Steve's Blog

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AGM Message for 2015 -

Rev Steve - 27 Apr 2015

ASHP’s AGM serves as a sign post to celebrate past achievements, assess present goals and dream big dreams for the future. 

And so every year we have the opportunity to look back with gratitude, observe the present in humility and move forward in faith

The good news is, that AS’s is a growing church, with many coming to visit and staying, this is because A.S. has a legacy of being a church that is willing to serve it’s neighbours with a warm and sincere welcome.

But, it is by God’s grace, hard work and the continued exercising of the Holy Spirit’s gifts that we remain a healthy, active, authentic Holy Spirit present, Bible prioritised, worship centred, people caring, prayer focused, healing expectant, love giving community minded church which seeks to meet the needs of the people within our community and beyond. 

Here at AS we have the God given opportunity to give thanks and celebrate our past year, as many church’s struggle with dwindling congregations some haven’t a minister and some even having to close. 

More good news is that we are no longer an unknown backstreet church, not when an international world renown Christian speaker deliberately flying in to give a conference here i.e. Jackie Pullinger who was the first person to enable us to be a church that will be a resource centre to all who seek to develop and grow in Christ. And guess what, she was a woman.

Due to this “new Norm for ASHP” (Paul Harcourt) we shall be hosting further conferences, with the likes of international speaker and author - Russ Parker, we shall have a ‘Blesses & Curses’ (in-house) conference in the Autumn as well as establish an annual ‘Bible Focused’ Conference within the east end of London with respected Old Testament lecturer Michael Butterworth and later with Jewish studies expert - Revd Joseph Steinberg. This is not to mention concerts, recitals and further courses. Youth work, House groups, healing on the streets etc.

Time and time again you’ve heard me say “We will know what we’re to do when we know who we are”

Within our epistle Peter highlights 3 activities which follow on from our identity: One; we are pilgrims on the move; two; we are submit to God and one another, and three; we are called to be servants not masters.


Firstly; We are to be a people who Sojourn. 1 Pet 2: 11 ‘Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and pilgrims’ in other words we are a people who are forever moving onward from one degree of grace to another. We are always to walk away from the ‘Egypt’s’ (that which enslaves us) to the new land (that which bears fruit). 

Like Lot’s wife, who looked back when she should have concentrated on moving forward and so became a statue; so to is the church that remains static (obsessed with its past)it  will resemble a monument, Jesus never came to create a monument, He came to establish His Kingdom, a Kingdom that is to flourish, expand and extend beyond our boundary lines. Kingdom theology doesn’t acknowledge parish boundaries it endorses Kingdom of God extension ushered here and beyond. There are no lines of embarkation with God. We ‘move from Jerusalem (home) to Samaria (enemy occupation) to the ends of the earth.

ASHP needs to remain a pilgrim people that walks forever forward with Christ, this doesn’t mean we forget the past, abuse others or disrespect our neighbours, but, for cannot move forward unless we acknowledge the past, for it is the prayers and witness of the saints that spur us on to new levels, new territories and new ministries the Lord has in store for us amidst the promised land ahead. 

This means we must never feel satisfied with where we are as there is always new manner, new tasks, new frontiers and new ministries for today and tomorrow, up ahead is the shepherd, as he always leads from the front. 


Secondly; We are to be a people who are Submisive - ‘Be subject for the Lord's sake .…When we submit our lives to father God’s will we will be able to sojourn forward without fear, without doubt and without need, for he will ‘supply all our needs according to His riches in mercy’ which ‘are new every morning’. We grow because God’s people have been generous and faithful to God’s call to give, they submitted their finances to Him for our benefit.

Jesus was never autonomous and neither ministered in a vacuum, as ‘he could do nothing without the observing the Father.’(Jn 5:19) We too must learn to submit one to another, for here is our witness for Christ amidst a rebellious un-yielding world, that seeks to place itself first and foremost, this ideology is an anathema to a follower of Christ, as we serve God best when we serve others first -  ‘For the least we do unto others, we do unto Him.’


Thirdly; We are to be a people who live as Servants. ‘Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover- up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.

As we continue to walk as pilgrims away from being slaves to a fallen and foreign land, we submit to God’s will which in turn affords us the title to be ‘… His servants’. This is not a title to be taken lightly nor irreverently, as Christ Himself ‘became a servant, even unto death, death on a cross’ (Phil2) To be a servant is to mimic Christ’s character, ministry and person.

Peter continues to reveal the markings of a true servant: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect..,(vs18) And so he gives us the ultimate example in Christ - ‘because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.’ (Vs21)

The lasting legacy of the saints of ASHP is that of those who gave themselves up for the benefit of others, they served you. The challenge today is that we too step up to the plate and produce such saints of yesterday, that means you, me and the church to come as we are ALL to become participators and not spectators. At some stage, we ALL need to put our boots on and get involved in the game, as we are all called to play!

We do so by way of implementing The four R’s.

Reach out through Evangelism.

Restore through Healing

Resource through Discipleship

Release through Mission.

Renewal doesn’t come from modernisation, no matter how good looking this building becomes, renewal comes through submission, prayer, service  and fulfilling the Great Commandment and The Great Commission where “EVERY BODY gets to play". 1 Corinthians 14:26. We all bring something to the table.

If we are to be a light to this generation and community we must ALL participate, deck chairs are not provided on this ship, only life jackets.

In five years time we want to see the atrium but we also want to see a church plant on the housing estate down Selwyn Avenue where this church once stood. 

We will have concerts, the organ will be restored and the children ministry will grow, but this means absolutely NOTHING if Jesus isn’t at the centre of it all. 

I have spoken about what we need to do, there is also what we need NOT do:




In order to move forward we ALL need to play. 

There will be no church of tomorrow if the church of today doesn’t produce followers of Christ. It is to this end that Sunday school needs sponsorship, people sponsorship. We need to establish a team with a leader, is that you?

We sojourn by submitting to the Lord in order to serve His purpose. WE ALL PARTICIPATE NOT OBSERVE.

Today is the trumpet call, will you hear and respond. Please don’t leave it to the few, but by the many we will indeed produce a greater impact on the vast need that is so prevalent within our community and country. This day, this hour, this church, God calls us all to stand, work, give, love, bless, sojourn, submit and serve God’s purpose ‘for such a time as this.            

Will you do so?


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