Monday to Saturday Church
“Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Early Christians floated and bobbed about in a hostile sea of turbulent pagans and indignant Jews, who saw the new Christian Way as an unwelcome challenge. Yet full of joy and conviction, the new church flourished, as we read in the wonderful Book of Acts. When believers came together, their meeting stirred them up to win precious souls in their surrounding community – stirring one another to love and good works.
Modern Australia is growing more like that multi-faith first century world in the Book of Acts. How may we also flourish? Only by God’s blessing with His Spirit breathing into us confidence in Him to show and tell the world. By the Spirit let us stir one another up to love and to good works.
As a church we need to take an interest not only in our members’ activities on Sunday, but also on the work-a-day week. I do not mean the church should be spying on its members, so as to control them. But as far as each person allows, we members should pray for one another for our daily work, our family life and our involvement in the local community.
In our Sunday gathering we notice that Fred and Sharon are regular in attendance, that Fred sings the hymns with gusto and that Sharon is a good conversationalist, that Fred served on the Board of Management, and that Sharon serves the PWMU, and that both help with working bees.
But we have no idea that Fred in under attack at work, or that Sharon is desperate to drug-proof their grand-daughter, that Fred is stressed by a difficult neighbour, or that Sharon is being shunned by former friends. Privacy must be respected, and confidences held with high integrity, but if our only interest is in what people do for our church on Sundays, and we all become accustomed to that, we must have much less impact in stirring one another up to love and to good works – when we know nothing of our members’ struggles outside of church..
Whether churches are small or large, most people are at least comfortable to share something of their personal challenges and goals in small groups – regular devotional meetings. Very large congregations often have a large number of these weekly small groups which help members to connect with friends in an intimate way; otherwise they would feel lost. In addition, the Sunday worship service can occasionally highlight the work and witness in the community which is being attempted by one or more of our members.
Let us this year take a keener interest in one another in the battles we face through the week, and thus “stir up love and good works”.
With love in Christ, Ken Martin, Minister