It was good in May to have so many of us gather for a Saturday to reflect on how we grow together. There’s a report about this congregational gathering inside, but I want to offer some personal reflections. The usual pattern of such gatherings is that they generate a list of suggested activities to build up the life of the congregation. We did some of that, but activity is not what came out of that day for me. What we need isn’t different events. What we need is to be a different people. We need to be mentors, and we need to be evangelists.
What do I mean? Well, we can run an activity, social or spiritual, to build up the life of the congregation. But what encourages people to participate in that event? It isn’t the planning or the pulpit announcement; it’s the friend who says “come with me”. It’s the person who comes alongside and encourages. We need to be mentoring each other. If you are coming to an event at Church, there will be someone who hasn’t thought to come, who’s not sure if they could. We need you to think who they might be and to come alongside them. We need deliberately and constantly to encourage each other (literally to “give courage”). Could you do that?
And if we run an outreach, be it a Holiday Club, a daily Café in the Meeting Place, an activity in the park, we need not just a welcoming event, we need evangelists to be there. I’m not talking about Billy Graham, I’m just talking about people who think the gospel is good news and that God wants to be known by folk in the community. I’m just talking about people who are open to talking about their faith when the opportunity arises. I’m talking about people who are willing to take a risk, in the expectation that God might use them, even when they say the wrong things.
We need mentors and we need evangelists in Stonelaw: not specialists, just ordinary Christians who are learning to love each other and long to see each one grow in faith, ordinary Christians growing in the conviction that this Jesus whom they’ve come to know is worth recommending to their neighbours.
Please pray that God will raise up such people among us. Please pray that he will raise up such a spirit within you.
With every blessing,
Rev Alistair May