YOU are essential to the Church of Jesus Christ and it can only be doing what God designed it to do if you play a full and active part, sacrificially committed to its welfare and growth! Remember the hand image of one finger pointing outwards, two pointing towards ourselves? When we criticise the Church generally or our particular fellowship-and yes, all churches have faults and shortcomings-then we must look at ourselves and what we are not doing to help the church. The common response to my questions about church involvement is that people come to church for strengthening, they have had a bad week, they are in a crisis, maybe going through health issues. There are some periods in our lives when we really can't give anything, but much of life can be given to acts of service in the local fellowship. Look around you at the church leaders. They are not necessarily in times of quiet and so looking around for things to do! They are sacrificially giving up time, energy, giving their abilities to making the church work. At Bearfield, I thank the Lord for them! This church would not have come through this pandemic without them. I have heard from other churches which are on the point of collapse, because there was no one able to make the tech work or leaders prepared to meet more frequently than normal. I also thank God for all who preach at Bearfield. I can be sure that they will speak consistent with what we believe, understanding that the world is a changed and changing place and facing up to the questions which challenge us instead of making a hasty retreat to the castle of traditionalism. How is this all done then? How can you give yourself to the church? How do those who put in many hours after busy weeks manage it? It can only be done through an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who refreshes and renews us when we have done an evening shift at youth group or when we have pored over accounts or some tech problem or some building work. Martin Luther once stated that he was so busy in his life that he could not afford to spend less than two hours in prayer each morning.
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