EQUIP class on 'Church Matters' will be running for the next two Sundays. Pastor Eugene exhorts all of us to attend the class to have a better biblical understanding of the church and church membership.
This past Sunday, almost 50 people attended the 'Church Matters' class to hear more about what God’s word has to say about the church. What was especially encouraging was that more than half of the attendees were new to GBC and exploring membership. They came to learn what Scripture teaches concerning the church, as well to find out what GBC believes and how we do life together as a church.
'Church Matters' aims to foster a biblical understanding of the church and church membership. This is a key part of GBC’s disciple-making efforts. Why is this so crucial? It is because of how the Bible defines a disciple. A disciple is a forgiven sinner who is learning and growing in Christ in ongoing repentance and faith. Where does such learning and growth take place? It is in a local church, along with other believers. As Luke records in Acts 2, those who responded to Peter’s Pentecost sermon were added to the church. Together, these new disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship” (v. 42). We need one another in order to grow together. It is only when “each part is working properly” that the whole body of Christ “builds itself up in love” (Eph 4:16).
Therefore the church matters. Commitment and connectedness to the local church are not optional to our discipleship, but are fundamental to how we follow Jesus. So in order to faithfully live as a disciple of Christ, we need to have a biblical understanding of Christ’s body, the church.
Being a church member should be different from being a member of a secular organisation. What unites us is not common self-interests but a shared Saviour, who has self-sacrificially lavished His grace upon us. The gospel of Jesus Christ cements and sustains our relationships with one another. We follow in Jesus’ footsteps by doing nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, by humbly counting others more significant than ourselves and by considering the interests of others, not just our own (Php 2:3-4). The church is where we grow in Christ-like love, holiness, humility and wisdom.
On Sunday, we have an opportunity to put these qualities into practice when we meet to appoint new elders. The elders have recommended Lup Meng, Thian Chye and Samuel Beh to be new elders. Sam will also be joining the pastoral team as an associate pastor. The elders have examined them over a period of time, and we are happy to recommend them to the congregation.
By voting, we are recognising and affirming God’s calling and gifting of these men to serve as shepherds of the body of Christ.
Whether or not we have been Christians for 4 weeks or 40 years, we all need to hear what the Bible says about how we live with one another in community. The more we listen to God, the more we become like him. Because the church matters to God, I would like to encourage us to attend 'Church Matters'. The class will be at 11am over the next two Sundays (July 22 and 29).