's culture and growing to become a community that doesn't just consist of one culture.
They cultivate a hybrid-culture within them. While their parents may be Polish, their children grow up to be British Polish. While their pastors are Nigerian, their congregation are British Nigerian.
We long to be known and understood. We believe that there needs to be a church in Shepherd's Bush that would understand the needs of the people. There are many people that are British-something and most of them only feel comfortable among other British-somethings.
It is our hope to cultivate a church community that accomodates those people groups with those struggles and as a British Korean that has grown up in a Korean family going to British education and having British friends, I understand the need. Our lead pastor, Chris Hatch, is married to Josephine, a Kenyan woman, and they too understand the need through the struggles that their children grow up with in terms of their own identity.
Our hope is to lead a community that would not just feel at home, within a church community, but also find their home, their identity, in Christ Jesus.
Working to see the love and mercy of God expressed through verbal proclamation and practical deeds of service.