The power behind the pew
TEC will be 27 years old in August, 2013.
When the church was founded in 1986, it had a congregation which numbered little more than a handful, but today there are regularly over 50 people present on Sunday mornings.
So what has changed? Well not a lot. If you were to come and visit, you would still find the same things going on. Hymns are still sung, prayers are still said without rehearsal and the bible is still read publically, believed whole heartedly and preached feelingfully.
The fact that people come is not the whole story. TEC may buck the current dwindling church congregation trend, but that is no coincidence.
The local churches were once populated by a similar people to those found at TEC regularly today. They were men and women who had experienced radical conversion; from darkness to light, from condemnation to reconciliation, from guilty to innocent, from lovers of the world to lovers of God. Theirs was not a religion of outward church going, but of inward supernatural renewal by God.
Today most of the churches in the Huddersfield area have the last vestiges of a generation who were brought up with church going as a way of life, but since there was no real spiritual life in them or the churches as wholes, their children and their children’s children have seen the emptiness of mere church attendance and frankly shopping and football or whatever else, has looked a whole lot more appealing.
TEC understands that the bible teaches that a man or a woman has to have their appetite for God radically changed for there to be any benefit to the life of a person. Offering people church attendance is no different to offering people Huddersfield Town or the brass band; ultimately it is powerless to save. God on the other hand is powerful, he can produce that lasting change that does save the soul.
In the letter to Titus in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul explains that the saving work done by God in a soul involves spiritual regeneration and renewal. Here’s what he says,
But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour
The power of God must be the power behind the people that make up the local churches and not mere human effort; that will always fail.
We pray, that by God’s grace and his power to radically change souls, TEC will be here for many generations to come.