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Developing leadership and championing prayer
Pastor Sarah Whittleston moved to Kingstanding ten years ago in order to join the leadership team at Kingstanding Elim Church. Prior to her arrival in North Birmingham, Sarah had trained at Regent’s Bible College at Nantwich, Cheshire. Ten years on, she leads what is now ‘Elim Life Church North Birmingham,’ a church with Community Hubs in Pheasey, Kingstanding and Wyrley Birch, as well as its main centre in Kingstanding. Before lockdown, a total of around 300 people were gathering each Sunday in Elim Life Church North Birmingham’s services.
The church’s vision is ‘to transform its communities with the love and life of God.’ It seeks to accomplish this through a three-fold strategy of ‘Reach’ (bridge-building and evangelism), ‘Raise’ (discipleship and character-building) and ‘Release’ (equipping for ministry and mission). The congregations are diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-generational. Elim Life Church belongs to the Elim Pentecostal movement, which celebrated its centenary in 2015. There are currently 15 Elim congregations in Birmingham/Solihull.
As well as leading Elim Life Church North Birmingham, Sarah became leader of the national Elim Prayer team in September 2018, having been a team member for a few years prior to that. As Elim Prayer leader, Sarah spends one day per week and one Sunday per month championing prayer among Elim Pentecostal churches around the UK. She passionately believes that prayer is essential to Christian life, service and outreach. Sarah’s Elim Prayer strategy is to ‘Encourage’ (sharing stories of answered prayer), ‘Enable’ (facilitating prayer for – and at – festivals and conferences) and ‘Equip’ (through training and consultancy).