I had the privilege of worshipping with ‘Churches Together in Totton and Forest Edge’ at Testwood Baptist Church on Pentecost Sunday evening. What a joy to worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The service began with a reminder that in the Domesday Book of 1086 Totton was mentioned and it was noted that there was One Church! Graham Tuck, senior pastor at Testwood Baptist Church, affirmed with us that there is still ‘One Church’ here and we are all part of it, expressing ourselves in different ways.
We heard a challenging and practical message about the Holy Spirit giving us what it takes to speak to others about our faith. It might only be a few words that we say, but with God’s help these words can be used to help others explore their faith. It might be that we are called to be more practical in reflecting Jesus’ love to others – baking a cake, giving some flowers, doing some ironing… Sometimes we will need to be bold and pray as the Apostle Paul did in Acts 4:29: ‘enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.’
If we are going to speak with boldness we need to know our Bible better; we need to read our Bibles so God can bring into our minds His words to share with others at the right time (not all the time – we need to be discerning and listen to God’s prompting!) We have a Church Meeting on June 21st – come along if you can – we will think together about how we can learn more about our faith so that we are better equipped to share it with others. There are a number of ways we could do this within our Sunday worship and our study groups – we will look at and discuss some of the resources available.
At that Pentecost service I felt challenged by God to try and help this congregation better understand the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection so that we can more readily find ways to explain the wonder of our faith to those we meet. So listen out…prepare to be equipped, challenged and empowered!
And finally – two points:
1. It is important for us to remember that if we take ‘mission’ out of church then we are just left with a social club.
2. It is encouraging to affirm to ourselves and others that ‘If we are not dead then we’re not done! God still has work for us to do.’