We want to be a church centred on God’s word. We want to be humble and yet expect God to move as we hear him speak and work in the power of the Spirit. How can God encourage and grow us in our reaching out to others? Next year we are planning four major series – here’s an overview of what we can expect:
Jonah – a book about the compassionate heart of God. Unlike his own prophet (and so often unlike us), God cares deeply for the lost and acts to bring them to repentance and restoration. In doing this he demonstrates his sovereignty over storms, over nature and the sun, and over the human heart. Oh yes, and over that fish.
1 Peter – a letter encouraging Christians to be reaching out as exiles in a hostile world. If we think that evangelism will be easy if we can only do it the ‘right’ way, then 1 Peter will quickly set us straight. The Christian is called to follow Jesus. And that is not easy. It means to walk the way of suffering and rejection, even for doing good. But if we follow Christ in his suffering, we also follow him in his resurrection victory, and so we can take heart and keep going in hope.
Mark – the fast paced Gospel (which we will be studying… over 3 series!) is all about Jesus (1v1). In this first section Mark will begin by reminding us that God keeps his promises in sending Jesus.
He then goes on to demonstrate that Jesus is “Yahweh coming in sandals” by displaying his power over creation, and as the one with all authority and power as he brings in the kingdom.
Why study Mark this year? It is simply this: we will not joyfully speak of Jesus to others unless we are gripped by who he is ourselves. This summer, come and see how Mark shows us the identity of Jesus afresh and be blown away by who he is, whether it’s for the first time or not.
Acts – the unfolding of the story of the unstoppable Gospel. It outlines how the gospel message goes from a small crowd in Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. In this series, we will be looking at the end of the book, which focuses on Paul’s arrest and journey to Rome. Yet even when Paul’s freedom is taken from him the gospel is not bound. From sovereigns to savages, sailors to soldiers, Jesus continues to give him opportunities to share the gospel with those about him.