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‘You will be My Witnesses’

14 Apr

I have been on the Riverside Go-team twice, 2009 and 2010,  in just that one year between the two teams I saw real personal spiritual growth in the congregation. One of the most amazing evidences of that growth was the witnessing of the congregation. The first year we had an ‘evangelistic’ meeting in the church which we invited much of Newry to during the week – no visitors came. The next year the format of the meeting was changed, we instead had a BBQ outside the church, we had some games in the hall and Pastor Sweeney finished it off with a simple 10 minute gospel presentation from a Psalm which we then sang.

The real difference on the previous year however, was that visitors actually came! And I’m not just talking about the kind of visitors that are elders at the local Presbyterian Church; I mean the ones that don’t go to church. That’s right we found those elusive non-Christians that always seem to be absent from the meetings we design for them!

Now, some of this success im sure was -humanly speaking- down to the change in form of the meeting, and perhaps too often we design evangelistic meetings that only appeal to those like ourselves? However, none of these people came because the Go-Team invited them, how do I know? We didn’t invite anyone; we just gave out 4U magazines! The visitors that came, came because they had been invited by people in the congregation. Those people heard the gospel and it was almost nothing to do with the work of  the mighty Go-team!

I got the feeling on that Go-team that, really we weren’t needed. That encouraged me.  We were just there to do the physical work of handing out literature and helping with HBC that this small congregation couldn’t do all themselves. We were there just to facilitate and encourage the congregation in THEIR work of witnessing, It would have gone on without us. The go team was NOT seen as THE evangelism for the year. I unfortunately cannot say I have seen this attitude in many the congregations I have visited, I think mission/go teams are often looked on as  ‘getting some young people over to do us some of that evangelism’ and if God doesn’t chose to bring people in then so be it. This is such an easy mind-set to slip into but yet absolutely deadly to the work of the church.

We almost expect no one to come to our outreach meetings, and is it any wonder God isn’t bringing people in when we aren’t actively and continually seeking to witness. Do we honestly struggle to understand why many of our congregations are in decline if we only share the gospel for one week a year and even then we don’t pursue those we can have a real impact on i.e. unsaved friends, family and loved ones, those who know us. Rather we are content to let Christians we have never met tell non-Christians we have never met about a church neither of them has ever been to except on a Go-team.

I am proGo-teams but in the correct perspective. It is not a team of people to come to your church and do your witnessing for you. It is not the week in the year where you go to someone else’s church and fulfil your active witnessing requirements for another annum. It is just one week of 52 in which me must be witness for Christ.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – Acts 1:8

This issue has been on my mind since I heard this sermon by David McCullough back in August (Specific bit @ 23min 20s onwards):

You Will Be My Witnesses (Acts 1v8) from Dromore RPC on Vimeo.

Reflections on the Pope’s Visit

23 Sep

Pope Benedict visited Britain last weekend and Pastor David McCullough shared some reflections from the pulpit during Sunday’s Evening Service.

This is also available in the form of the latest blog post at He Rules Over the Nations.

Philip Dunwoody has also posted some thoughts on his blog.

Join the Church to Bring God Glory

2 Jul

Fifth reason and conclusion from Rev. David McCullough’s series, “Why Join the Church?”

5. Because we want to Bring Glory to God

How we live our lives can bring glory to God.  Peter writing to the early NT believers wrote, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” (I Peter 2:12)  That is not only true for us as individuals but also in our lives together.  Our lives together are to show that we belong to Christ and to bring Him glory.  When you join the church you are being adopted into the family of God’s people and in that family the relationships lived out and the service given one for the other will bring glory to God.  Bringing glory to God is the reason above all that Christians should belong to a church.

Obviously anyone can come along to the services and benefit from the preaching and the warmth of the fellowship.  But there are many more privileges in belonging to the church.  You will receive the official care and oversight of the minister and elders; you will have the opportunity to come to the Lord’s Table without being welcomed as a visitor.  You will have the privilege of your children being able to receive the sign of baptism.  You will have the privilege of being able to stand alongside a group of believers knowing that this is your church where you will be cared for, prayed for and your gifts utilised to God’s glory.

So do not merely attend a church – join.  Join because God says so, because you need to, because others will be blessed and most of all because God will be glorified.

Why Join the Church?

Introduction

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

Join the Church to Reach the World

22 Jun
The fourth reason from Rev. David McCullough’s series answering the question “Why Join the Church?”

We should join a local church for the sake of reaching the lost.  When we work together we can better spread the Gospel at home and overseas. A local church which is Biblical is a lighthouse to the world.  When we take on membership we back up the missionary endeavours of the church. Together in the church we can reach our towns and community and combine our efforts to further the gospel across the world.

Why Join the Church?

Introduction

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

I Shall Not Want

15 Jun

A short clip from the sermon “The LORD is my Shepherd” preached by Rev. David McCullough at our Precommunion service last Friday. You can also download the sermon mp3.

Last time I posted  a link I claimed that you could now subscribe to a feed of Dromore’s sermon Mp3’s though it might not have worked. Now I think I’ve resolved the issues and you should be able to receive the latest sermons via iTunes or other Podcast receiving software.

Latest Sermons

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God of Jacob

2 Jun

An excerpt from the sermon “Welcoming the King” on Psalm 24 by Rev. David McCullough. You can also watch the whole sermon or download the mp3.

Join the Church to Fulfil Responsibilities

27 May

Reason no.3 from Rev. David McCullough’s series “Why Join the Church?”

“every Christian has been entrusted with gifts to be used in the context of a local church”

3. Because We Have Responsibilities For Others

In Hebrews 10:24&25 we are commanded to “consider one another.” Not joining the church sends out a wrong and unbiblical message to other believers and also to the world. Not joining is modelling a sinful pattern to others. This is a serious thing to do. Not joining sends the message – this church and her teaching is not worthwhile being committed to; the work of God doesn’t deserve all of our lives.

Of course the opposite is also true. When we join a Biblical church we are making a massive statement to the unbelieving world and rightly considering others.

We should also remember that every Christian has been entrusted with gifts to be used in the context of a local church. These gifts are given for the “common good” (I Corinthians 12:7). Yes it is true that someone can use their gifts outside of the church but many of the ministry opportunities are available for church members only. A famous American preacher once said, “Not joining the church is saying I don’t want to serve the only institution that Christ ever built.”

Why Join the Church?

Introduction

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory