Bradford Church Forges Ahead
04 April 2009
Bradford, in the Yorkshire region of the UK, is the centre of one of the most multi-ethnic regions in the nation, with a higher proportion of Asian Muslims than in almost any other region.
In the past, links have been found between local residents – albeit a handful – and the actions of radical terror cells.
Yet, in the middle of this, one of Britain's most successful churches, the Abundant Life Church, led by Pastor Paul Scanlon continues to grow.
During a visit to speak at the church this past weekend, in both the Bradford and new Leeds campus, Mal Fletcher found a church that continues to push the boundaries of what some might expect from and for Christian witness in a highly non-Christian population.
'ALC is quite unique,' reports Mal. 'I've been here a number of times now and am constantly surprised by and impressed with the strength of this church community.'
'This is one of the most creative churches in the UK, and definitely one of the most influential. Yet it shows no signs of growing complacent or of slowing down, especially on its strategies to practically serve its city and region.'
Recently, the church launched a new initiative called The 15 Revolution, which encourages its members to spend 15 minutes every day inconveniencing themselves to help others. The idea is that Christians ought to be going out of their way to express generosity and practical help for their neighbours.
'This idea is a winner,' says Mal Fletcher. 'It's not just a piece of branding – it's a reflection of what Christ taught in passages like Luke chapter 6 – that being a follower of Christ is about going the extra mile and doing the unpredictable.'
'I'd love to see the idea catch on in other churches.'
Mal also lectured at the Abundant Life Academy, the leadership college attached to the church, which is led by Pastor Stephen Matthew. With a new facility and students from various corners of the UK and Europe, the school focuses on producing leaders of excellence.
For more on ALC and the Academy, visit www.alm.org.uk.