I recently wrote to our pastor the letter below. I have long regarded Church program-based social action to be far removed from what Jesus meant by spreading the gospel and I am hoping to receive a positive response to my letter.
I guess the gist of it is that:
- The gospel is to be spoken in words.
- We need to be schooled about our beliefs.
- We need to be warned about false teachers, and,
- There are many Christians doing God’s work in ways that are not supported by the official Church leadership, and they tend to get overlooked.
What do you think?
On Sunday you preached a sermon in which you encouraged the Church to consider the ways we might be moving to be more fully engaged in spreading the gospel. You also suggested we contact you to express these views.
I consider that we should be looking at outreach in the following manner:
- Delivery of the gospel. Despite the fact that most attendees are already Christian it is important to present the gospel in some way at every meeting. You do this well already and it is just as important in evangelism as in teaching. Perhaps a more definite and regular invitation to follow Christ could be made from the pulpit.
- Defining our beliefs. Our beliefs determine our actions. I would like to hear more teaching on the core beliefs of Christianity, both systematically and practically – meat as well as milk. This would include in depth teaching from the words of Jesus, Paul, Peter and James and how they affect our behaviour and our actions.
- Defending the truth of the gospel. Very important to those wishing to remain firmly standing on the rock of our salvation. I would like to hear more on specific false teachings and authors who are subtly changing some Christians’ attitudes to certain doctrines. The apostles didn’t mince words. You have said something about some of these matters but it has mainly been in passing, rather than directly. Some of the songs chosen for worship have been weak theologically or at best, misleading. Maybe more thought could be given to the choice of songs, and even a discussion of whether certain lyrics are clear and doctrinally accurate. This is not legalism, and I am sure Paul would have a lot to say on the topic.
- Encouraging those already at work in the gospel. There are a number of people in our congregation who already are working hard for the Lord. This includes letterbox droppers, bible study leaders, lay speakers, blog writers as well as the “official Church workers” at the Op Shop and other general rostered workers, musicians, cooks, visitors, etc. It is noted that the unofficial workers very rarely get mentioned but the official workers do. We are not to expect human accolades for our work – in fact we are warned we must not – but it would be fair to be encouraged and recognised that we are all part of the Church family. This would help others to consider becoming more involved.
I hope these issues can be looked at this year.
In His service,