Each year, CCK offers a small group of people the opportunity to serve the church for a year whilst getting invaluable theological training from Andrew Wilson and other teachers. You might see them running around stacking chairs on a Sunday, but the FP Impact year is about so much more than that. Here, Max White, Vicky Myers, Gareth O'Sullivan and Katie Leversuch share what this year has meant for them.
What have been the most exciting things about your Impact year?
Katie: The training. It’s been great to meet regularly with others doing the Impact year around Sussex and forming friendships with them. The Centre Parcs trip for Impacters from around the country was particularly amazing, God dealt with things that we didn’t even realise we needed to deal with and the teaching we got was incredible. We built up our knowledge of the Bible and saw really great things like Deli’s feet being healed (Deli is the fifth impacter but unfortunately she couldn't make this interview).
Wow, what happened there?
Katie: She had stress fractures from walking on the wrong part of her foot so we prayed for her. I think we prayed five or six times before we saw a healing but we just kept praying until suddenly she just stood up - the pain had gone she could walk! It was really amazing to us that God used us, just a group of Impacters.
Vicky: The teaching has been amazing too. Andrew Wilson has done the majority of our sessions but we’ve had some great guest speakers like Stef Liston on prayer, Si brading on worship, Andy Johnston, Simon Polley and Wendy Mann.
Max: My best moment was our mission trip to Bulgaria. It was amazing to go away and have a week of seeking God continuously - we were always in some sort of prayer meeting! We did a lot of outreach on the streets and saw a lot of people come to Christ and many healed. We had to step out of our comfort zone and I really had my perspective challenged on the luxuries we take for granted. It was a very surreal experience preaching the gospel in the gypsy communities and giving our testimonies to a Bulgarian church.
And what has been challenging about the year?
Vicky: It’s exhausting!
Katie: Having to work every weekend has been hard. You have to serve when you really don’t feel like it, when something’s gone wrong and you’re irritated or tired and you just need to sleep!
Vicky: And it’s been a challenge to deal with all of the spiritual stuff on top of the serving - God is constantly working on you and healing you of different things and you’re dealing with spiritual attack at times.
Gareth: Your attitude to serving really gets challenged. It’s a year where your character gets shaped so much and you learn that actually, you’re not that amazing a person! But God’s still willing to work with you and use you.
Would you say you’ve changed since you started?
Max: Yes, in every way, really. I’m learning to rely on God’s faithfulness and have become a lot more caring and compassionate. My prayer life has changed too – it has to when you’re in so many prayer meetings a week. The first week here I thought, man, I’ve never prayed so much and I ran out of things to say! But it’s about learning to be in the presence of God continuously.
Vicky: For me it’s about knowing my identity in Christ and getting that foundation there. I’m a whole new person now and I’m a lot more confident.
What would you say to people who are considering impact?
Everyone: Do it!
Gareth: It’s going to be completely different from what you expect, but don’t give up, it’s so worth it. It will challenge you in ways that you never thought possible; it will change your life.
Katie: For the better, I must add! I would say, don’t be put off by how you see us on a Sunday, it’s the end of the week and we’ve got a lot to do so we might seem tired and grumpy, but Impact really has transformed us.
Max: It will deepen your relationship with God. Why wouldn’t you want to give up a year and serve God!? I think people just see the serving side of it, they see you after a prayer meeting collecting pens and they think Impact is all about running around and being a slave for a year. They don’t see the input mid-week and the things that are going on within your heart.
Are there any funny moments you can tell me about?
Vicky: Max. He’s a constant funny moment.
Max: Oh, thanks..! There was that time we decided to start a conga line. We were soaking in the presence of God and Gareth was so taken that he decided to start a conga line around the whole office building. But nobody joined in, it was so awkward!