Stoneleigh Baptist
Stoneleigh Baptist Church

sowing seeds of hope in the community

Message from the Pastor

21 February 2021

Dear Friends

This week we are about to launch a new teaching series called 'The DNA of Discipleship'. One of my core convictions as a pastor is that we are called not just to make converts for Christ but to make disciples. Some of you may rightly ask what the difference between a convert and a disciple is.

I think the fundamental difference is that converts have made a decision to believe in Jesus, while disciples have responded to the call 'follow Jesus'. Therefore, as followers of Jesus, we must seriously ask ourselves, individually and corporately, what it means for us to be followers of Jesus in our practices and how we show that in our values as a Church family. Scot McKnight comments "To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it."

So, I am forced to ask another question. "How as a church are we committed to being a place where love shapes everything?" If love shapes everything we do, Jesus tells us that, by this, men and women shall know we are Christ's disciples.

My prayer for us as a community of faith is not just that we will grow closer in our relationship with God, but that we will also grow in our relationships with one another. This is hard, especially when we cannot meet, but it is not impossible. Can I encourage us all to show and demonstrate the love of Christ to our fellow believers this week.

There are several ways we could seek to do this as a church family – perhaps you could pick up the phone and call someone in the church family and tell them how much you appreciate them. Secondly, you could email or write someone a letter. Thirdly, perhaps you could do a random act of kindness for someone.

I want to say personally I am so grateful for you all. I am proud of how well we are responding as church family in these uncertain times. Let's not become complacent, but let's keep being a community of faith which lets love shape everything we do.

May God bless you and your family.

Pastor Gavin