It’s the end of an era; I’ve been Senior Associate Minister for almost seven years, and this Sunday is my last day here. A privilege of leaving is that I get to choose what to talk about – so I’ve decided to encourage you in four things that I believe matter most.
Firstly, I encourage you to “keep The Main Thing the main thing” – Jesus is The Main Thing. There are so many excellent ministries we can support and join in as followers of Jesus, but the main thing is to honour Jesus; so we need to look at our ministries objectively, asking, does this really commend Jesus to our world? Are we demonstrating the godly character of a follower of Jesus, in the way we treat our fellow workers, those in authority over us, and those around us?
Secondly, I encourage you to be thankful – to joyfully praise God for what he has already given you and this church, and to have your eyes and your arms wide open to notice and receive whatever blessing he is waiting to give you next. It’s a slap in the face for God when we don’t notice his goodness to us, but just keep asking him to give more and fix more problems, so before you ask, make sure you’ve done a stock-take of how much you’ve already received.
Thirdly, I encourage you to love one another, to work diligently at unity, not by pretending offences don’t exist, but by taking the risk to talk through your differences, hurts and annoyance – not to prove that you have been wronged, or to crush the other person – but to genuinely resolve the conflicts; then to forgive one another as God has forgiven you, to put those offences behind you forever.
Finally, I encourage you to look to the future. Our mission isn’t to fix this world – we aren’t powerful enough to do that. A day has been set when Jesus will fix it; til then our mission is to show people his power and character in our lives, and to urge them to know and follow him themselves. So keep your eyes fixed on the truth that this world is passing away, be preparing and be prepared for the one to come.
- Katie Peken