Greyfriars is a church family who work together to achieve God’s mission in Eden/Epsom. This mutual support is evident in the way our church family rallied, raising over $40,000 when we had to leave our church building and refurbish the hall; evident in the amazing goodwill when we joined together the Eden and Epsom churches; and evident in many other aspects of ministry including how we are working towards being a cross-cultural church and expanding our ministries with children.
The Redemptive Family course asks us to consider how we bring our two worlds together. One world is our church family with our emphasis on the Kingdom of God, and our other world is where we mix with non‑Christians socially or in business. The Apostle Paul reminds us, We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19–20) So we have a responsibility as ambassadors to build relationships with people so we can help them find their own relationship with God. How do we bring our Christian and non-Christian friends together?
The key point we want to stress today is you are not alone in this mission, we are in this together as a church family. We are part of the family of God and we each have different skills, gifts and experience that can help us to reach out to others, to make them feel welcome and to provide ways for them to explore the Christian faith. As our course states, God intended His mission to be undertaken by His church, not as a collection of individuals, but together as family with everyone playing their part!
Jesus was a master of creating opportunities, encouraging conversations and drawing people closer to the Kingdom of God. Jesus … called Zacchaeus down from the tree and went to his house for a meal; … got into trouble for going to Matthew’s house and having dinner with those others considered to be the wrong sorts of people; and he … went to the wedding at Cana, ate with Simon the Leper and even accepted invitations to eat with prominent Pharisees. Jesus was so relational and willing to connect with all sorts of people he gained the reputation of being a friend of sinners. How can we be a friend to the people around us as Jesus was to the people around him?
At Greyfriars we seek to do this by fostering redemptive relationships and creating mix-zone spaces/events where people from our two worlds can meet each other. Our church already creates opportunities for mix-zones and you might have ideas for other ways of doing this. Our Light Party is a great example of a mix zone. We provide a safe, fun event for families and we, God’s family, are there to help connect and chat with them as we build relationships together.
How can we help each other build redemptive relationships with our friends and with people in the community who come to our events?
Rev John Malcolm