When Jesus spoke about the separation of the goats from the sheep at the end of time (Mat 25:31ff), the deciding fact is that the goats didn’t do what Jesus expected from them. They didn’t do it because they didn’t know Jesus and the work He came to do. They had no living relationship with Him. Hence, the failed to feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, or clothe the naked. The sheep, on the other hand, those who loved Jesus and followed him and were in a relationship with Him, did all the above, not because they were motivated by guilt, but in thankful response for what Jesus had done for them.
In our ‘reformed’ churches we pride ourselves a little on ensuring that God’s word, and particularly the gospel of Jesus Christ remains central in all that we do. We are not ashamed for it is key to the way the Holy Spirit works to create faith in people’s hearts. So, whatever else we do, we want to make sure the gospel remains central and even to do it better if at all possible. However, we haven’t always been very good at showing the love of Christ to our local community in practical ways.
During this past week, I received an email which mentioned several things which were also discussed at the last Church Council meeting the week before. “How can we give back to our local community the blessing of being loved and saved by Christ in some practical way?”
At Church Council, it was suggested that at our AGM, several possible areas of practical ministry should be placed before the congregation for them to consider how and where we can be a blessing to our community by showing the love of Christ in a real and practical way. In other words, the Church Council want you, along with our support, to have the opportunity to ‘give’ something back to the local community so we can show them the love of Christ. However, we don’t want you to do it because we have twisted your arm, or made you feel guilty, but as a willing response to the salvation that has first been given to you in Jesus Christ (Mat 25:31ff).
Now you may already have an idea for ministry. If you have, Church Council would love to know how you think we as a fellowship could be involved and make it work. So, that will include doing some research about the costing, personnel (volunteers) required, premises required if any, and even the finances required if needed. Church Council are keen to support any viable, practical ministry so that as a fellowship we could make it happen.
Several ideas were already floated at the Church Council meeting. A soup-kitchen once a month on a Friday night; a Connect 3218 (op-shop) in the hall three days a week, served with coffee/tea; an English language class for migrants were just some of the suggestions.
Anyhow, if you have some ideas about how we can show the love of Christ, not just in word ministries, but also everyday practical ministries, we would love to hear from you. Knowing Christ as Saviour and being Christ-like really goes together and is a great way of showing Christ’s love to others. JZ.