It was great to commission and pray for various leaders and the whole congregation at NightChurch last night! At the close of the service, we encouraged everyone this week to consider how we all might be able to serve God and people this year. Sometimes it can be hard to know how we can best help, or how God has gifted us to serve. The Bible is clear that God calls people and gifts people to serve Him. We don’t need to stress about this, but it is helpful to spend some time praying and considering how you might be fruitful in God’s work in the world and in the church. Spiritual gift surveys are not the whole picture, but can be helpful if combined with personal prayer and counsel of other Christians you trust. Here’s a few places to start:
Can we encourage you to take the online survey this week? If you’re able, print out or record your results and spend some time over the week thinking and praying about where God has gifted you and is calling you to serve. Feel free to have a chat with a friend/pastor about it too! Then this coming Sunday at NightChurch you’ll have an opportunity to commit to serving God this year. Perhaps you’ll want to use how God has gifted you to serve others! Perhaps you’ll want to grow in an area of leading and service. Come along to NightChurch ready this week!
At the November 2015 Church Gathering, the Church supported a proposal to employ a Family Ministry Worker (FMW) for 1 day a week. The role involves working to deliver new missional activities for local families, and to support the Ministry Team in coordinating families’ and children’s programs within existing congregations.
A formal role description is available here. Is the FMW role one that would interest you? Would someone within your network be a good fit? Do you have any feedback for the Family Ministry Team to consider? We’d love your input and insight into this process by: making an expression of interest personally; helping to discern the person that God has set aside for this role; or in offering your thoughts to refine the scope and focus the search.
We are calling for expressions of interest from now until the end of February. Expressions of interest and feedback can be directed to the Family Ministry Team through the church office. Phone: 9853 3292. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
In term 4 we would like to do a church wide series called Fruitfulness on the Frontlines, that is very practically aimed and focussed on integrating our faith to our Frontline. Your Frontline is the place(s) where you spend significant time through the week in contact with non-Christian’s. The material is excellent produced by London Institute of Contemporary Christianity. It coincides with our Term 4 theme which is Reach Out: regain a heart and passion for mission, local and global,
Here’s a few things to note:
We have printed individual discussion guides for everyone which are available from this Sunday in the foyer. (pdf copy here)
We have 6 copies of the DVD curriculum for SG’s
There are 8 SG sessions, the first one starting after Sunday 4 Oct. (flyer attached)
From Sunday 11 Oct, the themes will be explored on the Sunday and SG’s are then to follow up that theme during the week together.
As some of you may know, over the past few years the Lord has been developing in me an interest in seeing the Gospel spread among unreached peoples of the world. I would almost go so far as to say that it is now a passion of my heart! To the point where I cannot think of anything more worth doing with my life than seeing Jesus introduced to people around the world who have never heard of him. Wow! Where did that come from?
In a few months (end of June) I will be heading to Chad for 18months, to join a team who are working with the Arabs in that area, loving, serving, getting to know them, and being and sharing Jesus with them. I hope to return there more permanently after this initial 18months.
The gospel really is good news when its translated into someone’s mother tongue, so because of this, I will be focusing a lot on learning the local Arabic dialect! I will be undergoing some study to help learn more about the culture which is very important. (We should never assume to know what is best for someone else especially if we don’t understand them.) I will also be getting involved in helping the community through teaching English and improving peoples employment skills.
If you’d like to find out more about what God’s calling me to in Chad, if you’d like to receive regular updates on what is happening, or if you’d like to help me out financially, enabling me to go, please get in contact with me.
At the Global Mission Team meeting in March, agreement was reached to raise funds for Mat during May, aiming for $5,000, and to use this as a catalyst for ongoing support. We encourage you to give towards this by marking gifts to “Chad Mission”. We also encourage individuals to prayerfully consider pledging ongoing financial support for Mat’s 18 month term.
The church is irrelevant. It’s clearly corrupt. The church offers nothing of value to the world. These are fairly common sentiments. But have you ever heard anything positive about the church in the media? Can it be that bad? What do you actually know about the church? Actually, what’s the point of the church- or, what is it?
There’s a number of things the church, through its people, has offered the world:
Aid and Charity. For thousands of years churches have started, funded and run orphanages, homes for the sick and dying, food kitchens and many other forms of aid and charity for the poor and needy. Think of organisations such as St Vincent de Paul’s, Salvation Army, Brotherhood of St Laurence, World Vision. In fact, 4 of the top 5 Australian Charities are Christian organisations- and the 5th biggest, The Red Cross, was founded by a devoted Christian named Jean Henri Dunant. And what about the abolition of slavery which Christians fought tooth and nail to eradicate under the leadership of William Wilberforce?
The Gregorian Calendar– used worldwide, was developed by Catholic astronomers.
Scientific Advancement. The towering figures of modern science, Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Gregor Mendell, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, James Clerk-Maxwell were all theists and most Christian.
Social Activists and Reformers. Devout Christians such as William Wilberforce, Desmond Tutu, St Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther King, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oscar Romero and Mother Teresa have literally changed the world for the better for millions of people.
Theology and Philosophy. The intellectual history and tradition of the church is one of flourishing and advancement. Leading thinkers such as Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Luther, Ignatius, Barth, and Kierkegaard, have shaped the intellectual landscape of the Western world.
Law and Jurisprudence. “Legal principles such as “good faith”, reciprocity of rights, equality before the law, international law, trial by jury, habeas corpus and the obligation to prove an offence beyond a reasonable doubt are all fruits of Catholic civilisation and jurisprudence.”
Education and the University System. Many of the major Universities of Europe, includingOxford and Cambridge, for instance, were founded my monks.
Art and Architecture.Think Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bernini; and in architecture think Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, High Renaissance.
Language and Literature. Latin, central to the church’s writings, is the most widely used alphabet system in the world. And think of the contribution to literature by Tyndale, Dante, John Bunyan, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Dostoevsky, John Milton, Solzhenitsyn and Flannery O ‘Conner.
Music. a monk named Guido invented musical/staff notation. Imagine music developing without this? The hymn, oratorio, opera were nurtured within the church and artists such as Haydn, Bach, Handel were devout Christians.
But in fact, all of this pales into insignificance when compared to the greatest thing the church has given the world: Jesus. Actually, it was Jesus who gave the church to the world so that his life, truth, love and ministry could go on.
Over the next several weeks at NightChurch we will seek to answer the question as to what is the point of the church with a focus on:
The Message of Jesus
The Mission of Jesus
A New Community
Source for some material: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2011/05/06/what-the-church-has-given-the-world/