Will you close your eyes and think of church – your church, our church, and then wait there for a moment in your mind’s eye, your imagination and tell me what you see?Done it?What did you see just now? In fact, anytime you close your eyes and think of our church what do you see?A good biblical principle tells us that unless we first see it, we can’t receive it.
Often times God asked the prophets “what do you see?” God asks us in His word “can’t you see it?”
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19
Perhaps some of us as we did this simple exercise saw the familiar church building, full of people, hands in the air worshiping? Perhaps we are longing to be back there, seeing our brothers and sisters again.
Perhaps some of us saw a building full of people, hugging and greeting each other as we did so often. Maybe you saw one of the past Surge conferences in the SEC or one of our many 1st Sunday night meetings, which were packed to the walls so regularly. Maybe you saw a baptism service with the ‘pool’ filled and ready to go? Maybe you saw the altar call moment, and then hearing “I see your hand” as people responded?
I once asked the same question in a live meeting and ran around with a mic to hear the responses. The folks present saw lots of wonderful things, but the one thing no one saw was themselves in the picture.
They were looking in on the crowd, the building or the special event, but God wants you to see YOURSELF in the picture.
God is doing a new thing, and for it to happen you have to be in the picture.
This month we are launching our ‘friendship houses’, making use of the limited freedom we have after lockdown to bring church home.
The idea is that you gather your church friends plus new friends and go to church in your living room, watching Church Online together.
It’s an important moment to reach out to those who have been lonely, isolated or vulnerable. It’s a great to time to chill together as families with young kids and let the kids be together. It’s a great time to get your unchurched neighbours around for a BBQ, but watching church first – who knows what could happen?
We would like all of us, as many as possible to make our house a friendship house, and one small house can make hundreds of friends. Host one week, maybe go to someone else’s house the week following? Whatever works.
Here’s the thing, it would be brilliant if we could all do this together for the main service of the day at 11.00AM on Sunday, but you could do it at any of the other broadcast times, or more than once!
The early church exploded in growth around the earth very quickly, and guess what? They used nothing but their homes.
No church owned a building until at least 300AD when Christianity became cool under the emperor Constantine. They didn’t have church online, so they would read out copies of the apostle’s letters, break bread, pray, and have a real good time of fellowship. Sometimes, they would go down the river and baptise those new converts who came to Christ. Other times, they would lay hands on these emerging believers and see them filled with the Holy Spirit.
Can you see it? Can you see yourself in it?
All we ask as pastors is that you keep us posted so that we know where you are and that you’re ok. We can then also make sure that none of our church family are left out or missed out, making sure all are included. And we would love to see lots and lots of photos. Some of you will find that your primary gift is hospitality and it’s about to bear a lot of fruit.
One more important thing. Again, in your mind’s eye, I want you to see me, representing you, with a big cheque in my hand. The number says £10,000, and the recipient’s name is JAM. I’ve got a huge smile on my face as I give it to Ann Pretorius or another person from their team, and I’m saying, this is from Destiny with lots of love, we think Black Children’s lives matter, and we think that you are doing an amazing job.
Please helps us make that a reality by donating something here:
Church, we love you so much, you are truly amazing. Must be because you have an amazing God.
See you Sunday,