John & Abi Flavell have been part of Jubillee Church Hull for many years, John being an elder there since 2010. Over the past 2 years God has been speaking to the leadership team at Jubilee about extending their church and planting another one elsewhere. Since then, they have been intentional about following what they felt God was saying and praying into what may happen. Through some memorable and significant prophetic words from members of their church, they felt that they were to go into the east of their city. With around 90,000 residents and few churches, Jubilee started to look at sending a team to go.
John never saw himself Church planting, until God asked him to.
John & Abi had ruled themselves out of the process of leading the church plant as they loved where they were living, the church and the community they were in. “They couldn’t imagine a better church to the one they were apart of.” Despite not yet having much desire to lead the church plant, Abi felt it was right they at least asked God the question if it was them to go. So they took a trip to the other side of town and felt some initial excitement.
“Looking back, God was really speaking to us and doing much foundational work in our hearts.”
After asking God the question if should they go, they received prophetic words in timely and unusual places about going East which they just couldn’t ignore. Putting their feelings aside for the moment, they knew that God was asking their family to lead this Church plant.
“We knew we were going, but we needed a team, money and most importantly, vision.”
If God’s asking us to do something, he surely gives us all we need!
Going from a team of the 2 of them, they now have a team of 33 inc. children joining them as they relocate and plant a Church in East Hull. Between the team going, they have received pay-raises, promotions and gifts which has enabled many of them to be able to move and start this church. Together they are feeling ready and excited to go. God surely came through, just as he promised.
“It’s come as a real cost to Jubilee, however they have been incredibly supportive and generous throughout.”
John and Abi leave Jubilee Church in July 2016, launching River City Church in Sept. Right now they meet in a home with those committed to joining and have begun the venue search. John & Abi have been obedient to God and are following the Holy Spirit’s promptings and have sought God on every matter, even when they knew it would challenge their comfort.
Creative Answer to Prayer
When asking God to help them build connections in their new home, John soon had an exciting opportunity come up. He was approached by Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby team, and asked if he knew anyone that could be their team chaplain. This excited John and after putting himself forward, he accepted the role himself. His very first act of duty, was to lead the prayer at a memorial service, which was being held for one of their players who had sadly just passed away. This was to more than 8000 people, amongst whom were all the local MP’s as well as many fans, hundreds of whom now follow John on Twitter. God’s giving them influence in creative ways!