Happy New Year to you all!
It strikes me that what we do in Explore is worth sharing with a larger group of people. The word’s going to spread! Who do you know that you could bring along with you on a Sunday? They could be any age. If they might be nervous coming on a Sunday, would they enjoy interacting with some of the discussions here on this blog?
We have an Explore ‘business card’. Who could you give one to with a warm invitation? Where could you leave one or pin one to a board? Sometimes when someone sees something several times it encourages them to act!
This coming Sunday we are beginning our new series Exploring Jesus, it’s an ideal time for some new friends to join in!
I read about a Church that worked on improving some small things by just 1%, a little bit. The idea is that lots of ‘little bits’ add up to make a big difference. They challenged themselves to do 1% more praying on a Saturday night to commit Sunday to God, 1% of 24 hours was just under 15 minutes, so they tried to pray for 15 minutes. They tried to make 1% more smiles – it’s amazing what a smiling face does to someone’s sense of being welcomed! They encouraged one another to eat 1% more food, provided it was with someone else during the week somewhere. Meals eaten with others make a difference.
What little difference could we each make as a Church family that would individually feel like a small sacrifice, but together would make a big difference?
One writer talks about the importance of critical non-essentials. For example, if the Church building is too cold, the sound system is poor, the pews are uncomfortable, there’s no welcome for visitors or no refreshments, it is hard to concentrate and engage. These things aren’t essential to what we do but they can be a source of putting people off.
What do you think might be barriers in the way for people who come to our meetings?
In the last of our Both one thing and the other series, Annette asked did the Kingdom come when Jesus came, or will the Kingdom come when Jesus comes again?
Kay asked whether we should be a community of unity or of diversity?
Lynn asks whether we should serve Christ or wait for His return?
From January we are starting a new series called Essential Jesus.
This is a follow on course from E100 which we followed January to May 2011, so four years ago. This time we’re challenging each other to read one hundred essential Bible readings about who Jesus is, from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We will do it over twenty weeks and introduce the topic of the next five Bible readings on each Sunday. There is a book by the guy who wrote the E100 book, which was excellent. Our aim will be to know Jesus better, to be better equipped to live like him and make him better known in our own life places to the people we mix with.
The 20 sections (5 readings per section) are:
1. Who is Jesus?
2. The Need for a Saviour
3. Previews of a Saviour
4. Psalms About a Saviour
5. Prophecies About a Saviour
6. More prophecies About a Saviour
7. The Birth of Jesus
8. The Beginning Ministry of Jesus
9. The Sermons of Jesus
10. The Parables of Jesus
11. More Parables of Jesus
12. The Miracles of Jesus
13. More Miracles of Jesus
14. The Prayers of Jesus
15. The Hard Sayings of Jesus
16. The Crucifixion of Jesus
17. The Resurrection of Jesus
18. The Early Church of Jesus
19. The Second Coming of Jesus
20. Who is Jesus…To You?
There is an accompanying book, Essential Jesus by Whitney T Kuniholm, published by Scripture Union. This is not necessary to enjoy and benefit from the course, but is nonetheless recommended.
Colin asked whether it is us who seek God or whether it is He comes looking for us?
Do Sundays beat other days? Are they more important than the other days? Should we recognise and respect, train and deploy great church leaders, or equip every Christian to serve like Jesus in their home, church, work and life-place? What do you think?
Roy and Pat asked whether we want to see every Christian using all the natural reason, wisdom and skill that they can, or learn to operate in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit to minister to others in love and power as Jesus did?