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Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church September

Dear Friends,  




Evangelism is something that marks out Biblical churches I am going to deviate from looking at Colossians 3: 16 in this newsletter but I’m not changing the subject of what the church should be like.  Jesus said to his disciples (Mark 1: 17), ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men’ – by way of application Bill Dyer said at a conference, ‘Can you call someone a fisherman if he never goes fishing?’ We would expect then that one of the marks of a church will be evangelism and that this will be built into the church’s normal pattern of life.


This is something that cannot just rest on the gospel being made clear in our Sunday services I make every effort to make the gospel clear Sunday by Sunday. This is necessary for those who are Christians as well as those who are not. I rejoice in the opportunities of preaching to unsaved people and those who are deeply unsure of where they are spiritually. However the main purpose of gathering as a church is teaching and edification - evangelism must involve reaching out into the non-Christian world.


We should pray for what we are already doing The opportunities to take services at Abbeyfield and Hill House are great. We are warmly received and whatever age we are (Psalm 119: 130), ‘The unfolding of your words give light; it imparts understanding to the simple.’ There are no age limits, old or young, for salvation. In the Toddlers’ group, the Men’s Breakfast and the Craft Afternoons there are real opportunities to reach people who may have contact with churches which are not clear about the gospel or who simply have no church background at all. Then Christmas, Harvest and Easter give us seasons of the year when there is a greater openness to attending a church service.


We need to be on the look-out for new gospel opportunities I and others were very encouraged by Josh Fortune’s visit to us in June. The gospel was clearly communicated in the context of a very winning human interest story. We hope to have a couple of meetings in 2019 which will use a similar approach. Looking at what we are doing we need to consider who we are not reaching out to as well as who we are reaching. Looking further ahead 2021 will be the 250th Anniversary of our church and we will need to look at the gospel opportunities which may stem from this.


We need to see our duties in the light of how God works in salvation Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3: 6, ‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.’ The planting (initially sharing the gospel to found a church), the watering (nurturing God’s work and teaching a new church) are both activities commanded by God. Our activities in evangelism are part of God’s plan but the giving of growth is his prerogative alone because only he can give new life.


Our praying, planning and performing are all necessary because God has so planned it but all of these can take place without God’s work in increasing the church by saving men and women. Therefore our calling is to be prayerfully active in God’s work.



Yours in the Lord,



Mike

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