Have been asked to make the text available of my sermon for Trendlewood Church, 10/5/15. It's in note form but may help. The recording should appear on the web-site www.trendlewood.org.uk at some point.
Living the Vision 4 - Good News for our Local Community
Fourth of six:
1. Body of Christ - all different, all play our part, all one body.
2. Values - hospitality, welcome, inclusiveness, exporting - to which you helpfully added sacrificial giving and commitment.
3. Being Christ-centred in all we do.
Jeff Whatley principle - Christian groups, if corrective not exerted upon them, tend to stray away from the Gospel.
4. A Christian church, if it is doing what it should do, will make a local community a better place than a community that does not have one.
Salt and Light
I have three points today Truths, Weapons, Distinctives.
I want to share four truths. Six weapons and three distinctives. So only thirteen points. Let's get going.
1. Christians must be radically different - lighting the dark: preserving the decaying.
2. Christians must permeate society - lamp on a shelf: salt rubbed into meat. So if we fancy a game of badminton, to use an example, we don't form a church badminton club and only play with Christians, but we join one.
3. Christians must influence and change society - dispel darkness: hinder decay.
4. Christians must retain their distinctiveness - salt salty: light brightness. (Vanilla salt). Some things flavour the salt, rather than being flavoured by it.
1. Prayer (no-one can stop us doing that, alone, small groups, prayer meeting, daily office, weekly services, prayer diary, people diary),
2. Evangelism (let the evangelists evangelise; clear their diaries)
3. Example (if our words and example don't match people will learn more from our example than our words)
4. Argument (listening and correcting misunderstandings)
5. Action (doing stuff in the community, some people working hard in polling stations this week)
6. Suffering (not per se; but making it clear that we cope differently. It is our expectation not a surprise. Seneca)
Why might a Christian on Trendlewood estate be different, distinctive?
1. Greater righteousness than others, I hope. 248/365 serve God every day of the year with every bone in our body.
2. A wider love than others, I hope - enemies included.
3. A nobler ambition than others, I hope - God's name, kingdom and will (Lord's Prayer)
Will you make a difference?
Will you start to shine?
If battered and bruised, will you go again?