Message from our MinisterMarch 24, 2017
Over the last year, I’ve been able to work through Path of Renewal and take advantage of additional resources and support. I meet regularly with other groups of ministers who are also part of Path of Renewal and we have many chances to share and to talk through where church is and what we feel God is looking for us to do.
I’ve begun focusing on 3 main areas:
- Making disciples
- Engaging community
- Being a Christian centre
Remember that in September last year we had John Chalmers, the Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland, at a Fellowship Dinner and he spoke of a number of things which I’ve referred to before, but particularly he said
- The stuff we are meant to do in building people up cannot be measured in numbers
- People are not looking to join an institution
- Sunday 11am structure crumbling
- We need to reinvent ourselves and not be obsessed and defined by the number of card-carrying members
This means that as we develop and follow God, and our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ through the work of His Holy Spirit, we can explore what discipleship is all about as opposed to membership. Discipleship brings with it a desire to “do” and Scripture tells us that there are things Jesus expects – not because we have to but in our discipleship, we grow to want to respond. These things are:
- feeding the hungry,
- giving water to the thirsty,
- visiting the prisoners and
- clothing the naked.
As we move from “being” disciples to “doing” or serving, we then build the Christian centre which includes but does not consist solely of worship on a Sunday morning.
At a conference I was at in January there was some talk around the dangers of the phrase: “IT’LLSEEMEOUT”. It speaks of an attitude which actually means that we’ve given up because church will be here long enough to “see me out”. It hides a whole host of things from “I’ve done my bit” to “someone else will do it”. All these things just mean that we’re are not following our calling from God and that we’re buying into church as a club: a place we go to meet other folks (members) and do the traditions we’ve made up over the years because we’re comfortable with that.
We have a calling to share the Good News to the next generation but we seriously need to look at what we are passing on. The reality is that church, as we know it now, will see us out unless we’re serious about looking to the future of the church and what we leave behind.
Folks, this may seem harsh but God has provided us with the means to go forward: to engage with the community, make disciples and be a Christian centre. It needs all of us to lean that way and not just some of us or indeed just me.
We’re at the start of a new year and we have the opportunity now to go forward together to be God’s people in this place.
With every blessing