We caught up with Mike Andrea, the team leader of Glo, to ask him some questions about the story of Glo.
How did the Glo story begin?
When the idea of Glo was conspired, it was in the setting of friends sharing ideas and dreams that were fuelled with sentences such as ‘what if’? or ‘what could it look like? There was a constant sense of wonder that seemed to collide with awe, as God began to birth what we now call Glo.
There was a lot of unseen preparation going on before those moments; people feeling called to the area and literally moving home to be here, new friendships were forged across the area, locally and further afield. Movement amongst young people was growing and a pursuit for more of God in people’s lives, and for the community, was literally boiling over everywhere. It was a crazy time.
Most people feel called to lead a church, or start something pioneering, was that the case for you and Stella?
(It would be good to note that Mike is chuckling at this question)
I would say no – neither of us wanted to lead a church, it was never in our plans but hey, people make plans but God directs the steps.
I had a very personal encounter with the Holy Spirit and in that moment, I sensed God asking us to plant Glo. Of course we are blown away by the outcome of what is happening and the possibilities, but we definitley didn’t have a plan to lead a team that planted a church.
What’s the big dream for a place like Glo?
The dream is always people encountering Jesus through the gospel and that this good news is expressed in all kinds of ways. What does good news look like to someone who is broken or a person who is sick? What does good news look like in a world that is trapped in poverty or a habit that can ruin a life? That every person who calls Glo home is a servant of this, that we are a people that serve and are served in this wonderful good news. The 24-7 strapline is ‘The Vision Is Jesus’ and so it is for us, it always has been Jesus in us, around us and working through us.
Life is made up of different seasons, how would you describe the seasons of Glo?
Presently… it feels like we are coming of age, although I hope we never fully grow up! Church is family and familes laugh, cry, fall out, they cheer each other on and at times hurt each other. Kids leave home, families extend through marriage and friendship, and also pass away.
This is church and it is a constant variable. Of course it is also a place that is equally consistent in being together and living out God’s purpose as a church. Caring, nurturing and growing one another. But the seasons, both good and bad, shape who we are and who God wants us to become.
Do you have any regrets along the way?
I’m not sure I have regrets but from where we started to present times, you miss people who have moved on into different things and obviously some of those are positive and others not so great – but this is how life works. I do wonder what it would like if were all crammed into one room, people of Glo’s past and present.
What does the future look like?
It seems like we are coming of age. What I mean by that is we all have things to grow in etc but when I look around Glo, I see a lot more personal dreams becoming realities, people finding Jesus regularly, a good stewardship of who we are and how we follow after God’s heart. I don’t think those early year conversations of ‘what if’ etc are any less important, if anything, I hear of more and more people asking that question and letting their lives be spent on the things of God’s kingdom being a reality here in Thanet and beyond.
There are plans and ideas for sure, but there always will be and these are always secondary to who we are becoming in Jesus and where he is leading us. I guess the future looks like wherever He is.
What has brought you joy along the way?
Can I say a few? Team – Glo has always been led by a team and this team are my closest friends. It is a real joy to get to do this with a group of crazy friends and in that, share our lives with each other… very, very cool.
Seeing others live out their dreams and follow after God’s heart – we as team get to encourage other people to live fully engaged lives with Jesus.
Transforming our communities – I love to build and being part of serving our community with projects that invest in people’s lives; we have helped develop works in the realms of education, health, counselling, youthwork, late night economy, prevention of trafficking, and that is not including things like Lark In The Park and Community Action Teams. Just amazing Hope being given through amazing volunteers and staff.
My family – we get to do this together and what a great place to grow up as a family, all bundled up in God’s adventure which has enriched all of us so much.
And of course, people encountering Jesus. This is my greatest joy when hearing stories of people starting a new life in Him. These stories never grow tired and to be honest, it is what I live for, one introduction at a time… it literally is the best thing
Any final words ?
We are only just beginning – lets love above the rules, live by faith that reveals heaven on earth and pursue God with a love that never says no to him.
Whatever season we may be in as indivuduals, God has some wonder filled plans waiting for us all, if only we will say yes.