Musings from the Manse – December

I am writing these musings on my second day back from taking my sabbatical and it’s great to be back and sharing together again in our journey in Christ. I have had much to muse on over the last three months, which I am still processing and praying about and will share with you over the coming months.

At the beginning of my sabbatical where I was looking at Church Growth, I spoke with John Proctor the URC General Secretary and he suggested that we need to first ask churches if they want to grow. At first this seemed to me an obvious question to which surely the answer must be yes as Jesus commanded it, but if that is the answer each church and each individual Christian needs to consider the implications of growth and furthermore how we go about achieving it in Christ’s name and to his glory.

It has been very clear to me in seeing churches that are growing, that for growth to happen we need to have a desire to share Jesus with our family, friends and communities. We need to accept this means change to who we are and what we do as followers of Jesus and to be open to and to rely on the Spirit.

Christmas is surely an easier time to talk about our faith with those outside the church, maybe asking them their views on what it means to them that Jesus came into the world and be prepared to share what it means to you. Its not a time for children, as many say, it’s a time for everyone to hear about and accept Jesus. It’s a great time to invite people to come to church. Maybe think about your Christmas Card list and inviting all on it, maybe asking a family member to come with you to church, maybe a neighbour or maybe someone from a club/group you are a member of. We don’t want to invite them because we want our church to grow, we want to invite them because we love them and want them to meet Jesus and accept him as their friend and saviour.

‘Christ the Saviour is born’ says the Carol and how would you feel if someone you knew really experienced this Christmas, Christ being born in them because of your witness to them?

May you have an exciting time at Christmas as you respond to Christ’s love for you and as you celebrate him coming into the world and your life.

Every blessing from your friend in Christ for a joyous Christmas and a peaceful and purposeful New Year.

Alan

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