Dear HCC Family and Friends,
We spent a lot of time last year teaching on subjects that Establish Biblical Foundations (Doctrines) in our lives. Toward the end of the year we touched on Equipping how to Minister, because unless we know how to apply these Biblical Doctrines we will only have head-knowledge.
It doesn’t take much faith to acquire information about prayer; it takes faith to pray. It doesn’t take faith to acquire information about how to share the Gospel; it takes faith to share the Gospel. It doesn’t take faith to acquire information about the attributes of who God is and who the Holy Spirit is, but faith to live in a daily relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All that is needed to acquire information is to pay attention and take notes. But stepping out and putting these into practice is a whole different story. And that takes faith!
Discipleship is not only about learning and accruing information, it’s about walking into a new lifestyle as you pass-on what you have experienced to someone else. This passing-it-on to someone can happen in the building (church) where we gather on Sunday, but it should also happens in our homes. This is the pattern seen in the book of Acts. “They met in temples and also met house to house”. They had fellowship, broke bread, prayed and paid attention to the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42).
Are you open to the idea that sometimes this may even happen on a given Sunday morning in your house. (For a pastor to say that takes a lot of courage! I am not encouraging absence from our Sunday gathering. And I’m certainly not advocating willy-nilly independent behaviour. These decisions should be passed-by the leaders of the church that you trust) But, for example, I have some friends who get blocked in on Comrades Day. So, they get a bunch of their friends around and turn it into a festivity and reach out to their neighbours to join them.
In a very similar way, if we are going to take disciple-making seriously and fulfil the Great commission, personal sacrifice in the area of our time and space is inevitable.
Our lives are hectically busy! And as I get older I realise things don’t slow down! Over and above the time we have to give to earn a living, we need to commit time to our friends, families, grandchildren.
In addition to this, if we are going to be intentionally about ‘parenting’ spiritual children (i.e., making disciples), then prioritising our time to this value is essential.
The Bible calls all believers priests.
This coming year we want to empower the priesthood, to be a church community who reach out to the lost God brings across our paths, share the Good News with them and bring them into our communities where they will be encouraged to do the same with their friends.
If your Christianity is only about going to a meeting, listening to a sermon and then carrying on life with no thought given to those outside of Christ, then we you most probably going to get frustrated this year.
But I am appealing to you, don’t get frustrated! Make an adjustment and say to yourself: “This is what Christianity is all about! This is why Jesus saved me in the first place!”.
This is not some new fandangle idea the elders came up with– No! This mandate come from the very Top, from Jesus Christ Himself!
Also, lest we be misunderstood… we are not moving away from regular and unapologetically preaching the Message of the Grace of God. Jesus is Grace! Grace is the Gospel! Our primary purpose is not going out and discipling people into our church culture…. BUT TO THE GRACE OF JESUS! Our primary purpose is not going out and discipling people into how we do church…. BUT TO THE GRACE OF JESUS! Our primary purpose is not going out and discipling people into how we do be a Deacon” and how to be an Elder… BUT TO THE GRACE OF JESUS!.
Our mandate is to share the Gospel (Grace) with a lost world. This is what Discipleship is all about. And this is where our aim will continue to be in 2019!
So, be open for the changes He has in store for us! And for you!
And PLEASE, can I ask you to continue praying for the leadership and for our church.
Much love and blessings,
Steve and Janet