February Letter from Mat

One of the great excitements at the moment is seeing people grow in their God given ministry in the life of the church. People newly involved in leadership of small groups, in leading worship, in children’s and youth work, in prayer and many many other things. There are currently ten people on the new Growing Leaders course being run with Redland and I hope that that will help all of us in our ministry. We are growing in numbers and in depth. Praise God!

I am, however, aware that much of our growth to date has been internal church growth. One of our challenges is to see new people come to faith in Christ Jesus.

In 1 Peter 2Open Link in New Window, Peter writes to the church,

“you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you might proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out darkness into His marvellous light.”

You (plural) are a royal priesthood. Interestingly in the New Testament the only time the word for priest is used it is either about Jesus or about the whole people of God. In Peter’s Jewish understanding priesthood was about two things. Priests had access to God by God’s grace, and priests performed acts of worship to proclaim God’s glory and seek forgiveness for all people. And it is that role that he describes for the whole church. What does that mean for each of us in our everyday life? Where are those opportunities to proclaim, speak about and demonstrate faith so that others may see and be drawn to Jesus Christ? Are we seeking the help of the Holy Spirit in that work? And what does that all look like?

Throughout the coming weeks and especially through Lent we have tried to design sermons and Wednesday evening groups that will help us in this, input that will help us all to take risks for God, trusting in the Holy Spirit to work through us. (More details to follow.) Many of you will know my prayer is that St Matthew’s would become a priesthood of all believers, a Holy Spirit filled body of Christ where everyone plays their part in proclaiming the glory of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that that is where God is calling us. Exciting, isn’t it!

Mat

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