Join a home group or join an online home group

Just want to say how excited I'm feeling about the launch of our ten new home groups this Autumn. Its a real encouragement to hear people joking with each other as they make the pitch to persuade friends and neighbours to attend their group. We have chosen as our theme " The Essential Gospel Tool Kit" Its a kind of refresher course touching on the five questions that are asked of all of us when we join the Church of Scotland. In the tool kit is a reminder that we are all part of God's story of Redemption. We are people who understand the shared history of being rescued. We are a people who believe we need a Saviour. Hence we are asked the question. Do you believe in one God Father Son and Holy Spirit and do you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. "Do you promise to pray and read your Bible regularly?" This is the second question and it leads us to the importance of personal prayer and Bible reading. I think it was the great Scottish Divine Robert Murray McCheyne who wrote, "What a man is on his knees that he is and no more." Learning to develop a personal spiritual life is one of the greatest joys of the Christian journey. It is this second question asked of all who come for confirmation that is the key to growing in spiritual maturity. I'm sure that the two weeks devoted to prayer and personal devotions will prove to be beneficial to all of us in the congregation. The next question asked is do you promise to give a fitting proportion of your time talent and money to the work of the Lord. This area takes us into thinking about lifestyle. How do we use our resources. It is an interesting fact that research shows that in most denominations it is 20% of the people who are members who contribute to 80% of the work. The fact is that many who say they are Christians contribute very little to the life and witness of the visible community of which they say they are part. How then do we as God's people value everyone, even the 80% who apparently seem to do so little. I think the secret is not to judge. What might be one person's service might appear to another as a hobbie. Learning to give others the benefit of the doubt saves us from being over critical of each other. Yet the question still remains. What do we consider to be a fitting proportion of our time and talent and money? These will be some of the areas we will be looking at and discussing when it comes to lifestyle. And what about tithing is this something we in the church should be encouraging? The next question invites a promise to attend worship regularly. Making time to be involved in worship to share and to participate. In today's church there is more and more emphasis on everyone contributing to the act of worship. Worship of course is much broader than simply attending church services. It about offering our gift and our talents our work and our leisure all of it is an offering to God. The final question invites us to be prepared to share our faith when it is appropriate. Do you promise to profess Christ before your family and friends in so far as god gives you the grace to do so? Learning to share our faith is an important aspect of growing and maturing as a Christian. The above will be part of the content of the weekly home groups. I sure that many are going to find them useful and stimulating . One more thing I'm hoping at we will be able to get an online home group started. If your interested I'd love to hear from you and send me the dates and times you'd be free and the country so that we can work out time differences.
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