God Shall Be My Hope, My Stay, My Guide And Lantern To My Feet
Direction Magazine|October 2019
God Shall Be My Hope, My Stay, My Guide And Lantern To My Feet
Tourists flock to Stratford-upon-Avon because it’s the birthplace of William Shakespeare, but Elim pastor John Martin is working hard to make sure they also encounter Jesus.
John Martin

With a background in worship leading, youth work and missions, John Martin was perhaps well equipped to take on his first role as a pastor.

So he and his wife, Cara, were full of enthusiasm for the challenge of replanting Oasis Christian Centre four years ago, a church with just nine loyal members in the famous Shakespearian town of Strat ford upon-Avon.

“The church had done really well in the past but had become quite inward-looking,” John tells Direction. “I sensed God was saying that people would come to the theatres of Stratford not to encounter Shakespeare, but Jesus. Stratford is an arts and theatre town. Our job as a church is not to distance ourselves from that culture, but to shape it.”

The church’s original members supported John’s vision of planting a church in one of the theatres in the centre of town. Over the past four years, they have been encouraged by the rapid growth they’ve seen. John says, “We regularly have up to 60 adults and 20 kids attending on Sundays now.”

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October 2019