We’re Back & We’re Going Operational – Phase ONE: Matt. Ch 4 – 9
After taking a quick deep breath over the Easter weekend, things have shifted up a gear for this second term as we continue to repair the Signpost – “To SEE and ENGAGE the Harvest”
Logistically, Reception and the Ministry Ops Centre will re-open reasonably normally; ‘The Prayer Group with Legs for HOPE’ will re-commence at 5.30pm Tuesdays as we join together humbly seeking clear leadership from the Holy Spirit for this new season. Here is our brief so far ….
In order to build His church: –
Jesus needed to be “led by the Spirit” into combat readiness; praying, worshipping and removing the impact of the devil (4: 1-11) …… so do we!
He needed to prioritize representing, proclaiming & demonstrating the kingdom rule of God ON earth; strategically (4: 12-17) …… so do we!
Sooooo …… that He could seek out people he could equip to equip; people who would partner with Him for the sake of advancing His kingdom. People who would FOLLOW JESUS & learn by watching, helping then doing what HE DID, all the while SEEING & ENGAGING the harvest. (4: 18 – 9: 38) …… so do we!
Stay tuned in for some adjustments to our Wednesday schedule from next week and term 2 for HOPE College will begin at end of April (after school holidays) so stay tuned for some exciting news about equipping opportunities.
Better News from Helen & Gordon about Ryan
It has been a pretty rough week (to say the least) for our brother Gordon and particularly for Helen as they continued to monitor Ryan’s situation. He came out of ICU for some sun a couple of days ago and it seemed likely he would be in the ward and heading home over the weekend but a relapse saw the emergency team re-engaged and Ryan back in ICU soon after. He seemed to stabilize overnight Saturday and the message this morning (Monday) is that he is on his way home with Helen and Gordon to commence about 6 weeks of recovery. Thank you to all who have faithfully prayed. We continue to ask God for Ryan’s physical recovery but also and particularly for his mental, emotional and spiritual healing. Bless the whole family at this time.
Dulce Arrives on Eagles Wings!
It was good to hear from our dear sister today & her email letter follows: –
“Dear Graeme and my family at CCC,
I had a safe & wonderful flight all the way to Córdoba, Argentina. The connecting flights, times, everything ran smoothly! How awesome is our God! Thank you for your love & prayer support, I felt uplifted as if flying on God ‘s wings all the way here. All the more worthwhile seeing my daughter & Lucio waiting for me 🙂 & her family here. With God’s richest blessings, Love & Grace,
A Summary of this week’s message for Prayer, Reflection, Response & Action. Julie interpreted some of what God has been revealing & gave practical instruction in … ‘Whatever gift(s) you have IN Christ; USE Them’
Our FOCUS Scriptures for today are Matthew 4:21; Romans 8: 19-27 and Romans 12:1-8 (always worth a PRE -read for this context).
“Jesus walked in the fullness of all 5 equipping ministry gifts; working together as ONE with what we each bring to the table, we continue to see the fullness of Christ operating.” Is anything less, still fullness?
The calling of the first disciples had EVERYTHING to do with EQUIPPING
In Matthew 4:21, the author uses the same word for equipping that Paul uses. They were PREPARING their nets i.e. mending, restoring to good order, ALIGNING THE NETS WITH THEIR PRIMARY PURPOSE …. Knowing where to put the nets is to see and engage the harvest.
WE are responsible for the harvest around us. Keith Green said it this way, ‘this generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls.’
A first reading of that idea might miss the full impact of ‘responsibility’.
Perhaps as we strategically respond to the need to better represent the kingdom to all the people God has given us; in our families, our work places etc. we might acknowledge that the state that this generation of souls is in might be directly related to how we’ve done that up till now and that representing the kingdom might require cultivating more Heaven ON earth.
Whatever our calling, if we are submitted to God then we are submitted to whomever God uses to achieve His purposes. Voluntary submission to each other whatever our role, is the currency of the kingdom of heaven.
As we start to read Romans 12, we quickly glean that because of RELATIONSHIP, obedience is NEVER forced on us.
Whatever the gift(s) is that has been apportioned us graciously by His empowering presence in and through our lives, we are urged not cajoled to IN Christ, do it, use it, whatever it is.
It is true that we all likely operate in most if not all the gifts at ascribed times (that’s called ‘manifestation’) but there is a unique anointing for each and every one of us beyond general use that we need to seek, explore and engage.
As we discussed last week, we recognise that the harvest is ALL people no matter the circumstances, and the church is therefore a microcosm of the WHOLE of life (which is one way of understanding the challenges that churches face at times) – in saying this though, we need to understand that some people will come from other church families for whatever their reason (sheep lost from the folds of other shepherds); there will be those who used to be part of the church (the prodigal returns) and there will be the NEVER BEEN A PART OF A CHURCH people and the latter are the focus of all decisions that need to be made. We need to pay the cost as a church to meet their needs as our priority.
Julie summarized her thoughts with Romans 8:19-27 and expounded upon the ‘groaning’ creation seeking redemption through the church restored in glory, creation that has been ‘frustrated’ by not being able to see the fullness of Christ on the earth; his bride the church.
We need to do what’s required and like Caleb, seek the toughest mountain to climb to ensure the robustness of the inheritance.
If we know WHO WE ARE, God’s children IN CHRIST, nothing holds us back.
Take a prayerful look at the list of tasks that Graeme has produced and if something is ignited or if the Holy Spirit nudges you, sign up for this leadership development season and trust God with your commitment.
Do Justice, Love Mercy & Walk Humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
Julie addressed some practical issues for being in ministry in Australia in the 21st Century during her message on Sunday. One of the things that is causing some challenges for churches in the litigious times we exist in, is the need for us to provide policies and procedures for things like, Child & Vulnerable People Protection, Safe HR policies for the appointing of ministry workers, Fire and Work, Health & Safety Compliance, Public Hall Regulations, Food Preparation Management, Activity Risk Assessment & more. If we are honest, this is likely the result of sin & a lack of transparency in our accountability.
We are an affiliated Baptist Church, required by our denominational structure to abide by guidelines that meet certain ministry standards designed to honour God across the churches that minister in the Baptist name. However, WE BELIEVE primarily, that our pursuit of integrity STARTS WITH FATHER GOD, IS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SHOULD MAKE US LOOK MORE LIKE JESUS.
James tells us in chapter 1 that pure religion protects the vulnerable. Paul admonishes Christ’s body to be above reproach and to not be stumbling blocks to anyone. In the passage Julie cited, Romans 12, Paul writes, ‘If it is possible, as far it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’. Under all these consistent core truths is the heavenly moral law expressed in the schema, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart AND with all your soul AND with all your mind AND with all your strength, AND, love your neighbour as yourself’. It is fairly clear that our core values should indicate putting OTHERS before SELF that they might be saved.
At CCC we have been developing policies and procedures founded on our core values, things that weren’t even part of the language or church culture decades ago but need to be now. We’ll start making them available for people to see and use as we commence this new season. At the very least, we need to play some catch up football making our spaces and activities safer for children and vulnerable people and so we will be asking anyone who can, to attain their free ‘Working with Children Check’ online or in store from Service NSW. The more who do this the better as NO person will assist with children unless they have this AND have completed a safer churches workshop sanctioned by the 25-denomination supported ‘Safe Churches Training Agreement’ as a minimum requirement. Graeme is an accredited workshop presenter and HOPE College will make these workshops easily accessible for all who would seek a leadership/serving role in the life of our church.
Finally, for now, ALL of our appointed ministry and volunteer coordinators will be required to submit a ministry application which includes a signed Code of Conduct for mutual accountability. There is no ‘I’ in team nor in the Bible. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is ‘we’ and ‘us’ even though ONE and this is also true for the body of Christ. We, together, are one body but relationship is the foundation of ministry and no one operates alone. More soon and thanks for your patience, understanding & active support as we get things sorted.
Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/7-click-here
Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/9-click-here
Here’s the Link to HOPE College, Student information & More http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/10-click-here
Here’s the Link to Graeme’s Available Weekly Calendar Times https://graeme2.youcanbook.me/