Comfort, controversy and concern

Dear Friends,

Who does not want to be comfortable? Who wants to be uncomfortable? Yet comfort is probably one of the great idols in the church today. A mother never has a child and thinks ‘I must now be comfortable’. A footballer never thinks ‘The important thing is that I be comfortable’. A missionary never goes overseas ‘to be comfortable’. But many Christians seem to think ‘it should be comfortable’. We probably need a long look at ‘discipleship’.

1. Community relationships

Are you finding church fellowship easy? Are you waiting for someone to improve things for you? There are some Sundays where – as Spike Milligan once termed it – ‘I feel ‘skinless’ and every nerve ending is exposed and I would happily escape’.

Jesus said that His disciples should:    
a. know that they are deeply and profoundly loved (John 15:9)

b. know that obedience brings closeness and joy (John 15:10-11)

c. know that loving other believers is not optional (John 15:12)

d. know that love means sacrificing personal comfort (John 15:13)
Don’t wait to be loved and looked after – love one another!

2. Mentoring

Every now and again an idea pops up that sounds persuasive but needs to be examined very carefully. One such idea is ‘mentoring’ – being discipled by an older believer. But the desire is often to be looked after – as if we all deserve someone to meet with us and solve our problems. Mentoring is a wonderful thing and some may need it to get started in the Christian life. But most can provide it by seeking out a person to care for.   
Don’t wait to be mentored – if you can mentor!

3. Women’s Worker

It is a wonderful thing that we have so many keen Christian girls and women. But do we need a ‘women’s worker?’ Answering this question is harder than you think. Do we want someone theologically trained – someone single and thirty from Moore? Do we want someone female to start preaching?
In fact we have so many mature Christian women that five or six contribute to our staff meetings, five or six are wives of pastors – but dozens, without the title, are spread through the church with initiative and grace and competency. Many we could employ but we don’t need to.
   
Don’t look for a women’s worker – see the many!

4. Concern for the lost

I recently heard Paul Harrington from Adelaide explain that Holy Trinity is in the minority of churches that actually believe in the atonement and resurrection. Speaking to hundreds of Sydney clergy and lay people he said he worried that we in Sydney were committed more to our comfort than our lost neighbours. As part of our corrective to idolatrous comfort we are doing our second seed sowing for the next five weeks. (November 12, 19, 26, December 3 and 10).
Please – take a small ‘seed’ box today as you come (or go)

  • pray the Lord to give you courage and compassion
  • seek to give one ‘seed’ card away each week
  • love people

Don’t remember yourself…and forget the lost!

Yours,

Simon Manchester

P.S. Please talk to me anytime about these things and I will listen.