The Christian life is definitely not a sprint. It has often been compared to a marathon, requiring long-term endurance and commitment. It can also be thought of as a relay race, where we are called to run our part of the race faithfully and then pass on the baton as individuals to the next person or as assemblies to the next fellowship or generation of church.
One of Church Growth Trust’s roles is to facilitate the passing on of the baton for assemblies. No assembly is forced to close, and no gospel hall trustees are compelled to retire. However, Church Growth Trust (CGT) is often viewed as God’s provision in providing an honourable and orderly way for elderly trustees, who have served well for many years, to hand over the reins with confidence. This is confidence that the church property will be in safe hands and that CGT will do its utmost to see the continued Gospel witness in the locality. Assemblies occupying these buildings are encouraged to continue and Church Growth Trust provides a proactive management service to ensure that they are helped to keep the property in good order, that they are up to date with legislation and that help is available in all sorts of other ways.
If however the assembly decides to close, and this often happens at the same time as the trustees wish to retire, CGT will work closely with the assembly to help them pass on the baton to the next generation. There are numerous examples where CGT has been able to provide this service. Giles Arnold, CGT’s Chief Executive, recalls meeting trustees at a Gospel Hall in Crawley. He explained the services that were available to the trustees and how CGT would be able to help them in their specific situation. Giles said “I could see the visible relief from the trustees as a weight was lifted from their shoulders. There was a palpable change in their mood, as could see how they would be able to step down, with confidence that the Gospel work would be able to continue from the property and that a new church would be found to do this. They literally wanted to hand over the keys at the meeting!”
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