August 2012

August 9, 2012

Minister’s Letter

Dear Friends

We have begun our series looking at the five functions of a church. To remind you these are Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Mission & Service and Outreach & Evangelism. Only when these all combine together is a church fit for purpose, in this case serving God. When one is missing the church is dysfunctional. So let’s look at these in turn.

Worship is vital. We talk about going to worship but that is missing the point. True worship is lives that reflect the glory of God to the world. Our whole life should be worship to God, a life that follows God’s commandments and lives in total surrender and obedience to Him. Having said that, there is a particular place for three special forms of worship in the life of a Christian. Firstly there is our own private prayer life, the times we spend alone with God. These should be an important of our life. Secondly there is the corporate prayer life of a church when members meet together in small groups or a large group to pray for the church and the world. Thirdly there is public worship, for us this is on Sunday morning and evening as well as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We meet primarily to praise God. Our worship should be inspirational and leave us wanting more. It requires good input from worship leader, organist and congregation combining together to give glory to God.

Discipleship is a grand name for our own personal walk with God. When we become Christians and when we join the church these are just starting blocks not the winning tape. The aim and desire of every Christian is to become more like Jesus, to grow closer to God and to live the power of God’s Spirit. This is something we learn as members of the church. Our thought processes, our guiding principles, our lifestyle choices all change as we walk with God. We stop thinking and acting like the world and we start thinking and acting like God. We stop sinning and become obedient to God’s commandments in morality, ethics and the way we treat other people.

Fellowship is our interaction with fellow church members. It is our pastoral care of one another, the way we speak to one another, the things we do for another. We have to be tolerant of one another, pray for one another, understand one another, stand up for one another. We are a mutual support, or aid, society always looking out for each other.

Mission and service is the things we do for other people. It covers our response to needs in the local community and across the world. It is about the way we use our church premises for the community and the way we use our personal resources for the benefit of others.

Outreach and evangelism is how to live out Jesus’ commands to tell others about him and teach them to obey everything he has commanded us to do. This is what marks out a church as being different to any other organisation. We have a God given command to convert others to our way of life. This may sound politically incorrect but it is God’s instruction to us and we must do it to be true to our calling as Christians.