“The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia - your faith in God has become known everywhere.  Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”(1 Thessalonians 1:8-10)

Imagine St Michael’s as a news agency, spreading the good news of Jesus - allow God to add details to the mental picture.

Spend some time praying for Alpha.  Ask God how he wants you – and how he wants us as a church – to let the Lord’s message ring out.

Complete this sentence (it might help if you literally write it out):

“I know my neighbour would come to church if we....

 
I wonder if we are being called to costly change in order to be a better "news agency".  The story of the lost sheep tells us that even if 99% of the sheep are in the fold - and in Galleywood it's more like 1%! - God's top priority is the lost.  Is it ours?  Change - even for such a good cause - is difficult, but what the caterpillar calls "the end", we see as a butterfly.

8pm: A session for all at the church on “listening to God”


 
andy
1/14/2010

Thank you to all those (more than I expected!) who came to the session on Wednesday evening on listening to God. I hope you found it useful - I certainly did.

If you missed it and want to catch up with what was said, please go to http://www.christiangrowthcentre.com/Media/AllMedia.aspx, choose "Andy Griffiths" in the search box and listen to a talk I gave a while ago with effectively the same content.

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andy
1/14/2010

Here are a few of the things I noted us saying on Wednesday evening. If I've missed out something you said, I apologise - it osn't because I don't agree, it's only that I couldn't write fast enough!

* Some of us find listening to God relatively easy, others trememndously hard.

* Sacrifice: is God asking us how sacrificial we are willing to be? How uncomfortable are we willing to become?

* A guernsey pullover can take 100 hours to make - yet we expect God to act in five minutes!

* The Thessalonians' faith becane known all over the area. Ours HASN'T become known in our area.

* Is Jesus being pushed to one side?

* "Sing a song of freedom"

- "Precious Lord, take our hand,
Lead us on, let us stand,
We are tired, we are weak, we are worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead us on to the light.
Take our hand, precious Lord,
Lead us home."

* How exciting it must have been to be in on the building of this church. How exciting now to move it into a new phase.




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andy
1/14/2010

4 more:

* A solemn warning: if you look for many of the churches Paul planted - eg in Turkey - they're no longer there.

* If we have a secure centre, we can move freely - like a model made of rubber bands which are flexible but anchored in the centre

* We're a news agency, but if all we have is stale old news, who cares? We need current, FRESH news of the living God.

* One member of the group was trying to picture God the Father standing back and looking at his world. "It was no use", he tells us, "God kept coming close and embracing the world towards himself - he couldn't stay away."

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andy
1/17/2010

Another person who was at the session on Wednesday evening told me today that they had received the picture of a star - like the star the wise men followed, it's leading us on.

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received by e-mail
1/25/2010

There are many news agencies. The question is reliability of the agency. (Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord.)
Are the correspondents on the front line, or simply repeating what they have heard other people say, or things that happened previously?
Would an agency be successful or valued if it only published old news?

We have recently been challenged again about not editing God from our relationships. But we need to practice. Do we even talk God at church (what does happen over coffee)?
And what about during our services: where is testimony, which should see us all ready to say something of how God has impacted our current life – not old stories but news. Having an expectation that we can hear direct encouragement from each other – and that it is given value in services – has value. (I know that Sunday evenings have taken steps in this direction).

Re Alpha: has our church life reflected the Christian life expressed on Alpha? Have those who completed Alpha found a lasting place within our church family, or have they found other churches more familiar to what they experienced on the course?

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1/26/2010

'I know my neighbour would come to church if we gave them the opportunity to say 'yes''
How does the church become more comfortable at inviting their friends and neighbours?

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