Moving to Stockholm – How we knew God’s will

Yesterday I wrote about the process we went through over about 6 or 7 months in coming to the conclusion that we are to move to Sweden to church plant again. I’d thought I’d unpack those elements a little bit so they can be viewed in a different way.

  1. Scripture (1) We are convinced from the Bible that the New Testament church is a missional church, that the Gospel must go to every nation and every generation and that church planting is essential in accomplishing that. That God uses ordinary people like us. This forms the backdrop to everything else.
  2. Scripture (2) Specific reading of the Bible brought both conviction and reassurance to both my wife and I. On several occasions we would read the Bible and we would have a strong sense that through those verses God was speaking to us, specifically. Gen 12:1 being a prime example.
  3. Preaching. We heard the word of God preached and we responded to its call.
  4. Vision (1) There is a bigger picture for us as the Newfrontiers church family. Those leading us have set the vision, those involved in the nations had declared an intention to church plant into Stockholm. The question is always, ‘who is going to respond?’
  5. Vision (2) It’s part of our personal vision and sense of calling to be involved in mission in other nations and to be people to whom God can send anywhere.
  6. Prayer. An awful lot of prayer has been involved, corporately and individually. Through prayer a passion for the nations burnt a bit brighter, a heart softened to obey and at peace.
  7. Prophecy. I believe God speaks today through His people to His people. Both corporate and personal words of prophecy have been important. This is listed lower down for a reason, I think it needs to sit under most of the reasons above but when it comes as it did for us from multiple places at multiple times, some with knowledge of the situation and some without it acts to give weight to all of the above.
  8. Advice. We consulted wiser people, godly leaders and trusted friends and our family. We received their love, prayers and encouragement. If they’d counselled us differently we would have listened.
  9. Timing. This is important. Plenty of other things also needed to come together, a leadership ready to take over, a church with momentum and faith, to be released from the responsibilities of the shop and to make connections with others. This was all significant for us.
  10. Faith. All of the above can be there but God still asks us to trust Him, to walk by faith and not by sight. We had enough to be able to do that.

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