September 2016 - Letter from the Minister

Over the next weeks we will be looking at the mission of the Church in the Book of Acts. Acts begins with the resurrected Jesus, sending the Holy Spirit, and declaring to his disciples “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Those words strike fear into the heart of most Christians: “How will we do that? What would we say? They’ll just laugh at us!” We immediately focus on our ignorance and lack of ability. However, this is to misunderstand what it means to be a witness.

If you observe an accident, and the police call you to be a witness, they would be uninterested in your speaking ability, they would only care about what you have seen. So too with the disciples. They had witnessed the ministry of Jesus, his power, his death and his resurrection. It wasn’t that they were to go out and try to be witnesses, it was because of what they had experienced that they were already witnesses of Jesus. The power of the Gospel does not lie in our ability to spread it; it rests in what God has done in Christ. It is because we have witnessed the love and power of God that we have something to share with the world.

Reading the books of Acts also shows us that the Church isn’t called to have a mission plan. It is simply called to grasp God’s heart to seek and save the lost, seen in the ministry of Jesus, and to follow where God is leading. The book of Acts is less the “Acts of the Apostles” and more the “Acts of the Holy Spirit and how the apostles tried to keep up”. I hope as we work through Acts we learn the importance of God’s mission and be excited to be part of it.

With every blessing

Alistair