What God is saying to St Albans?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our elders met last Saturday to share our discernments on what God was saying to us through the 19 A4 typed pages of prophetic words and scripture passages that people shared during our Month of Prayer to seek God’s direction for our church.  There were four main themes, although the first was the primary one, and these themes were strongly reinforced by many different words.

1.  To draw closer to God

God is our source; the heart of our faith.  First and foremost we are worshippers.  God invites us to engage in a deepening personal relationship with Him through prayer, Bible reading and worship.  Everything else in our life, witness and service will flow out of our passion for Jesus.  This theme has reinforced our vision statement developed two years ago, that the most important thing our church can accomplish is to see people passionate for Jesus.

God calls us to draw closer to him and to move away from apathy, complacency, sinful attitudes and behaviours that undermine our relationship with him.

To help this, we are considering starting some extra worship and prayer occasions for our congregation.

2.  To draw closer to one another

To strengthen our ‘faith community life’ and build community; to get to know one another better as sisters and brothers in Christ.  This was a positive spin-off from the month of prayer - meeting others in our church whom we did not know.

Related to this is the importance of helping each other to identify and express the spiritual gifts that we each have.  Next term, instead of running an Alpha Course, we will run a ‘Discovering Your Gifts’ course for 6 weeks on a Wednesday or Thursday night, to identify our God-given gifts & passions.

3.  To extend stronger ropes into the wider community

The rope image comes from a picture of two tents - extending  the guy ropes and tent pegs further out into the wider community as we engage in further local mission.

4.  We are moving into a new season

There’s a strong sense that a season is ending here at St Albans - that we are to honour the past and let it go - and then to move forward into the new things God has for us.  We don’t yet know what that looks like.  But we need an attitude of openness to where God may lead us and a desire to keep our hearts rightly focussed, drawing closer to God.

Some structures we have had will need to change to accommodate the new.  There may be some pain in the change but we are assured that pain is part of any new thing, even good things.

The summary picture for us was a picture of our church - a heart of God’s love that is bursting at the seams inside the church with love for one another and our wider community.  Here is an image of blood circulating around a body, coming back to the heart and lungs to be replenished and equipped, in order to be sent out again to serve the body.  We are to encounter God’s heart at St Alban’s in worship, prayer and teaching, where we are refreshed and equipped to go out into our daily lives and work in mission with Jesus.

We want to invite you to a Church Forum on Saturday July 26, from 3pm-5pm, to help us consider how all this may translate into the life of St Albans.