Discovering A Healthy Church

Rev. Dave Middlebrook

10th July, 2016 ()

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:34-40; Matthew 28:16-20 |


"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers ....." 1 Thessalonians 1:2. I thank God for the many faithful, loving, passionate people at St. Luke's who labour in love, proclaiming faith in this place. In the words of Paul we need a be a more thankful church, thanking one another and praying for one another. St. Luke's is a good place. But the society we are part of is changing, church is a body - an organism - and therefore changing, and we need to ensure we respond to these changes in God's way. Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonian church to encourage them, but also to help them as they struggled to know what it meant to be church in a hostile environment.  Verses 4-10 speak to us as well, as chosen people with a gospel of power. Church needs some basic ingredients to be 'church'. Jesus gives us clear idea what church should be about in Matthew 22: God first, then other people, and then us. Jesus clearly shows that while worship, Bible study, pastoral care, social events, and more are important and vital, the reason we do them is in the Great Commission (Matthew 28). In the Message version it says: "God authorised  and commanded me (Jesus) to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life ......". Our purpose as church is to help everyone we know and meet to discover Jesus. As we continue discerning what God has for us next at St. Luke's, following on from our Discovery Day, let us not lose sight of that primary purpose for all that we do.

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