Dear e-News friends and Destiny church family,
Carpe Diem – Seize The Day!
Some of us remember this Latin aphorism made famous through the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’. We can just see Robin Williams acting his role as professor at the University encouraging his depressed students to seize the day, meaning to make the very most of the moment. Whilst I’m told that there is a dark side to that saying, I personally think it’s what God is saying to us the church.
This moment is already passing, but it’s given us the church an unprecedented opportunity whilst it’s here. No one would have asked for it, and we are all praying it shifts and shifts fast, but we might not have this kind of opportunity again – so we must make the most of it.
Whilst everything around us has changed beyond recognition, neither God nor the mandate He gave us has. “Go and make disciples,” He said, and then we the church got stuck inside the 4 walls of our buildings (or our cinemas, or our hired facilities). The same thing happened in early Acts, “Go into all the world” said Jesus, “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.” They didn’t even leave Jerusalem for the most part. But a short few years later, along comes a wave of persecution and they then get going and fleeing for their lives. We read:
“But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.” – Acts 8:4
It’s imperative that we come back to purpose, true to mission, on track with God. Even if you are locked down please do not be locked up. Reach out to your world on social media (and your next-door neighbours as you clap for the NHS on Thursday nights). You know they desperately need it.
There are several ways WE are doing this, and several ways YOU can get involved.
- We have had the highest numbers ever at Church Online, with thousands of people connecting with us from near and far. Most of our friends and families have now visited or attended. We couldn’t ever get them to the building, but we can get them to the meeting – to hear the gospel. I promise you, I will make a gospel presentation in every service, and give an opportunity to find for themselves our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Many already have. BUT you have to keep inviting, keep asking, as we go live send out Facebook party invites, and then follow up with:
Did you visit? How was it? If they reply we were busy exercising or buying paint at B&Q, say right back, “no problem you can catch up later today at these other times”. Our pastors and growth group leaders are doing an outstanding job of connecting and follow up once they are there.
- Invite them to visit a Growth Group during the week. Either yours, or the brand new ones running just for first time guests. Over 500 turned up last week at the new Church Online Growth Group.
- Invite them to Alpha. We have 2 running with more due to start, and we are running it in Spanish and English, reaching people here, and as far afield as Mexico. We are missionaries from our own front rooms.
- We are now running church every week in Romanian, and people have got saved already. We are weekly preaching in Italian, and about to start in Farsi. Have you got international friends or family? Get the links from our websiteand get them plugged in. OR can you speak a foreign language (we need French in particular), come join our missionary teams, reach the world from your kitchen. Our media team are growing every week and adding in new language opportunities. The church needs YOU.
- Invite them to our first ever According to the Pattern Online programme. This is, as you know, our most important discipleship course, with millions of people now having completed it. It runs Sunday afternoon with people from many nations plugging in. Truth that you take for granted is life changing for many, give them the chance to grow in their faith.
- So many people are hurting, and we have the opportunity to serve and help. We don’t need most of our Sunday services teams at the moment, but we do need servants and servers.
- We are cooking over 1,000 hot meals a week, join our kitchen or delivery team.
- We have relaunched the “hopeline”, can you answer a phone a few hours a week?
- We have relaunched our foodbank, can you (safely) deliver food bags to those in need?
- The prayer line is the busiest it’s ever been, with hundreds writing to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Can you write back? OR join the prayer team?
- God is faithful, but He wants us faithful too, please rise to the challenge of continual giving into our tithes and offerings. Harvest is the most expensive season for a farmer. We are in particular needing to increase our media equipment (cameras/sound/computers) so that through them we can touch the world and beyond.
I spoke with some Christians in another part of the world last week, who told me that they can’t wait to get back to church (with which we all agree, we so miss you all), but then said we are all wasting our time with online outreach, because these crowds will not be turning up at our church buildings when the lockdown is over, so why bother? OH NO!!
There are hundreds of thousands of people coming to Christ right now – and they will be connecting somewhere, my goal is not to fill the buildings, but to fill heaven! In the very famous words of Reinhard Bonnke: ‘to plunder hell and populate heaven’.
The church on earth is growing, and since there is only one church/one body on earth, that means my church is growing. You can’t sow and not reap – that is a spiritual impossibility. Church will be every different after this. It’s not coming back to the same, but it is coming back to better, at least if we seize the day.
We love you guys, see you at church and I can’t wait to share on He restores my soul. If there was ever a word in season it’s this one.
AND we have a very special guest this weekend, a famous actress, the lovely Bella Ramsey, stars as ‘Lyanna Mormont’ in the massive ‘Game of Thrones’ and we will also be joined by Pastor Liam Smith as he interviews Bella.
You won’t want to miss church this weekend.
We love you guys,
Andrew & Sue