Building Up The Body of Church Week by Week

Michael McKinley from 9Marks, a ministry dedicated to promoting church health, has recently attended a number of sessions with Australian Colin Marshall, one of the authors of The Trellis and the Vine with Tony Payne. The sessions looked at various ways to encourage each other, visitors and the pastor. Michael noted some practical things we can do when we meet on Sundays:

Before the Service

  • Read the passage in advance
  • Pray for the gathering
  • Greet newcomers (act like you are the host)
  • Think strategically about who you should sit with
  • Arrive Early

During the Service

  • Sing with gusto (even if you can’t sing)
  • Help with logistics (if there’s a problem, help fix it)
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Listen carefully
  • Be aware of your facial expressions (you may affect others and discourage preachers)

After the Service

  • Connect newcomers with others
  • Get newcomers information
  • Start a conversation about the sermon
  • Ask someone how they became a Christian
  • Stay late

The Four Woes of Israel

Preacher: Rev. Neil McDonald
Date: 10 October 2010
Readings: Psalm 19:1-14, Amos 5:18-6:14

Israel expected that God’s coming would be glorious, but instead He would come in judgement. Israel rested on the Temple, the forms and privilages of being God’s people. They used God’s blessings for themselves and did not care about God, His glory or His people. They presumed that God was on their side.

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A Lamenting Call to Repentance

Preacher: Rev. Neil McDonald
Date: 3 October 2010
Readings: Psalm 18:37-50, Amos 5:1-17

God continually calls people to return to Him. Amos called Israel to hear God’s word (5:1, 3, 4, 16, 17), to seek God (5:4-6) and to seek the good (5:7-15). As well as knowing the letter of God’s word, we must seek to know Him, or it is all futile (Psalm 119:10). Our eternal hope is worth more than our current life. We should long for that day when Jesus comes to takes us to the present reality of Heaven.

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What is Grace?

Preacher: Rev. Neil McDonald
Date: 29 September 2010
Readings: 2 Samuel 9:1-13

What is Grace? The mnemonic God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense goes some way to describing it. Often the church appears to be about morally good actions. However, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection have made a way for us to be reconciled to God. This is the church’s message.

We must all recognise that we do not measure up to our own standards, let alone God’s. As a consequence, things are not good between us and Him.

Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth could have expected to be slaughtered when Saul lost the throne, however King David sought him out for good. This human kindness is an example of the greater kindness and mercy of God. Only with Him is there hope and comfort for us that will last beyond the grave.

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