We are thrilled to be welcoming special guest Sam Ward to speak to us at TVC Church this coming Sunday! Sam is well known to some of our leadership team, but many of us won’t know him from Adam, so who is Sam Ward?
Sam works for a charity that we are closely connected with – The Message Trust. If you have been around TVC Church for a while, you will often hear us mention ‘The Message’ as we partner with them in many different ventures like the Community Grocery in Ragworth and the recent ‘No More Knives Tour‘. The Message is a UK charity that encourages local Christian mission and evangelism training. In schools, on stages, on streets and in prisons – they have a passion to share the love of Jesus Christ in words and actions with the hardest-to-reach young people and communities.
In his current Role at The Message, Sam is the Director of Ministry…which sounds fancy but it really means that he oversees the different ministry areas that come under ‘The Message’ umbrella. It does mean, however, that Sam regularly pops up to the North East and he is very at home in The Oakwood Centre, as at is where the North East Message team have their office.
One of the projects that we have partnered with the Message in for more than 10 years now is ‘Eden’.
Eden was birthed out of a realisation Christians were often looking to move out of the most difficult communities, yet God needs his kingdom extenders in every community. And so Eden was created to empower Jesus followers to move into disadvantaged communities and do life with our neighbours, sharing the good news of Jesus in word and deed and creating a deep sense of community. Eden teams stretch across the whole of the UK, supporting their partner churches in youth ministry, community projects, gospel outreach and discipleship, all while living within the community.
Sam actually used to be an Eden Team Leader. His passion for reaching the most deprived neighbourhoods then led him to taking on the role of Eden Network director, before he moved on to his current role (which means he is still deeply involved with Eden).
As TVC Church, we currently have 2 Eden teams running in Stockton, one in Ragworth/Primrose Hill (lots of the work happens at The Shack) and one in the Parkfield/Oxbridge area (referred to in the early days as ‘Shaftsbury Street’ as this is where our work in this area began). You can read a little more about them here.
A Personal Connection
So yes, Sam is connected with us through our partnership with the message and he is actually ‘boss’ to a number of our congregation who are employed by The Message, but Sam and our Senior Leader Martin, have actually known each other for over 15 years. When we asked Martin how he knew Sam, he simply replied ‘I have a huge amount of trust and respect for Sam, he is kingdom centred and pursues Jesus and…er…I like him’.
So there you have it!
Sam, we are looking forward to connecting with you on Sunday and can’t wait to hear what God has given you for us!
17 Feb 2023