When Huddersfield University's Christian Union moved from having a “mission” week to having an “events” week it was a game-changer. In that moment everyone got it. Mission is more than meetings. Mission is not something you roll out for a week and then pack up again.
There is a classic story of a man sailing on a transatlantic ocean liner. When he went on board, he found he was sharing his cabin with another passenger. After seeing his accommodation, he went to the ship’s purser and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe for security.
When someone becomes a Christian – putting their faith and trust in Jesus – the Bible says they are considered 'righteous' (Philippians 3:9; Romans 4:22; Romans 8:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21). What that means is that when God looks at us He doesn’t treat us with the judgement our sins deserves, but with the blessings that Christ deserves. Not only does Jesus take away our 'wrongness' but we get his 'rightness'. To say it’s a generous exchange is a huge understatement! It changes everything.
When you go to a library there are many sections to choose from: 'Children’s stories', 'Fiction', 'Biography', 'Factual', 'History' and many more. How you read a book depends on what section you found the book in. If it was in the ‘History’ section you would read it as reliable and factual, if it was in the ‘fiction’ section you would enjoy it for what it is – a good story, and if it was in the ‘Children’s’ section you would likely think “that’s just for kids”.
But who decides in what section a book belongs?
Just imagine what would happen to you when tragedy hits? When disaster strikes? What will your reaction be? Perhaps your initial thoughts and feelings could be very devastating, a sense of hopelessness.
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.