Our history is important; where we have come from, but so too is our destiny.
Those of us who have been a part of the church for a number of years are keen to honour where we have come from.
In the mid 1990’s, Oasis Church was planted and those involved lived with a prophetically led conviction, based on these words of Jesus found in Luke 4:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.”
The aim was always for Oasis to be a thriving church family, who love well, influence and resource others according to the gifts they carry; locally, nationally and internationally; individuals, churches and nations. Like most journeys in life, there have been some wonderful times and challenges too but we are so grateful for all that we have experienced; for personal salvations, physical and emotional healing, answered prayer, circumstantial breakthroughs, discipleship and spiritual growth, for friendships formed, ministries started, churches planted and lives lived, shared and invested for God’s glory and purposes.
It was probably five years ago (circa 2018) that God started speaking to us about a new name. There are several times in the Bible where God gives new names to people and even places—names which reflect something of His purpose and His nature and each time they come with a fresh assignment or purpose. The apostolic nature of God’s people is to be ‘sent out’. Oasis Church was never meant to remain ‘an Oasis’, it was always supposed to experience the water level rising and the banks bursting and the water flowing out, much like the prophetic picture found in Ezekiel 47, becoming a mighty river, flowing across the land.
Rivers are amazing things, a home to living creatures, places of refreshment, and nourishment, and healing and growth. Throughout human history, people have gathered around rivers, making use of both life giving fresh water but also as a transport network to move people and resources. They can be places for leisure, fun and excitement and yet also places of restoration and reflection.
We believe that our church, The River, has been commissioned to have all these same hallmarks. To carry the love, power and transforming presence of Jesus to anyone who is thirsty.
…so where the river flows everything will live."