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Welcome to

e n i l t Fron h c r u Ch The best is yet to come!


















Our Senior Pastors, Dave Connolly & Nic Harding

Hi Church!

Frontlin e will

Welcome to this magazine celebrating our ‘coming of age’ at Frontline Church.


t’s been quite a journey over the last 21 years, with ups, downs and plenty of changes. But it doesn’t matter if you’ve been here from the start or if you’ve only just joined us today. We, your pastors, want to tell you that we value every one of you who is on this journey with us. You see, at our centre, Frontline has always been and always will be a family, no matter what our size. Even across multiple locations and with multiple missional communities, we are one single church with one single vision. And that is to help every man, woman and child in our city region know Jesus, whatever that takes. We’ve compiled this magazine firstly to celebrate where God has brought us to as a church, and secondly to thank all of the amazing people who’ve played a part over the years.

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Also, we hope that these pages will inspire you - yes, YOU, personally - to dream BIG and to get excited about the part YOU could play in the future of Frontline Church.


Our prayer is that as you read through these articles, you get a renewed sense of belonging to the church family, an invigorated faith for how God will use you, and a fresh hunger to see every man, woman and child who you know encounter the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. God has already done so much in us and through us, but He has so much more ahead.

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id you know that the first manned USA space flight failed to get a man into the Earth’s orbit? That didn’t take place till the next year. You see, getting a space craft into orbit means breaking completely free from the gravitational pull of the Earth - It requires massive momentum! Momentum is something that creates movement, even when the resistance to that movement is great. So, to create a movement out of our Missional Communities and disciple-making vision requires considerable momentum. Like a spacecraft orbiting the Earth, such a movement would require little ongoing rocket power to keep it going. That’s how a movement works. Once started, it needs little energy from the mission control centre to keep it going. It develops a life of it’s own.

AT THEIR BEST, MOVEMENTS ARE UNSTOPPABLE! Think about the Berlin wall coming down, the ending of apartheid, or Beatle-mania. And indeed, the growth of the early church from 120 people in the upper room, to 20,000 people by the time Stephen was stoned, to 50% of the Roman empire 300 years later. By studying the culture and practice of the early church, we can learn some of the keys to reigniting such a movement. Will it be easy? No. Is it possible? Absolutely! Momentum = mass x velocity (apparently!). So, to see a movement grow out of what we are doing in Frontline, it will require a critical mass of people truly living out a lifestyle of missional discipleship (living fully for Jesus in the context of the great commission). AND it will require us to move at sufficient speed to break free of the gravitational pull of cynicism, discouragement, and the many other things which so often hold us back in pursuing Jesus’ call on our lives.


At this stage in our development as a church, a few years into our journey of Missional Communities, we can either settle for tickover, or prepare for take-off! We have come a long way already, but in reality we are still on the launch pad. We are privileged to be working closely with - and learning from - Network Church Sheffield (previously known as St Tom’s Philadelphia). They are part of a growing movement of missional communities in the UK. And their members are discovering and starting to live out the real heart of Acts 2 community life – Becoming extended families who are on mission together. A movement like this has the potential to change our nation! It’s happened at least twice before in our British history. Once when the Celtic missionaries brought the gospel to our nation, and then again when Wesley and his followers ignited a movement that changed our land.

WHY NOT NOW, WHY NOT HERE, WHY NOT US? What will it take? I guess we don’t fully know the answer to that, but we do know it will only happen when we freely offer ourselves again to God’s purpose for our lives, and when we commit to each other to live out the communal nature of church, kingdom and gospel.


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COMMUNITY We see a perfect picture of how Missional Communities should look in the book of Acts...


Every Missional Community at Frontline might look completely different to each other, but they all have one shared goal. Our mission is simply to see more All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and people come to know Jesus. That was the unique factor to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), in the community of the early church. They weren’t and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the interested in being a closed community, simply basking in apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. the joys of knowing God and sharing everything amongst And all the believers met together in one place and shared themselves. They invited others in. They stepped out and everything they had. They sold their property and possessions prayed for people - scripture says they brought about signs and shared the money with those in need. and wonders. They invited friends to eat with them. They were honest and open about their faith and generous with sharing They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in the Jesus they loved. Sounds amazing, doesn‘t it?

homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)


ow THAT sounds like a great community to be part of! A joyful community. A generous community. A community that looks outward to those in need. A well-connected community. A community devoted to teaching, fellowship, worship and prayer. An inclusive community. A growing community. As many of you know already, Frontline Church is made up of a collection of -what we call- Missional Communities. We might be a church family of more than a thousand believers, but our heart is to live out the type of community described in the scripture above. We want every individual in our church family to be able to enjoy the blessings that come from being part of a more closely knit community, a place where they can be known, a place where they can contribute.

Of course, it can be tempting to dismiss this biblical ideal of community in Acts 2 as nothing more than some ‘lovely utopian idea’. Do that and you will miss out! Our Missional Communities are not yet all that they could be. But we’re beginning to catch a glimpse of their potential. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we’re not that good at community - at being connected, being vulnerable with each other, sharing all that we have. And sometimes we’re not that good at being missional - looking outwards, listening to people and sharing Jesus constantly through our words, attitudes and actions. Sometimes people fall through the gaps. When we take risks, sometimes we fail. When that happens, we have a choice. We can either choose cynicism and stop trying altogether, or we can choose to learn - and then try again!

We see Communities as the heartbeat of our church.

As we dare to try, dare to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly, we will move forward on this journey. We’ll see real, biblical community develop more and more. It is happening. Communities are multiplying. And we’re finding new ways to live as disciples who love God, who love each other, and who make new disciples. It’s a choice to engage in and to build this type of community. It’s your choice. YOU can shape how community looks.

They are the place where you can belong, grow and contribute. Frontline church services then, are like the petrol station for Missional Communities. They are where church members come to be fuelled up together with the wider church family. They are where visitors come and get a flavour for who we are and how we worship.


Choose to be vulnerable with each other. Choose to be honest, and real, and genuine. Choose to share life together. Choose to invite and include others. Choose to play a part.

There’ll be something missing without you.


WHY GO MULTI-SITE? Imagine if everyone could access a vibrant, loving, church community, right on their doorstep... Officially, Frontline Central (our first church service outside of Wavertree) opened its doors in September 2012. But in some ways, we like to think it began six months earlier, when a group of church members started meeting up to pray. A small group of 20- and 30-somethings formed a new Missional Community specifically aiming to connect with those in the city centre. At the same time, we had started pursuing the idea of holding church services in different locations across the city. We’d never held a church service outside of our Wavertree building before, but becoming a muti-site church was a God-dream that had been growing for a while. We realised that our vision to connect with every man, woman and child in the Liverpool region would only make sense if, as well as having Missional Communities all over the city, we had church services all over the city. After all, Frontline was born out of a passionate belief in the importance of the LOCAL church. Becoming a multi-site church with one shared vision, ethos, doctrine and style, benefits everyone. It allows local people to connect with a Missional Community that’s relevant


to their lives, and a church service that’s local to where they live or work. There were a number of locations we could have chosen to set up this first new church service. But with the growing number of flats and student dwellings in the city centre (and with a Missional Community who were based in the city centre & keen to support a new church service) it seemed obvious where God wanted us to start! It wasn’t big and it wasn’t glamorous. The Missional Community and two church service leaders - just five or six people - simply started talking together and praying about how best they could reach the city centre. The Community committed to meeting every week to pray and to spend time together. They started running Bible studies in pubs in town, went on prayer walks in the city, ate together and worshipped together; all the while dreaming of what God could do through them at (what had now been named) Frontline Central. Excitement grew as the time drew closer for Central to open its doors for the first time. There was a real sense of faith and expectation about what God would do through the church gathering in this new location.




It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. The hard bit about pioneering something new is that, after the buzz of the first few weeks wears off, you still have to keep going! When the heating in the building isn’t working, you have to stick at it. When only four people come to a meeting, you can’t give up. When you suddenly have to change venue one hour before a service is due to start, you have to find a solution. That’s where having a Missional Community’s backing made all the difference! The church service leaders received the encouragement and the practical support they needed to keep going. We’d love to see more church services like this start up in the years ahead. There are many people that need to be reached with the love of God in our city. And the truth


is, they wont all fit into our building and, what’s more, they wont all want to come to Wavertree every week! Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to come together as one body to worship God (that’s why we hold a Gathering service for the whole church twice a year). But God is also calling us out to meet people where they are. Whether they are young professionals living in the city centre, or families living in the poorest neighbourhoods; what would happen if we brought church to them? What would happen if, instead of asking these people to travel to us, we brought a loving, vibrant church community to their doorstep? If this excites you, start to dream!








FIND OUT all about Frontline’s Kids & Youth Ministry by meeting the couple who are heading it up! Read on to HEAR their HEART...

Did you feel ‘called’ into youth & kids work? J: Actually I was all set to go off to Uni to study building surveying when I was 18. I had a nice clear plan, until one day when I was at a Christian event and I suddenly felt a clear call from God saying “You are going to work with kids and youth in Merseyside.” It was like God flicked a switch in my heart and there was no going back. It was quite a shock to my parents when I told them the news! T: For me, it wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic. I’ve always been involved with youth, even when I lived in Swindon I helped lead my youth group. When I came to Liverpool as a student I obviously got more stuck in with the student ministry - that was where I was at, so it made sense for that to be my focus. But really, deep down, I just LOVE kids and young people. There’s nothing I’d rather do! J: Marrying the youth and kids pastor probably nudged Tash into this area of ministry too, haha...

What does a typical week look like for Frontline Kids & Youth Pastors? T: It’s a mixture really between admin (planning the rotas for Sunday Kids Zone at church is a mammoth task!) and the more practical jobs like preparing craft activities or teaching plans, and actually leading the groups. Jonny’s week is similar, but he does longer hours and has a bigger focus on the youth side of things and on running Kidz Klub in schools with his volunteers.


J: That’s our after school club for primary schools, which forms part of their extra curricular RE requirements. It’s great fun and the kids learn about God! Brilliant! T: Sometimes we spend weeks away leading youth mission teams or working with Frontline’s overseas families too.

Being married. Working together. You must live and breathe ‘youth & kids’! Do you ever switch off? J: Haha! Well we get on pretty well, so working together’s not a problem. It’s actually a huge blessing! We get to spend more time together and our working styles compliment each other pretty well - me off in the clouds dreaming big dreams with Tash reining me in & working out how to make it all happen. T: This is so much more than a job though. We both have a real heart to disciple young people and part of that means sharing our lives with them. Yes our ministry involves working at odd times, evenings, weekends, but we love it. Some of our best times are spent just hanging out with the young people, eating, talking and having a laugh with them.




What’s your favourite part of the job?

T: Definitely discipling young people and seeing them disciple others. Once you’ve invested time with a young person, you can impart wisdom and start to see the influence you’re having. It’s amazing when you see young people develop their own relationship with God. It’s even more awesome when you see them starting to lead and invest in others - either their peers or those younger than them. It works exactly the same with younger children too. When they own their own faith, they naturally start to talk to their friends about it. You don’t have to ‘teach them to disciple others’. Discipleship is a natural process that happens. J: Yeah, that process is definitely happening here at Frontline, but we want to cultivate it more. When young people are leading and baptising other young people, you really know God’s moving!

Phil and Dave, our comedy ‰ comperes at an ‘alternative haloween’ event for families (2009)


come to FAITH before the age of 20! So, OUR YOUTH are the

key EVANGELISTS in our churches!

Name one highlight from the last year... J: Our first ever Youth Mission to Spain. That wins, hands down! At the start of the week, the young people wouldn’t even give out flyers in town, let alone talk to people. By mid-week, their confidence had grown a bit and they began sharing their faith with strangers. By the end of the week they were singing out worship in the town centre, acting out plays and sharing their testimonies publicly! And one young man in our group actually came to faith on that trip and was baptised by his friend six months later. All of that’s fantastic in itself, but the really amazing thing is that the effect of that mission has lasted. Our young people came back changed and they’ve never been the same since! T: My highlight was the family prayer gathering we held during Frontline’s annual week of prayer and fasting. We saw hundreds of kids and parents all praying together in creative ways. Momentum was building all week, kids were excited and engaged, and parents kept telling us stories about their children initiating prayer in their households!

Would you like to see more events like that? T: It’s not really about events. We want to see our children and young people being truly integrated into every aspect of church life. We want everyone to recognise that our young ones are every bit as important a part of the church as the adults are. Part of that is up to us on staff - to help families feel valued in church by simply considering their needs when we plan church stuff. But it’s also about church members recognising our joint responsibility to


raise and disciple the next generation. We can all serve our kids and young people in some way, whether that means helping in groups, praying for them regularly, or simply chatting to them and being there. J: We’ve got big dreams, but in a nutshell, we want to see whole family discipleship. We want to see our youngsters develop their own personal faiths, learn to lead each other, and then grow up with that discipleship DNA right into adulthood.

What other hopes & dreams do you have for the kids & youth ministry? J: One that’s been growing for a while is to find a way to support the children of Frontline’s Overseas Workers. Our church has several families living and working overseas in various countries and we want to make sure that those children are connected to the church family here, and included in our kids and youth ministry. T: We don’t know exactly what it’s going to looks like yet, but we’ve got lots of ideas. Each family is different just as each child is different, so it’s likely we’ll use a variety of ways to invest in those kids.

YOUTH PASTORS IN 5 YEARS TIME... Let’s skip ahead 5 years. What does Frontline’s kids and youth work look like? Both: That’s a big question! We’ll just give you our list:

Kids leading worship at the Whole Family Prayer Gathering (2013)

SPACE: A termly evangelistic youth night

There are loads of effective Youth Communities, with at least one Youth Community linked in with each church service that Frontline starts in a new location. Every young person in Frontline has a growing relationship with Jesus and is outward-looking, boldly sharing their faith, influencing their friends and seeing them come to know Him. Did you know that 75% of Christians come to faith before the age of 20? That means our youth are the key evangelists in our churches! A sadder statistic is that 70% of those Christians lose their faith whilst at university. So, as well as having an effective student ministry to combat that trend, in 5 years time our older youth will be equipped with a rigorous and well-considered faith that will stand up to the challenges they’ll face as they go into adulthood. After wrestling out their beliefs while in Frontline Youth, they will be ‘ready to give an answer to anyone for the faith they profess’ (1 Peter 3:15). Our kids will encounter God every week at church and will be active in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Kids and parents will journey together and teach each other how to have a living and active relationship with Jesus. Families will pray together and children will pray for their friends to meet Jesus. Every Frontline Church member will be praying for our children on a regular basis and getting involved in discipling and leading them.

Kids Klub: Helping young kids learn about Jesus at a fun after school club

There will be stuff for children to engage with at every new Frontline Church service, whatever that looks like. Whether that’s activity groups, Bible lessons, craft activities or actual ‘Messy Church‘ style family services, we’re up for what God wants to do! In 5 years time there will be a bigger team of passionate, committed youth and children’s leaders and there will be a significant growth in the quality of our children and young people’s relationships with Jesus as a result.

These are all just dreams of course. They might take two years or they might take ten. But the important thing is, we know what we’re aiming for.

ITTLE FRUIT L h it w E E R have a BIG T n a c u o y t a th . We’re after IT U It’s been said R F IG B REE with ES or a LITTLE T OADS OF TRE

HL IT W D R A UIT! H R C F R F O S AN O D A O AND L ants too! what GOD w k that’s

And we thin

- Jonny





n invitation to come round for lunch is really all I remember about my first visit to Frontline in the autumn of 1992. I have no idea who preached, who led worship or who was on PA. But I do remember going to the Harding’s house on South Drive and eating as much as I could, as quickly as I could.

A P& 3

The following week I did exactly the same at the Connolly household. This pattern of unreciprocated hospitality carried out for several weeks. Sometime later, in 1993, Jenny Harding asked if I could help out at Kids Klub that summer. My best mate, Big Lee, and I created a sort of massive Jurassic Park board game using a carpet we found in a skip, and from that moment I was hooked on working with the kids of L7, L8 and L15. Twenty years later I am still convinced that Frontline Church is part of God’s plan to transform the city of Liverpool; I am also convinced that it was part of God’s plan to transform me.


Phil Watson (Teacher)


y first visit to Frontline Church was mainly because I knew some people who already went there, but when I checked out the website, I was pleased to see that student work was really important to the church too. I went along to the student weekend away, made some great friends and decided this was the right church for me while I’m at at uni. It was a great decision! Over time I’ve really grown in my relationship with God and have started leading a Small Group within my student Community. One high point was when we did a Bible study on healing. At the end we decided to start praying for healings for people. It was really exciting and God did amazing things!

Anna Nicholson

(Sociology Student)

s have t n e d u t s rt, h. m the sta Frontline Chruc o r f t h ig R rt in ies! huge pa r a o d t e y s r pla i the

ading e r y o j En






I started coming to Frontline in my second year of uni when I moved into Lawrence Road with seven other mates. Supervision, the band I was in at the time, started leading worship and we did our first mission trip to Virginia USA at the end of that year. Frontline had just moved into what’s now our main church building and God was doing loads of stuff in people’s lives really tangibly.  It was an incredibly exciting time for me, for my friends and for the church as a whole...



uring that whole time I felt really looked after by a lot of people in the church, particularly John and the rest of the Birch family. Over time, John became like a 2nd dad to me, through mentoring and discipleship, and we are still close with the Birches to this day. The relationships I’ve made through my involvement with this church account for well over 80% of my friends... And yes, I met Lou, my gorgeous, talented, wonderful wife through those same circles of friends!


Ian Finch (Director of Mando Group)

This is John birch

(He helped Ian a lot)


first heard about Frontline through Fusion’s national student link up service (they help people who are going off to uni link in with local churches in the cities where they’ll be studying). I loved the worship and the teaching at Frontline, so got involved straight away. Since then I’ve made loads of great friends. We’ve done prayer walks, Bible studies & even some club outreach. In fact, some of the guys loved that so much that they started a new Missional Community aimed specifically at reaching the student clubbing scene. A major highlight for me has been the flash mob we did in town - A group of about 50 of us turned up in L1 and all at once we suddenly burst out singing Amazing Grace. Then we did more worship and prayed for the city. It was ace!

Josh Langlois (Vet Student)



GIVE When we stop to consider our need to give, we first need to start with the generosity of God...


ll that we do is in response to God’s love, mercy, grace, goodness and generosity! As 1 John 4:19 says, ‘We love, because He first loved us’. You see it all starts with God.


should first and foremost be a response that wants to honour and thank God for His kindness and provision. It not only reconnects us with the goodness of God, but it also keeps powerful mindsets of greed and materialism at bay. In addition to this, there are many promises that God makes to us about His desire to bless the generous person (Prov 3:9-10). Giving can be a response to any opportunity around us. It can be structured or spontaneous, a small or large gift. But it should always be a joy and not done under obligation.


is first mentioned in the Old Testament, long before the Israelites were given their laws. After success in battle, Abraham gives a tithe (10%) of the spoil to a somewhat mysterious figure called Melchizedeck (you can read about that in Genesis 14). And in Genesis 28, we see that Jacob commits himself to giving a tithe too.


Under Jewish law, the tithe was primarily used for the support of the Levitical priests, those who served full-time in the service of the temple. The tithe also provided for regular gatherings and feast days that were prescribed under the law. These were great times of celebrating and remembering all that God had done for the Jews. Some say tithing is only part of Old Testament law and therefore can be done away with by the new covenant Jesus inaugurated. However, the principle of tithing is demonstrated long before the law was given and we believe it is of a permanent nature, given as a means of God’s grace and blessing to us.

OUR APPROACH TO TITHING There is no biblical prescription for exactly how tithes should be administered, but we believe our approach is consistent with biblical principles and teaching: We encourage everyone to give the tithe of their income to the local church that feeds them spiritually.

Our Spending...

Here are some examples of how we use our money:


> 5% to Overseas Workers > 1% to Disaster Relief Appeals > 4% to Love Congo (via Imagine If Trust)

Overseas Work




Kids & Youth

Church Services

Student Work

Full annual accounts are available on request or can be downloaded from Percentage spends may be subject to change in future. Date of writing: April 2013

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”



t en 0 m 0 2 CORINTHIANS 9:7 rn £1 p e y ov ver s u G e r e add h t , fo It m s . ... o fr ean etc ities We are very grateful for all of you who give and 5%hat m1,250 char support Frontline’s work here in Liverpool 2 and overseas. We trust that both your A ?* T get £ ll UK R HE e e oa giving and tithing will always be T t T I iple X ona 0 w ce t from a thankful, cheerful and T E 0 c o E faith-filled heart. an u d 1,0 ren rc.g in ts r e £ e o Wur p mi v ei n y ery diff . hm e c Our prayer is that all w f o com Aid re he r ev ve www t o e t who give, whether w x w , fo ssi s at ha art ne Gif ly t t o e a l i much or little, 5 i a r l p t u fre , w s th id b £12 a m deta n o will experience A w t A ets es Full no e? Fro of been uses the favour and o k f k i g a n G h m g, 0% e a ly o prosperity of God o k n 1 e’v al c hes m i c c n s e r h y n o l u on their lives and a id i tit wa at w tern hurc ls. o k th chu and yers y u t A ical g a (th ex , c dua in their families. d tic the fast xpa i o s o i l n f y , D ou n tty Ta Gi bib givi me n) t ritie div e K y d e r o n if giv pr * U Di ou of to inc give cha or i









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Thank You to all of you who have journeyed with us over the years. And thank you to everyone who has contributed photos! Sorry we haven’t been able to include everyone (there are simply too many of you!) but we hope you enjoy this selection of our church family photos anyway...


at Frontline... Missional Communities Our Communities are at the heart of our church family - a place of friendship, belonging, growth, and mission for every man, woman and child.

Church Services Our church services may be in different locations, but they are all places of vibrant worship and quality teaching where every man, woman and child can meet with God.

Church Ministries

Our ministries aim to spiritually build up every man, woman and child, whether that means discipling our youth, teaching our children, running Kidz Klubs in schools or sending missions teams overseas.


Charity Projects Our partner charity, Imagine If Trust, runs a growing number of projects, which all aim to relieve poverty, promote education or strengthen families.




There are hundreds of opportunities to serve at Frontline. You can contribute, no matter what your skills, availability or stage of life.

We are committed to developing new leaders. You can learn to lead volunteer teams, small groups, communities, ministries, church services or projects.


WE’RE ENTERING A NEW SEASON This is what GOD says,    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,     who carves a path through pounding waves: “Forget about what’s happened; Don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,  rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’     — the coyotes and the buzzards — Because I provided water in the desert,     rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose,     the people I made especially for myself,     a people custom-made to praise me. Isaiah 43:14-21, NLT


Frontline Church 0151 733 3373 PO Box 38, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 0HY Registered Charity 1109814 Design by Grace Snow and Lee Kelly

Welcome to Frontline Church!  
Welcome to Frontline Church!  

A magazine to celebrate our 'coming of age' as Frontline Church turns 21. You'll read all about what we're about, where we're going and who...