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Church growth in AOG

We love hearing stories from local churches who are making a difference in their community, reaching their village, town or city with the good news of Jesus. 

Recently we spoke with Julian Downward from Discover Church, Bournemouth and Matthew Murray from Renew Church, Uttoxeter to hear about the amazing things that God is doing through their church. 

40% increase in young people attending church!

DISCOVER:church, Bournemouth has recently seen a 40% increase in the number of young people attending church and believe it is due to months of prayer and a drastic change in vision. 

Two years ago, Julian Downward took over as senior pastor of Discover church formally Wessex christian centre in Bournemouth and has been on a journey of transforming the church and the community. 

"We moved into the area and had a real heart for the town. We really heard God's voice for us to impact the city centre so started to rent a local cinema for our Sunday services. Within a year of meeting and through many miracles we had bought the building."

"We then really felt that we needed to amend the vision of the church to be a church with a young person centred vision. Rather than seeing them as the church of tomorrow, we place kids and youth at the centre of everything we do as a church."

"Many people thought that the adults would leave, but the opposite has happened. As we have released children and young people into ministry and chances to serve and as a result we have seen incredible growth. We want to give them an opportunity to belong and thrive TODAY not just tomorrow."

As a result of this vision shift, Discover church has re-branded and re-purposed the cinema and now is having a huge impact in the city. 

"We believe that this is just the start and we want to see God move even more!"

How we doubled in size in two years!

An AoG church in Staffordshire has doubled in size in two years and has recently celebrated its fifth baptism in as many months.

Renew Church, formerly Uttoxeter Pentecostal Church, meets in the town’s old cinema and is now seeing almost 200 regulars on a weekly basis. Much of the growth has come as a result of several Alpha courses, says senior pastor Matthew Murray, who moved to Uttoxeter in 2015 with wife Becky.

Matthew said: “Whilst we’ve had some transfer growth, we’ve seen lots of people find Jesus too. In February we were challenged to believe God for a baptism every month – we booked one in March with no one signed up, yet we ended up with five people. It’s continued with a steady flow into April, May, June and July.

“In March we booked a local photographer to come and take photos of an outreach event combined with a baptism. Amazingly, she responded to the gospel that night and was baptised along with her husband in April. They have four children and all are now in church every week worshipping Jesus.

“We do a lot of weekly activity in our community and it seems like the hard work and prayer is now bearing fruit. God’s desire is that none should perish and we know that this is just the start of something incredible.”

Do you have a story of what God is doing at your church? Then please do email us on as we would love to hear about it! 
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