Friday, 20 March 2015

From the pastor's desk March

 Last week I had two texts with questions sent to me from two different people. One of them helped me to really focus down on to a subject and the other caused me to expand my thinking and open up to a subject.

The first was simply “What creates a great environment in church”. That needs a whole blog by itself, so I will come back to that one at a different time. The second question, which I want to focus on here was, “From a pastor's perspective what are the three most important things that a church attendee could do to help you build the house?”

That got me thinking. There are lots of things that I could have replied with but how do I condense it all to the three most important to me, in our setting and at our stage of growth?

Is it about finance? Is it about serving? Is it about attitude? I tried not to over think my response and so replied within a few minutes. Here is what I wrote to him (not in order of importance)
  1. Keep connected to the right people, especially when it gets tough.
  2. Be a disciple & disciple others.
  3. Have a daily encounter with the three things Jesus left behind-
  • His word,
  • His Spirit,
  • His Body.
There you have it. That’s what I would want you to know.  There are many other actions and behaviours that will flow from these three. For us as a church at our stage of development, this is what I want you to do to help build our church community.

Keep connected to the right people, especially when it gets tough.
Over the years this has been one of the most crucial things that has helped the church, grow, decline or plateau. When we move out of connection with the right people we stop being discipled and pastored. This can happen due to tough life circumstances or due to being hurt or messing up. It's not just staying connected to people, it is staying connected to the RIGHT people. Are they encouraging you to be part of the community that has loved you, fed you and looked after you or are they pulling you in another direction?

“If the people you hang with don’t like your church, give it a month and you won’t either.”

Be a disciple & disciple others.

This is our commission. Jesus told the people he was discipling to go and do what He had done for them. I don’t want a church of attendees, I want a church of disciples.

Have a daily encounter with the only three things Jesus left behind.
We live in grace but we are called to certain disciplines as disciples. Are we getting the word of God into our minds and hearts? It will bring health and growth. Learn to feed yourself on the Word, this is what mature followers of Christ do.

Jesus said He would leave His Holy Spirit to comfort and encourage us. He gave us a language to speak that will build us up. Do we use it daily? The Spirit gives gifts to build the church not for our own little parties.

Jesus said that He would build His church. He is coming back for His church. He loves His church. That is you and me. It is what He uses to refine us. In all her beauty and flaws, she is what Christ loves. Are we meeting together, not just on a Sunday, but as a daily habit? Meeting in formal and informal settings.

If we can continue to get these right, we stay healthy as disciples, we continue to do what Christ has told us to do and we stay connected to Christ. The house will be built.

There is a lot more I could say on all of these three factors but would take far too long.

I hope this has helped.

Pastor Jon Cook