September 2012

September 5, 2012

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

In 1857 a small group of people covenanted together to form Rubery Congregational Church. 155 years later, now called the Beacon Church Centre, we are still in Rubery proclaiming the word of God and offering friendship and support. Over the years ways of being church have changed and we have moved buildings, altered and extended our buildings, always in response to the call of God. We have also dropped some activities and started new ones, again, always in response to the call of God.

At the start of our 156th year it might be good to have a check up and see how we are. To do this we need to look at our five areas, namely fellowship, worship, service and mission, discipleship and outreach & evangelism. I encourage each of us to rate our health in each of these areas on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being needs much improvement to 5 being needs little improvement. Having done this we should each write down under the five areas what can be done to improve performance and what we, personally, can do to improve performance in that area. If we all do this honestly it will be of immense benefit to the church and provide topics for discussion at church life meetings.

Maybe then we can go one step further and set measurable targets for our development. Like all organisations the church can not stand still it has to change and develop. The alternative is to stay in a time warp and die. The world changes and so must we. The message of God the Creator, Jesus our Saviour and Holy Spirit our Guide stays the same but the way of presenting that message changes.

We need to embrace and use modern technology to present our message because that is what the world uses. Digital television, ipad’s and ipods, computers, and much more are there for us to use in order for us to have meaningful encounters with those not yet part of the church. The times and places we meet, the style of our meetings and worship, our music, our language and so on may need to change to enable us to relate to people outside the church. Standing still is not an option, the world is moving and so must we.

People leave or shun the church for a number of reasons. For some it is because they can not reconcile their chosen lifestyle with Christianity, we can not do anything about that one. For others it is that they have lost the love they once had for God, others may have fallen out with other Christians, still others may have found the church increasingly irrelevant and out of touch with society and others may have found the church more like a museum than the living body of Christ. For all these we bear some responsibility and can do something about it.

As we go forward into another church year we need to spend time with God, asking him what his priorities for us are, how he wants us to be Church and how he wants each of us to live as Christians