The Bible tells us that people are the church and not the building in which they meet. Working on the Greek island of Kos this past year has brought home this reality to us.
Each Sunday morning the regular process begins of loading the car; driving 30 miles to a hotel; placing church advertising boards near the hotel entrance; putting ‘Kos Christian Fellowship’ signs on the TV-room door; rearranging chairs; removing pictures from the wall ready for hymn projection; and making a preaching stand from tables. At this point, we have a ‘church setting’, but no church – there aren’t any people.
So how will people know about the services? We use a web site, and magazine and newspaper advertising. We have visited all hotels and apartments with service details. We have placed signs on lamp posts and telegraph poles, and put tracts on the windscreens of more than 10,000 hired cars. Most important, we have backed it up with daily prayer.
On 6 May 2007, with fear and trembling but with confidence that the Lord is no man’s debtor, we arrived at the Continental Palace Hotel and prepared the room. At 10.40am a young Dutch couple from Maastricht arrived to ask about the church service. We were pleased to inform them this was the first service of Kos Christian Fellowship and they were the first two to worship with us.
God at work
How amazed and encouraged we were to find out that this young couple had just got married and were on honeymoon; they would soon be returning to Holland to become full-time church planters! This was God at work.
On the first day there were seven of us. By 28 October, the last Sunday of the season, the Lord had never failed to bring a congregation together every Sunday. One week there were 29 people. Virtually all the European nations have attended, plus folk from Canada, USA and South Africa.
Sadly, so far only one Greek person has come to the services, yet we have had good gospel opportunities with hotel staff. The reception desk told us they had never heard singing like that before. A waiter said, ‘They don’t sing like you do in the Orthodox Church’. Both the hotel owner and manager said it was good to have a church service on Sundays at the hotel.
Our continuing prayer is that the Lord will work in the lives of Greeks, together with the many Europeans that live in Kos; and that there will be a regular church meeting in the coming days. Paul said, ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Romans 10:14).
If you would like to support us through prayer or even visiting to help with tracting and outreach, or simply to have fellowship, you can contact us by telephone (0030 22420 72301) or e-mail ([email protected]).