Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Tale of Two Churches -- Part 2

About five or so years ago now, I was involved in a church plant here in Toronto. We started with about five of us meeting together for a weekly Bible study and for prayer. Over time, we found another family or two interested in helping to establish the work and so we began to hold Sunday morning services in a home.

Now we meet in the gym of a school. We meet Sunday morning and Sunday night for worship. Wednesday evenings are ‘Grace Night’, where the adults meet for prayer and the kids have games time and classes. We’re up over a hundred people now, and we are a very close family of believers.

That’s it. No big purpose-drivel programs, no singles clubs, no Sunday school, and no youth pastors. Our kids (ages 2 and over) sit through the services, and the pastor preaches to them. Our sermons are typically 45 minutes to an hour on Sunday mornings and our pastor intentionally preaches through the Word of God book-by-book.

On Sunday nights the services are more interactive, but still centred on the Word. We encourage people to talk and ask questions and we all ‘improve the message’ by talking about it corporately. Kids too. We make sure they hear the gospel, because they are little sinners with eternal souls that need to be saved.

On Wednesday nights we begin by worshipping God through song and then break up into age appropriate groups. Kids have their classes and adults (everyone over grade 12) gather for prayer. That’s it. We pray. For a good 45 minutes to an hour. We never run out of things to pray about. We are intentional in making sure that prayer is always central to everything we do.

We’re not perfect, but we’re a group of sinners seeking earnestly to redeem church, and I love it. It’s authentic, gospel-centred, and soaked in prayer. I couldn’t ask for more. Who could?

Why do people make church so much more complicated than it needs to be? Focus on the gospel; be intentional in preaching to everyone and praying for everyone. If that is genuinely your focus, I truly believe the Lord will make the rest clear.

Venture much on God—if he is in it, he’ll bless your work. If not, then great! Rejoice! He’s made it clear to you that he has another plan for building his church.

If we truly believe that our Lord Jesus will build his church on his word, through the prayers of his saints, then why do we sell ourselves out to so many specialization fads and programs that promise to bring in a crowd or build ‘genuine community’ (as if any but the Holy Spirit could produce true unity)? Why not commit ourselves to prayer and the study of the Word and trust God to do the rest?

11 comments:

Nathan said...

I am writing this post to inform you that it seems your RSS feed is not working properly.

TwinsK&D said...

I agree with you Julian! I used to go to a church that had lots of various programs etc, and since joining GFC I have come to love the few things we do well for the glory of God...devoting ourselves to preaching(doctrine), prayer, fellowship, the Lords Supper! All To Gods Glory! We missed you yesterday and on Sunday evening! DV see you Sunday! Ill be praying for you...

David

JLF said...

Nathan:
Thanks. I think you're right. The problem is... that I suck. I have no idea what to do about that. Do you?

Dave:
You and your brother are my heroes. I really did miss you guys at the meeting last night... it's never the same when you're not around. Besides, the two of you were the topic of our study at men's meeting.

Son of Man said...

Nice...what can I say. I love all of these things too. I enjoy this blog.

Son of Man said...

and what is rss?

Nathan said...

RSS stands for really simple syndication. It is a service by which one can subscribe to regularly updated web-feeds such as blogs or news sites and be notified only when a new post is made thus preventing needless page checks. It is also used to syndicate things like podcasts, and various other media over the web.

JLF said...

Thanks for the info, Nathan! Any idea how I could fix it?! :)

TwinsK&D said...

jlf81...my rubber nose (i mean ears)are burning! :-) Glad you had a wonderful time brother...its great to fellowship with other believers...God is so good to give us such great friends! I look forward to your preaching tomorrow brother! Your in my prayers...
David

Nathan said...

Julian,

You may want to try going into this blog's settings tab and then to the site feed page. Then enable RSS feeds. You can chose whether you want long or short syndication. It's pretty self explanitory there.

DErifter said...

Hey on the RSS feed thing-

Try this:
Log in to Blogger

Click "Change Settings"

Click "Site Feed"

At the "Publish Site Feed" line, change your selection to "no" and save your changes. (Obviously, this will cancel your site feed.)

Now change your selection on the "Publish Site Feed" line back to "yes" and save your changes again. (This should republish the feed, so to speak, as opposed to republishing your blog)

Republish the index, and you should be good to go. (Again, I say "should") If it doesn't work I'll be happy to refund your money in full :)

Dan S. said...

I now know where to attend church whenever I visit the center of Canada. Thanks for that post.