2020 was a challenging year. Not out of the woods yet, but there is light at end of the pandemic tunnel. There are however some positives, e.g., we have earned what is profoundly important, as so much has been taken away. As we move from this season into a new one, I think it is crucial we remember what we have learnt, what is important. Our relationship with God is top of the list. When so much else has gone we have discovered He is enough. I also believe we have learnt lots about church, what is the real essence of church. What is the purpose of church, as we have had to do things so very differently?
Coming into the new year we will start a new sermon series starting on Sunday 17 January. This series that will take us up unto the middle of March. It will explore what is the purpose of church and how do we achieve this purpose. This series has been months in preparation and many of the preaching team will be contributing. We hope it will lay an important foundation for the new season we expect to be arriving throughout this year.
Alongside the preaching series may I commend to you a book, Letters to the church by Francis Chan. A few of us have read the book and found it extremely helpful. It is easy to read whilst being profoundly challenging, dealing with similar issues to those we will be covering on Sundays but in a different way. Our midweek material will be drawn from this book. You do not need to read the book to benefit from the Sunday teaching and midweek discussion. However, if you did read it I know you will get even more out of the series. One important thing to say is that Francis Chan, at the end of the book, describes the structure of his church and how they seek to apply the contents of the book. It is not what we believe is right in our context. We wanted to say up front that we have no intension of copying his way of doing church. As he says each church needs to apply the teaching in a way God leads them. That is what we intend to do.
I am looking forward to all that God has for us in the coming year and to be journeying with you.