Pastors Nick and Mulenga Chanda, Revival Christian Church in Enfield
Revival Christian Church in Enfield, North London, recently received an award for the ‘Best Community Initiative in North London’ in the Greater London Enterprise Awards, recognising the vast array of work they are engaged in within their community. About 80 volunteers spend their time mentoring young people, visiting care homes, supporting women and children in a local refuge – and more!
‘[This] has helped to make us relevant in the community,’ said church leader Pastor Nick Chanda, when he and his wife, Mulenga, were interviewed on the Talking HOPE chat show.
‘Friendship evangelism’ is a key part of church life. Every year (apart from sadly this year, where COVID-19 has so far postponed the event) the church organises a huge community car wash. They encourage church families to come together and host a fun day with a bouncy castle, a barbecue, games, face painting and manicures. When people come to get their cars washed, church members take the chance to chat to them, to show them round the building, to give them Bible verses and a magazine about church life. It’s all about building relationships. This has led to people coming back to the church and eventually coming to faith!
During lockdown, the church partnered with Morrison’s supermarket, who gave them one or two trolleys of food every fortnight, to distribute in the local area. This came about because the supermarket was looking for local partners and one of the church’s volunteers struck up a relationship with them.
‘It’s much easier to preach Jesus with practical work,’ said Nick. ‘People don’t care what message you have except to see that you care for them…we care for them by providing food…washing cars…reaching the women in the refuge…the elderly in the care homes…suddenly it prompts the people themselves to begin to ask us “Who are you?” then that gives us the chance to tell them, we are Christians and we just want to show we love you and that the one who loves us most…his name is Jesus. In a simple way like that, but what speaks first is the works of love and care.’
However, the practical work of the church is only possible because it is hugely powered by prayer! Since 2009, between 6 and 7am every day from Monday to Saturday, members of the church gather to pray for Enfield. They mapped out the streets of the area, praying over them, ‘claiming them for Jesus and anointing them’. When they got their own church building, they began a 7-8pm prayer slot too, then another one from 9-10pm, as well as a weekly slot for young people to gather and pray.
What an inspiring reminder to make prayer a focus in all we do!