What is Community?: Jenny Priestley

Jun 4, 2012

WHAT’S the craziest thing you’ve ever done for Jesus?

A group of us from London and some from Northampton used to go to a nightclub called “Heaven” which was anything but heaven! We went on Thursday nights and washed people’s feet; it was a bit of a New Age scene at that club back in the 90s.

We explained to people that we were doing it because Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and he is our role model for humility, love and service. People were hot and sweaty after dancing all night, so having their feet washed was refreshing. We ended up praying with many clubbers and some found faith in Jesus. Two have gone on to become leaders in other churches. That was pretty crazy!

Recently my friend and I decided that we wanted an evangelism adventure, so we went to Soho, one of the seediest parts of London, just the two of us, and ended up talking to people and praying with them. One woman we prayed for had a very powerful experience of the Holy Spirit. That was really good.

You live in Christian community. Why?

I had a strong sense of calling back in the early 90s. It makes sense and it’s how the early church lived. I love living with my friends and building strong relationships by going through good and bad times together. It shows me God’s love when people stick by me, no matter what I’m going through.

I love the fact that we have an open house – I can’t tell you how many different people have visited over the years. Not all of them end up staying, but nobody goes without being changed in some way by God.

What made you decide to make a vow of singleness?

When I was younger, I said to God, “Just take my life and use me in any way that you want to” and I remember saying “If you can use me better as a single person then I don’t mind”. Then later on, when I came to London and met the Jesus Fellowship, I met people who had made a commitment to singleness. I admired their generous love and their closeness to God; when I talked to them I felt an excitement inside. So I asked God if this was something He’d put inside my heart and had a growing sense that it was, which turned into absolute certainty.

What dreams do you have for the future?

We meet a lot of young people when we’re out on the streets and I long to see them get to know God. There are a lot of distractions around them, but I believe they will find truth, love and also adventure and excitement in God’s church.

I would love to see us move in more confidence in God’s gifts, for example, bringing healing to sick people. We’ve seen it happening a bit, but I’ve got a dream that it will be something that happens through the church every day, not just on rare occasions.