I haven’t seen the last couple of months as the beginning of an online ministry to the world.
The videos that have been produced to substitute for corporate worship are as authentic expression of what we do Sunday by Sunday as we’ve been able to capture.
They have been for those who gather with us week by week, for those who would be with us week by week if they could.
Others outside of our regular church body have expressed much appreciated thanks for their availability.
My colleague and I are thankful they’ve been helpful, but in my mind they’ve been for the church I worship and serve with.
The ministry I have at MGPC sees me travel, but that travel is about the ministry we have as a local church and our responsibility of partnership with other churches. We are a blessed church, and we must share that with which we’ve been blessed. Our blessings are not solely for our own use and comfort.
The world is not my parish. My parish is my parish and together we seek to serve the Gospel cause in our locality and beyond.
The time will come when travel resumes, but that is an expression of our shared witness.
An article that seems to be a respite from some of what I perceive as the exhausting ‘don’t waste your Covid-19 opportunity’ barrage that is being cranked out by various sources.
From Matt Sheffer at Gospel Coalition Australia.
In that sense, the whole world is not my parish—my parish is my parish! It has a location, and a name, with real flesh and blood people. It has a squeaky organ, a postcode and not enough storage space. I have been placed to serve the Lord Jesus in this location and among these people.
Especially in these days of online services, there is a temptation for me to think the whole world is my audience! But no! my primary responsibility in a smaller sphere of relationships with people whom God has given me to love.
My parish is my parish. Its people are the ones God has entrusted to my care. They are those I am to teach, encourage, equip, discipline, shepherd, suffer with and pray for, with the goal of presenting every one of them mature in Christ (Col 1:28).
And, by God’s wisdom and generosity, they are a gift to me for my own growth in godliness and maturity in Christ. Adopting the view that ‘the world is my parish’ tempts me to have unrealistic expectations and ingratitude for the many small but tender mercies in the ordinary mess of church life. It might lead me to arrogance or pride as though I alone were the Lord’s servant.
Seeing ‘my parish as my parish’— belonging to God, purchased with the blood of his Son — helps me to see how precious and valuable my local church is. It’s God’s church! And he brought me into it. I should therefore take it seriously to belong to that church, invest my time in it; pray for it; give myself to it; care about its relationships; stick with it over a period of time. And I should be doing this, not only to build it up, but because it will help me grow in my godliness, repentance and maturity.
Read the whole article here.