29 September 2012
1,300 church leaders meet ahead of NDOP
More than 1,300 church leaders from across the UK and beyond have met together ahead of the National Day of Prayer at Wembley today.
In a display of unity and responding to a challenge to pray together for the transformation of the nation, the leaders – said to represent around two million Christians in the country – met to eat, pray and worship together in the grounds of Wembley Stadium.
Opening the meeting, Hugh Osgood, chair of the National Day of Prayer, said: “When the Church takes Wembley, it’s really moving into the public arena. I think that’s good. That’s where the Church needs to be.”
Speaking at the event taking place just before NDOP Wembley kicked off with more than 40,000 people, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali challenged the church leaders to engage in the public sphere and fulfil its mission.
“We must get back to the Bible’s vision of how God’s people relate to God’s world. The Bible doesn’t teach that we are a bunch of individual barbarians that one day choose to opt into a society,” he said.
“The Bible teaches that human beings were made for community. We have to be faithful to God’s plans. We have spoilt what He intended, but He hasn’t given up on us.
“What happens if our churches are light in our communities? What would what involve? It would involve going out and would also involve hospitality.
“Jesus Christ is above and beyond any culture. No engagement with any culture can exhaust the reality of Jesus Christ.”
Launching the Crossing London 2013 initiative, its executive chair Stephen Gaukroger announced plans to build on the momentum seen in the UK this year by the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and London 2012.
The initiative will involve encouraging leaders, equipping Christians, engaging communities and encountering Jesus.
“We’re going to have to work together if this nation is going to come to know Jesus,” Stephen said. “Only a fully joined up diverse Church is going to win a diverse Church for Jesus Christ.”
Around 40,000 people are gathering today at Wembley Stadium for the National Day of Prayer, including worship from artists including Noel Robinson, Matt Redman, Lara Martin and Tim Hughes.
Homepage photo by Clive Mear (Tearfund)