For some of you the concept of Natural Church Development is nothing new. For others this may be something you haven’t heard of. In our churches across Australia, many churches are seeking to measure and understand the health and growth of their churches. They often take the Natural Church Development survey and use it as a tool to see where they are healthy and where they need to improve.
In his book “Creating Healthy Adventist Churches through Natural Church Development”, Dr Russell Burrill explains the ideas of Christian Schwarz who developed this tool of measuring church health. He speaks of eight characteristics, one of which is loving relationships.
Burrill says: “An atmosphere of love and trust is essential in any church that wants to reflect the character of Christ to the world”. He then goes on to quote texts like John13:35, Romans 12:10, 1 John 3:11 to remind us that love is what should define us as a Christian community sharing hope with our world. By the way we love each other and by the way we love our community, people should not only hear our message of a loving, soon coming Saviour, they should see it. How well we love will therefore determine how well we do evangelism.
Nothing communicates this message ever so clearly than the following words:
“If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one”.
Now ask yourself the question, how loving are we as a church? Does love define us? If someone walked into our church for the first time, could they say above all else that we are a loving group of people?
As we prepare for our evangelistic program, let us remember that the success of this program does not rest on how well we organise ourselves or even how well the speaker communicates the message. Rather we need to remember the God of love that we serve and allow His love to shine through us.
Thought for the week...
Wall of fame...
Once upon a time a busy bee was planned. It was a great day! Some worked very hard and were on a mission to find cleaning gear. They would not be stopped....
Others had time to laugh and smell the roses (or the bins, as might be the case)...
There were those who quietly observed or wondered, "Would the work get done?"
But in the end we were all happy with what was accomplished and were blown away by everyone's efforts! Thank you to all!! The End :)