WHO WE ARE
Three Rivers Church is a diverse and growing family of people who gather together from across Bedford. We love to praise, worship and learn about Jesus, because we have experienced God’s amazing love and grace. We get excited about sharing Him with others, so, whether you live locally or are just visiting, you would be welcome to join us in learning about the difference Jesus makes to everything.
We believe that God still speaks today through his word, the Bible, and that he demonstrates his unfailing love by giving gifts of his Holy Spirit to his people. The Bible explains how we are to use the Holy Spirit’s gifts to steward God’s varied grace to one another (1 Peter 4:7-11). As such, we come together each Sunday to hear the word of God faithfully preached and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to Bless and encourage one another as part of a culture of grace.
If you would like to join us, our service begins at 10am.
You can find us at 88 Denmark Street, Bedford, MK40 3TJ
WHY THE NAME
Where we are today has been God led and directed. The decision to change the name of Russell Park Baptist Church to Three Rivers Church in 2015 was the result of two events which the leadership and staff team increasingly felt were part of God’s prophetic call to the church.
Early in 2014 at the Hope Churches Celebration, Gavin Calver spoke prophetically to all the churches present- that they should be moving forwards in Compassion, Righteousness and Courage.
Then, at the Incarnation Celebration, Sam Wiley, also a visitor, gave a prophetic word to the fellowship. She said that she saw three rivers flowing out of Russell Park Baptist Church into the community. She spoke about how church members would firstly need to be immersed themselves in the rivers before, and then taking the blessings and gifts out into the world. She added that she wasn’t sure what these rivers were.
Increasingly both the leadership and the Church felt these two events should be taken together and the name Three Rivers Church based on the three values of Compassion, Righteousness and Courage was received as a prophetic direction from God.
RIVER 1- COMPASSION
Compassion is one of the three core values at he heart of Three Rivers Church.
‘We love because he first loved us.’- (1 John 4:19)
We have been loved by the ‘Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort.’- (2 Corinthians 1:3). As those who have first known the lavish and undeserved love of God in Jesus Christ, our hope is that we too might be those who show this same kind of compassion to others in what we say and do.
What is compassion? What makes compassion a distinctive form of love? We take Jesus as our model of compassion lived out, we see this in Matthew 14:14 which records that ‘When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.’
In this we see that compassion is love that is stirred into action. Compassion is an empathy which tries to find ways to get alongside those in need and offer practical help. Compassion is love which is shown indiscriminately without regard for who that person is or what their history might be.
We are a church which values compassion. We want to be a church which does what Jesus did, which is shown in his character and actions. Our prayer is that anyone who encounters us will be left feeling like they have encountered the compassion of Jesus himself.
RIVER 2- RIGHTEOUSNESS
Righteousness is the second of the three core values at the heart of Three Rivers Church.
This means we value a godly, just and moral way of living as we follow the teachings of Jesus. This impacts both our life choices and also gives rise to our heart and concern for social justice.
This concern for righteousness comes firstly from the character of God himself. The Bible records in Psalm 146:7-9 that ‘He upholds the cause of the oppresses and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigners and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the way of the wicked.’
As a church this means we take seriously the call of God to follow his example and be holy as he is holy. It also means we will live in such a way that we are the voice, hands and feet of God for those in need as we aim to see his rule and reign of justice, righteousness and mercy make a difference in the world.
This also means we keep central one of the most beautiful truths in Christianity- that Jesus is our righteousness. As the Bible teaches… ‘And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.’ (Romans 3:22).
With humility we do not think of ourselves as better than anyone else, central to Christian faith is the understanding that true righteousness is impossible for us to attain if it weren’t for the free gift given to us by Jesus. On the cross Jesus exchanged our sin for his perfect sinless righteous life. As a church we want to be confident in our new identity as those who are viewed as righteous by God whilst recognizing we are still growing into all that God has made us to be.
RIVER 3- COURAGE
The third of the core values at the heart of Three Rivers Church is courage.
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9)
As a church we want to be courageous in living for Jesus. We have been blessed by God in order to be a blessing to our community and that means living with courage to do the right thing.
We recognise that this courage comes from trusting the promises of Jesus that he will be with us and that He has given us the power of His Holy Spirit to do everything he has called us to do.
As a church we want to encourage one another to courageously put into practice what we believe. This means honouring those who step out in faith irrespective of success or failure. It is only in a culture of grace and honour that courage can thrive.
As a result, we recognise we need to be dependent on God’s provision and empowering by the Holy Spirit. This means we are unashamed of asking for the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is something we pray for regularly just as it says in Acts 4:31- ‘After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.’