Big news for Brickhill!
This weekend was one of the most important at Brickhill Baptist Church for a long time. We announced that Paul Woodward, our lead elder, has been called by God to move to Jubilee Church Teesside. So, of course, he is going.
Paul tells the story himself in the preach dated 13 September on the Brickhill website. Basically, he received a long chain of prophecies about a new season of incredible significance which then explained themselves when he was sent an email requesting that he consider moving to Teesside to take over from Jeremy Simpkins, who himself is off to Manchester. Paul immediately felt that this was from God and events since then have confirmed this: he and Jean have been welcomed warmly by the leaders up there, and they sold their house in less than 24 hours!
This means that over the next couple of months Paul and Jean will be moving to Middlesbrough, and it will be ‘all change’ at Brickhill.
The Brickhill leadership response
How can I put this rightly? We’re thrilled! Not because we wanted Paul to leave of course but because we want God to lead us, and He is doing that right now. We’re not really sure about anything else right now except that if God has been at work in making this part of the plan come together, he will do the same with all the other parts. It takes faith to come to that conclusion but we feel full of it right now because of how clearly God has been working.
Richard Green will take up the ongoing responsibility of senior leader whilst we discuss, consult and pray about who should lead us next. One of Paul’s great strengths is now bearing fruit as the team he has brought together gets to work on this new challenge.
The big picture
The leaving of the senior leader is big deal for any church, and there’s no doubt that Brickhill will have much to consider over the next months. I’m excited by a sense that God is shaking us up and moving us on – geographically for many I suspect, and spiritually for all I hope.
This is also yet another example of Brickhill fulfilling its long-held calling to be a resource church: Teesside will be blessed by this, as will Manchester as Jeremy is able to hand over quickly to Paul.
Paul and Jean will leave a church immeasurably blessed by their ministry. This story alone highlights the core values of grace and faith that have been established, from which flow generosity and new adventures.