How to stay a healthy churchThursday 29 September 2016 by Ad Taylor-Weekes
As members of Emmanuel will be aware Jonny and I have spent our first day at the Plant!South course hosted at London Seminary. As we all hoped and prayed it provided a great opportunity for us to think together about what the Lord wants Emmanuel to be about.
In thinking about how best to communicate some of the things we learnt to the church as a whole I thought I'd try blogging some of the highlights. So over the next 12 months you can expect a series of, I trust, helpful things for us to be thinking and praying about.
5 things to get and keep clarity
The first item I'd like to post is some inspiration from Andrew Heard. Neil Powell of Birmingham City Church, and the Plant! course director, was teaching us on the topic of how to nurture a missional mind-set in our churches. Under this heading he talked about how we must recapture the heart of God for the lost.
He writes: "In our leadership of a church (and particularly in our preaching and teaching) we must minister in such a way as to keep eternal realities at the forefront of the minds of the congregation.
5 things to get and keep clarity:
I. The reality of heaven and hell - it colours everything.
II. The fact of the cross. The fact that the father is willing to give his Son's life shows me this is THE issue.
III. A biblical vision for one new humanity - the glory of the church.
IV. The brevity of life. Let's give ourselves to something of eternal value
V. The fact of love. Do I care about the fate of the lost as Jesus cared?"
Well, I felt that was extremely challenging. I hope you do too. If we want to stay healthy and focused as a church, and as individuals, we've got to keep reminding ourselves of these things haven't we? I'm praying that the preaching and teaching in Emmanuel, as well as my own heart, is driven by these convictions.