We had a special guest this week, who has won awards for preaching. It was easy enough to see why! He’s a “professor of systematic and historical theology”, and certainly spoke with more than just the authority that comes with being over 60.
His topic was Four Essential Aspects of Ministry to the Congregation–four things that the Church IS (or should be):
- a Nursery: he said that when Jesus said no one should “…ever cause one of these little ones to stumble”, He was referring to “little ones in Christ”–new Christians. As a Nursery for new Christians, the church should be a place of spiritual safety where Jesus is named as Lord, where they can get frequent feeding in small amounts, and enough affection to know they are cherished. He says that MOST Christians are really babes; however, the church is also–
- a School: where faith has to be “caught”, BUT ALSO taught (he does not like that saying, which people often use as an excuse to neglect the teaching part). Remember that Jesus spent MOST OF HIS TIME teaching.
- an Army: and here he rebuked people who do not like any connotation of fighting, conflict, soldiers, etc. Because if you love you must fight–you must stand up for/FIGHT for the rights of the downtrodden; and Paul of course, does not hesitate to use the soldier-analogy, when he speaks of “putting on the whole armour of God”.
- a Hospital: for spiritual healing, where the soldiers can go for REST, or “restoration”; he pointed out that when Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden”–it was not an invitation so much as a command.
The Mom had just heard various comments about the church not reaching out enough, so it was good to balance that with this reminder that Christians need to be ministered to.
OH–the Lenten Devotional Booklet…. it was “released” this Sunday, and people had to be reminded that it’s not LENT yet! :P Cause they just wanted to get reading!
And as for our visiting little creature… it has taken the Long Water-Pipe to Mouse Heaven, which is hopefully not too close to ours! :P