Isaiah 54 also speaks of confidence in the future – ‘...do not be discouraged, you won’t be humiliated’. (:4)
The next picture given in this passage is that of a marriage – one where the Lord God is the husband, so there can be confidence that He will provide as he is the ruler of all the earth! This is a great reason for confidence and ties in to our journey as a church. We can rely on what God says and what we have seen Him do already – the gospel progressing, community being built, extension after extension taking place.
Alec Motyer says that in Isaiah 54 equal attention is given in the picture of the extended tent to both enlargement - and to solidity. It’s about an intentional reach and a lot of building work going on, to build something solid and established. Lengthening – and strengthening. This helps us as we lay out our roadmap for building a church of 5000. Our history has been of growth at a rate of 10% per year so we do not step into the future untried in this area.
In the past 30 people from Catford were asked to go and join the second meeting at Lee to strengthen it – especially those who lived in that area. Then we ran to two meetings at the Downham site – another 30 were asked to go and strengthen that meeting – also creating more space in the tent at Catford Hill for new people to come – and they have! The spaces they left have been filled with new people. Currently we have around 1750 meeting at the three sites, seven meetings on a Sunday and eventually in 2014+ the work we plan to do on ‘extending our borders’ will lead to a total 2500 seating capacity.