We are living in apostolic times. The Holy Spirit is stirring the church of the 21st Century just as he moved in the 1st Century – with apostolic power. This power energises God’s people to rise up to be all that God calls them to be. The church is Christ’s agent for change in our personal lives as well society as a whole.
200 years ago, Britain was in the middle of the Great Awakening – the movement that brought about John Wesley, William Wilberforce and a group of people called the ‘Clapham Sect’ who gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, London. This small but influential group of people are a shining example of what can happen to a nation when God’s people dedicated to the cause of Christ determine to bring positive change.
This single congregation exerted an amazing influence both in Britain and abroad. They helped abolish the slave trade and founded Freetown, Sierra Leone, a city settled by those they liberated from bondage.
They encouraged the good administration of India and established missions. They set higher standards of public morality, backed the Sunday Schools for the education of disadvantaged youth and brought social reform for exploited workers living in poverty.
All this is a model for the apostolic times in which we live. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope of salvation and a force for moral good and positive social reform.
The Clapham example inspires us. Passionate for the gospel and determined to change society, we are putting our faith in action. We want to see London and the nations changed by the power of God. That does not just mean more people in churches every Sunday, but each one of us becoming agents for change right where we are.