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Church Budget Meeting On Sunday

We’re having our annual budget approval meeting on Sunday at MGPC.
It reminded me of this.


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What A Local Church Really Needs (via Premier Christianity)

Churches can have all sorts of assumptions about what the people who visit or regularly attend them want, and then tailor themselves to meet that felt need. And then share the Gospel. Sort of a Jesus ‘bait and switch.’
This post doesn’t take issue with excellence, but makes a heartfelt observation about what is important.
From Kimberli Lira at Premier Christianity.

When I walk into church I am not paying attention to the décor. I don’t want to smell freshly brewed coffee in the lobby. I don’t want to see a trendy pastor on the platform. I don’t care about the graphics or the props on the platform. I am hurting in a way that is almost indescribable.
Since my husband died, my days are spent working full time. My nights are spent homeschooling and taking care of two young children. I don’t have shared duties with a spouse anymore so everything is on my plate. When I go to church I desperately want to hear the Word of God.
There are days when the tears won’t stop and a trendsetting church is not what I need.
This is not a criticism of churches that have coffee bars, nice lighting and catchy sermon titles. But, in everything that is done, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the centre. It is also a reminder that there are hurting people sitting in your congregation.
There are people whose marriages are crumbling, people whose finances are deteriorating, people whose children are rebelling and people like me, whose husband has passed away after a brutal fight with cancer. And these people are not impressed with the stage lighting. They could care less about the coffee flavour. They don’t need to be pumped or hyped. They need Jesus.
My social media feeds are full of churches boasting about the trendy new initiatives they have begun. Their coffee bars and lighting don’t appeal to me.
I want to see how Jesus has changed a person’s life. I want to see the power of prayer. I want to see how the Word of God can be applied to life. I want to see how Jesus can help the hurting. I want to see how Jesus can heal the sick. I want to see how a broken heart is restored. I want to see how mourners are comforted. I want to see how lives are restored.

Read the whole post here.


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Going Back Where The Church Belongs (via J.A. Medders)

A post in which J.A. Medders points out that any sentimental, nostalgic appeal to become more like the early church is not the solution to the church’s current problems and challenges.
After all, much of the New Testament was written to address the needs of the church, not because of its strengths.

So, tell me again, which early church you want to go back to? Immorality, persecution, division, theological confusion, legalism, and attacking the apostle Paul is what’s on the menu.

The answer to our present need is the same answer that was provided to the early church for their problems and challenges:

We don’t need to go back to the early church—we are already like them. But we do need to go back somewhere.
The only perfect church, filled with non-problematic people is in Heaven. Be faithful in the present without wishing for the past.
We must always go back to the teachings of the early church, the New Testament, but the church itself was a mess. Much like today. We are a mess, too, so we go back to the teachings that went to our messy brothers and sisters. We learn from them and the teachings—not to be like them, but to be faithful to our risen Lord.
We go back to the apostolic teaching. We go back to the Bible. We go back to Christ. A church that does that is who we should want to be.

Source.


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Christian Hospitality Is A Reflection Of The Gospel (Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective)

All Christians are part of the household of God.
All Christians were once welcomed to that household by God’s grace.
All Christians have a role in welcoming visitors to that household as an expression of the grace we’ve received.

From Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective.

To be hospitable is to welcome a person with open arms, with an open heart, and with an open door; it is an openness to care for and love others, putting their needs before our own to ensure, at the very least, that they feel welcome in our midst. Fulfilling the Bible’s command to be hospitable in the local church is a responsibility of every Christian.
The motivation for Christians to be hospitable is to remember that we are the recipients of God’s hospitality. We were once strangers, wanderers, orphans, and aliens, but by the grace of God, we were made alive together with Christ. Thus, Christian hospitality is a reflection of the gospel. The ultimate hospitality was Jesus Christ dying for sinners to make all who believe, not only visitors, but members of His household.

Read the whole post here.


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Why Evangelicals Should Care More About Ecclesiology (via Tish Harrison Warren at Mere Orthodoxy)

Modern evangelicals are often a reflection of the individualism and cynicism of the present age in their attitudes to institutions or denominations.
As celebrity leader models collapse, and as expectations of accountability as protection against abuse grow, the benefit and necessity of denominations and institutional linkages is becoming more apparent.
These structures don’t exist for their own sake though, and if they do they become their own snare.
From Tish Harrison Warren:

If individuals and societies are to flourish, we need healthy institutions. But institutionalism, an idolatry of institutions, where the preservation of an institution is it’s only end, is, in no uncertain terms, evil. Though Christian leaders need to be (overtly) institutionally embedded and accountable, we cannot embrace a kind of institutionalism that overlooks justice, accountability, and the weak in order to gain ecclesial power.
We must seek just and good institutions and systems of accountability, yet there is no ecclesiology, there is no church structure, that will save us from sin. In the words of Artur Rosman, “there are no silver bullets against the werewolves of faithlessness.” Any institution or system we form, no matter how wise, will be sin-soaked. We do not simply need better institutions; we need atonement.
Yet, because ecclesiology won’t rescue us from bad things happening does not mean that wise structures of accountability are not important for a just and faithful church.

Read the whole post here.


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Sunday Night In Adelaide (Part Two)

This is how we roll.
Wayville Baptist Church.
An opportunity to see an old friend.


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Sunday Night In Adelaide (Part One)

Trinity 5.00pm.

A recently departed friend of mine would surely approve.

(even if they did sing the wrong last verse of Amazing Grace 😉)