What is the Church for? Why am I doing what I am doing? Those are the fundamental questions that I think about often! If I think that the purpose of the Church is only to provide us with an escape from the world, and that our role is to come to worship and to help keep the building and its grounds looking nice and the Church finances secure, then there is little point to what I am doing as a Church community worker. But if I do think that that’s all the Church and we as Christians are for, then I’ve rather missed the point!
For the purpose of the Church is the glorifying of God and the furthering of the Kingdom of God on earth by word and by deed. The Church exists for those who are not yet its members. We are here to show the love of God for the whole world and for all who are in the world. The Church is called to be the ‘Sign, Instrument and Foretaste of the Kingdom of God,’ to be the salt, yeast and light for the world Jesus spoke of.
And that’s a tall order and a big picture. But it is true! Therefore my question to you – and to your Church and to all that your Church does – is, ‘How are you furthering God’s Kingdom in the Musselburgh Area by what you are doing?’ That task is partly about making our local communities more just, more equitable, fairer for all, places where all can flourish and have shalom – peace, wellbeing, prosperity. But it is also about telling others about God and Jesus and inviting them to find eternal life by accepting Jesus as their living Lord.
I have found quite often that by being involved with others from outside the Church on activities that seek to improve the quality of life for local people, I have been given opportunities to talk about Jesus and Christianity with those ‘on the fringes.’ One day recently, when I spent much of the day helping in the Starfish Recovery café and then called into Blue Triangle with some ‘Starter Pack’ items, I had no less than four separate ‘spiritual’ conversations with people – a customer of the café, two of the other café volunteers and one of the BT project workers. Those conversations don’t readily lead to people becoming Church members, certainly not of the Musselburgh C of S congregations, but they do sow real seeds of the Kingdom in people’s hearts. And I’m only able to have such conversations because I have shown that I and the Church are concerned about folk’s material wellbeing and not just about getting them to be Church members.
So how can I help you and your Church or Group to become more aware of and more engaged with the life of the communities around you, to become more of an agent of the furthering of God’s Kingdom in your area?