What is church? Is it a place to be entertained, like a concert or a show – with worship leaders and preachers as the entertainment? But what happens if the preacher has an off day? Or the style of music doesn’t suit someone’s preference? At home, you’d just switch to a different channel. Is that all ‘Church is’?
Pastor Michael reflects on his summer travels and looks ahead to our vision to Love God, Love His People, Love His World.
On Sunday evenings we have commenced a new mini-series entitled 'Loving Well'. It is a series we are trying to keep as practical as possible in helping our community – well, I guess the title says it all – Love Well! As I write this article, I am also in the process of finishing off writing one of my evening talks. The process of preparing has got me thinking:
Joshua was on the brink of the promised land. It was risky, dangerous and difficult. He needed a courageous faith. But his willingness to step out in faith didn’t just spring up overnight. Here are some thoughts about how we can journey together in developing a courageous Faith like Joshua’s:
There is a significant moment just before the beginning of a sprint race. The athletes have done their months, if not years, of preparation. They are dressed to run, warmed up, stretched off. The blocks are set correctly. The race starter issues the command, “On your marks” at which the athletes settle into their blocks.
Kayla Jean Mueller was born on August 14, 1988. She was an American human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona. She was also a Christian. In just a few short years she worked in India with Tibetan refugees, worked with the international solidarity movement in Palestine and helped African refugees in Israel.
Last month we looked at what it means to pray “Your kingdom come” from the book of Nehemiah. Seeing God’s kingdom come is right at the heart of God’s agenda for us as a church. It begins with prayer, but it also moves us to action. So where do we start? Nehemiah prays, but then he moves straight on to asking.
The prayer Jesus taught us to pray says famously, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done”. By our prayers we can be part of God building His Kingdom – seeing God’s people, in God’s place, enjoying God’s blessing and rule.
The beginning of a New Year makes many of us look to the future with hopes and dreams. With Christ we have the most incredible tomorrow which transforms our view of today. I want to share about a change of title of our building fund to reflect our hopes and what we build for today and tomorrow, picking up a theme from Nehemiah. I believe there are some deep truths that God wants to teach us about his kingdom.
It may surprise you that I still wrestle with what it means to be a church.
I’m not sure I ever will stop wrestling. However, recently we’ve discussed our steady growth and how can we have a big front door (to allow people to come in and become part of us) and yet keep a small back door (so people want to stay with us rather than leave).
One thing I am aware of is how easy it is to be in a crowd and feel utterly alone, our church needs to be a place where no-one stands alone.