… not preaching for once, but instead being challenged by two excellent sermons from Joy and John! Both of them took 1 Thessalonians 3 and made similar points which spoke in different ways.
Joy asked us to consider the difference between a church and a club. In some ways a club is like a church. It attracts like-minded people, it’s a place where people find fellowship and to which people give willingly. But the difference about church is that relationships one with another are not optional. We are a community of faith and that faith needs to transform the way we relate to each other, and to the wider world.
John asked us to consider how we view the local church. Do we look at the material things such as the attendance figures, the finances and the building? Or do we see the church in spiritual terms? He challenged to consider how much we pray for one another and talk with each other about our faith.
We are learning just so much about the church from our series in Thessalonians. We’ve looked so far at the impact of the gospel, the role of leadership, spiritual opposition and now the quality of our relationships. I think the Lord is trying to teach us something really important. So where do we go with this? How will this teaching shape and mould our thinking as we begin to look afresh at our Mission Action Plan?
Those aren’t rhetorical questions. If together we can work out what the Lord is saying, then I believe the life of our churches will take a decisive step forward.
Over to you…