Tag Archives: Witness

Not long to GO!

15 Apr

The official closing date for GO Team Application forms is only a few days away, so if you haven’t made your mind up yet, time to get the thinking caps on!

Please do have a good think over the next few days if there are times during your summer where you could give up a week to serve the Church. I’m sure some of our readers could give us some information on where numbers are still needed if you would like to know where you could be used best! Don’t fear about late applications, every one will be welcome!

Also a reminder that the Evangelism Conference is being held in Lisburn R.P.C on Saturday 1st May, more details will be coming to you soon no doubt.

So hopefully this post has got you all nostalgic, if so, feel free to browse through these hilariously old photos of previous GO Teams and Campaigns (as they were once called…)

Enjoy!

Retro GO Team Photos

Evening Worship Because of Our Witness

22 Mar

Part 5 in Rev.David McCullough’s series nicked from a church leaflet entitled “Why Evening Worship?”

5. Because of our Witness to the World

The message of the Scripture is that our lives are to display to men and women the glorious light of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). When we are present at worship we are making an important statement to visitors – the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life. When we are absent visitors note and conclude – there mustn’t be much of importance that is happening here. Our presence at worship says to the world that the proclamation of the Word of God is vital.

There is a secondary dimension to this, in that, as we come under the Word Christ deals with us and uses His Word to make us more like Him and the more like Him we are the more useful we will be in reaching the lost.

Part 1- Because of the Glory of God

Part 2- Because Jesus is There

Part 3- Because It’s the Lord’s Day

Part 4- Because of Each Other

“Should I Go Clubbing?”

9 Jan

This article was  written by Jonny McCollum and was first published as the sole part of what appears to have been The Messenger Magazine’s shortest ever series. Thanks to Jonny for allowing us to reproduce it.

“I want to witness to my non-Christian friends. Should I go clubbing with them in order to get closer to them?” One of our chief responsibilities is to tell the lost about Jesus Christ. If we spend every last moment in “holy huddles” with Christian friends, this is almost impossible. It is right that we should befriend non-Christians and that we should spend time with them and get to know them. Unfortunately, non-Christians often spend time in places where we are uncomfortable, such as nightclubs. This presents us with a dilemma – should we go with them to these places in order to better befriend them and hopefully have opportunities to share the gospel? While the Bible doesn’t speak specifically about clubbing, it does present us with important principles. Some are adamant that no Christian should even touch alcohol and thus to go to places such as pubs and clubs would be sinful. Others condemn this as legalism. What does the Bible say? It is clear from scripture that alcohol itself is not inherently wrong (1 Tim 5:23). It is equally clear that drunkenness is (Eph 5:18). While we could go out and simply not get drunk, will our friends assume that by visiting places such as Kelly’s & Mclub, where drunkenness is the norm, that we condone something that is forbidden by God’s law? If they do assume this then how will it affect our witness? If we choose to attend nightclubs, we will be bombarded with temptation. In order to avoid falling into sin, it is vital that we do not underestimate our enemy. Imagine you are about to embark on a journey across the Indian Ocean. You plan to sail past the coast of Somalia, and before setting off you are warned of pirate attacks. If your view of pirates is based entirely on cartoons, you will picture men with big beards and parrots, who spend their days drinking rum and shouting “Arr!” (the pirates, not the parrots!) Perhaps you decide to pack your trusty cutlass (admittedly few readers are likely to have one lying around), confident that it is enough to ward off a group of drunken men with eye patches and wooden legs. Now imagine that your boat is attacked by real life, Somali pirates. But these men don’t look like Captain Pugwash or Jack Sparrow; they’re professional and they have dangerous, modern weapons. Your cutlass wouldn’t look quite so impressive when faced with a gang armed with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades! If we are silly enough to underestimate the danger we will face serious trouble. Often our view of Satan is just as misconceived. Far from being a figure of fun with hoofs, a tail and a pitchfork, Satan is devious, determined and dangerous. And while we are unlikely to be attacked by pirates, we come under assault from Satan and his angels each and every day. Satan is incredibly cunning. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). While we may go out with friends with the hope of sharing the gospel, Satan will use the opportunity to barrage us with temptation. Perhaps you can resist the temptation to get drunk, but will the revealing clothes worn by others lead you to think lustful thoughts? (Matt 5:28) We dismiss the dangers posed by Satan at our peril! We should be wary and vigilant (1 Pet 5:8). It is impossible to escape temptation altogether, but this does not justify putting ourselves in the firing line. Perhaps some do not struggle with these temptations. But they are a problem for most Christians, and we ought to take others into account. Will a weaker brother/sister who is likely to fall be more inclined to go to clubs and thus put themselves in danger because they know you attend? The very ethos behind nightclubs is in stark contrast to our calling. God calls us to be self-controlled (Gal 5:23). People are attracted to nightclubs because the free flowing alcohol, accessible drugs and hypnotic dance tracks are designed so they can ‘lose themselves’. Clubbing is not about socialising or making friends. It is about losing control. And what about the very people we are trying to witness to? What if they become Christians? Will we warn them of the dangers of going clubbing? Our example tells them that nightclubs are a suitable place for new Christians to hang around. They aren’t! The intense temptations associated with clubbing, and the messages sent out by attending, mean that even if our motives are good, it is surely best to avoid these places. It would be far better to witness to our friends in the places we already go with them, besides, if we aren’t able to tell them about Christ in the classroom or workplace then why should a bustling nightclub be any different?

More than just Sun, Sea and Sand

22 Sep

Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

Have you got an interest in mission work? Do you feel that God may be calling you to go abroad in His name in the future? In Lisburn RPC this Friday night I will be sharing about what God is doing in a little Mediterranean Island called Cyprus….

We have a great God, capable of doing more than we could ever think or imagine and He calls us to be active in our Christian walk, following His leading and guiding without counting the cost. God is at work in Cyprus, come and hear about how you could get involved, what you can be praying for and get a burden for a country that is lost in so many ways with little evangelical witness around. If you have nothing better to be doing on Friday night get down to Lisburn RPC at 8pm…. The Kingdom is coming….and we have a mighty calling.

Cross on a Rock

Vocational Bible School

Vacational Bible School

‘But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?’ Romans 10:14-15

With thanks, hope to see you there, Lorna McCollum

Letterkenny Go Team 2009

4 Sep

irelandmap

Team: Jonny McCollum (leader), Peter Fallows, James McCullough, Rebekah Throne, Heather McMullan, Catherine McCullough, Carla Quigley (arrived Monday), Andrew Morrison (arrived Thursday) and Stephen Steele (Sunday, Monday and Thursday)

Plus notable cameo appearances from: Prof Robert McCollum, Emma McCluggage, Joel Cromie and Mary-Lynn Cromie

lk09_teamphoto2

From Dromore, Cullybackey, Stranorlar, Faughan, Faughan, Trinity, Stranorlar, Trinity, Airdrie and Bready respectively

Earlier in the summer a small group of us visited Donegal for a holiday but I knew this week was going to be very different from that week of rest and relaxation.  Arriving for10:15 on Sunday morning for worship I got to the Day Centre where the fellowship meets with the help of Navigator /Cartographer Pete and after the service we all got a chance to get to know the Fellowship over lunch. Sabbath afternoon was spent at the Loughridge’s attaching stickers with contact information and the time of the weekly service to thousands of leaflets before visiting the Presbyterian Church Hall where we would be spending the week encamped on either air beds or two fantastically comfy gymnastic crash mats. A praise service back at the day centre rounded off our first day in Donegal.

letterkennymap

Where the day centre is 

lk09_sign

Sign outside Day Centre
 
lk09_steeloarriving
Steelo arrived seconds after us

lk09_conglunchpete

Stuart McMahon meets Pete F whilst Heather competes to be the Young Loughridges favourite Go Teamer

lk09_conglunchsteelopetejames

The banter was flying

lk09_leafletssteelo

It’s not the leaflet’s arrival that’s got him excited
 
 
 
lk09_cathedral2
Where we were staying
 
 
lk09_presbyhall
 
Only joking, this is the Presby Hall where we were staying

lk09_peteboxes

Pete could have done them all by himself
 
lk09_petecrashmat
Testing out the crash mat
 
lk09_hezzahouse
The girls’ sleeping quarters
 

Each morning started with devotions lead by Pastor Mark Loughridge followed by a seminar on seeing our Saviour in different genres of Scripture. I found these very helpful particularly the advice on reading OT prophesy and not focusing on the little details of OT law rather looking primarily for Christ in the text whilst the ways Mark taught us to read the Psalms has changed the way I sing these songs, each of which speaks of Jesus. After the seminars we had a break for a cup of tea and buns although the “schooling” usually continued through conversation until we began our time of prayer. Prayer was main work of the team and each morning we spent time adoring and  thanking God for his goodness for us before bring requests before him for the fellowship, Letterkenny, Donegal and Ireland. Last year in the Milford Go Team report I said that prayer was “the main lesson of the week” and this was true again as I was reminded of how we need to carefully plan and structure our prayers and taught how to use more Scripture whilst praying. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the reason that so many of us struggle in our prayer lives is that we’ve never seriously sat down to structure and plan what we need to bring before God in this blood-bought privilege.

lk09_schooling

A schooling
 
lk09_willytstickers
Willy T doing some more stickers

After organising our own lunch in the Church Hall we spent the afternoons distributing the “4you” magazines around the town. Pray that God will use the 5,500 given out in the lives of those who read them. Pray that many would contact Mark wanting to explore Christianity further. In the evenings we had dinner at the homes of various members of the fellowship before doing door-to-door evangelism in the evening in which we tried to get people to think about what is really important in life.

lk09_hezzamarklunch

Mark picking on Heather again

lk09_carlalettuce

Carla and her rabbit food

lk09_catherinepetelunch

Catherine and Pete looking for lunch

lk09_jamesreading

Trying to read the Arabic bit

DSCF4590

The magazine

DSCF4591

Remember Paudge?

lk09_bekaleaflets

Beka doing magazine distribution

lk09_fieldagent

Field agent Willy T returning from duty

Even though it intially looked like the numbers on the team were going to be severely affected before the team started by the dropping out of Robert , Andy and Stephen, we bonded well as a team and I really enjoyed getting to know the other team members. Mark Loughridge and Jonny obviously managed to guilt trip Robert to the extent that he took a break from his Greek and came to help the team with Emma on Tuesday. Carla Quigley arrived on Monday morning to be part of the team though she only intend to stay until Thursday but this plan was soon thwarted by what can only be described as the “Andy Mo Effect” which convinced her to stay until on this side of the Irish Sea until the next Monday. Appartently Andy’s arrival on Thursday was only meant to be temporary but his inability to catch a bus resulted in him joining the rest of us guys on the crash mats. The other team drop-out, Steelo, managed to take three days off from writing his disertation entitled “Houston we have a problem” helping on Sunday, Monday and Thursday whilst the two Cromies managed to secure a place in the team photo after only being present for Wednesday night (our evening off!) and Friday.

As I have repeatedly stated in other reports, I’ve always found I’ve got a lot more out of Go Teams than I’ve ever been able to contribute. We are much indebted to Mark for the time he spent with us, teaching and helping us in our faith. Pray for the team members, that we’ll be able to put into practice what we learned and please remember the Letterkenny work in your prayers. Pray that God will protect and use the core families. Pray that the new converts will continue to grow in their faith. Pray for those Mark is doing Bible Studies with. Pray for Mark ans he preaches and Jonny as he spends  at year in Letterkenny on Short-Term Service.

Photos

lk09_lougridgehouse

The Loughridges one evening

lk09_jameshandsinair

I’m sure there’s a logical explanation

lk09_bekajaffa

Yes!

lk09_jonnyplan

Planning our attack

lk09_jonnymarkplan

Captain and Commander consult the maps

lk09_bekacatherine

Beka and Catherine

lk09_jonnyindianpete

Indian on Wednesday night

lk09_indianspicy

Some struggled with the spicier dishes

lk09_jamespete

Me and Pete

lk09_joeljonny

Joel Cromie and Fitch

lk09_andyhezzapete

Andy Mo’s arrival was greeted with excitement by some but by distain from Pete

lk09_mazzalazzahezza

Mazza-Lazza and Hezza

lk09_mazzalazzaandy

Andy Mo distracts Mazza-Lazza whilst Joel and I alter numbers on her phone

lk09_crusingjoeljames

Cruising to Morellies, but it was shut so we had to wait until Saturday

lk09_estherwillyt

Willy T and Esther

lk09_jamesgrumpy

I think it was because Liverpool had lost

lk09_petejonnyreading

The intellectuals

lk09_petejonny

At the Loughridges

lk09_messenger

Excited at a sneak peek at September’s new-look Messenger

lk09_petejamesttennis

Table tennis during a few free minutes

lk09_petejoelttennis

Cousin rivalry

lk09_carlachristine

Carla and Christine (not Christina as I introduced her as on the Doors!)

lk09_sittingaround

Evening debrief at the Loughridges

lk09_fry

Saturday morning fry

lk09_escalator

World’s slowest escaltors

lk09_gettingreadyforteamphoto

Into positions

lk09_teamphotopete

Eyes on Pete

lk09_teamphotobolt

Good Times

Thanks to Rebekah for some of the photos

Mission Video

24 Aug

Powerful. A must watch.

(HT: SWS)

A new contender for my favourite video of all time. Watching it made me think not only of the unreached people who live far away but of the unreached people who live on the same island as me. A large number of sizeable towns in Ireland have no evangelical witness and many have never heard the gospel faithfully explained.

Pray for the unreached people of the world.

Pray for the unreached people of Ireland.

Be prepared to be used as part of the answer to your prayers.

Lisburn GO Week

19 Aug

R.P.C BannerGreetings Readers, i’ve decided that we hear quite a bit about the work of GO Teams, these are great, but a lot of work goes on in congregations across Ireland behind the scenes as numerous GO Weeks go ahead without the need of help from teams. So I thought, where better to start than in Lisburn!

Lisburn GO Week Helpers

Lisburn GO Week Helpers

Our GO Week ran from 9th-14th August, after a questionaire about our last few GO Weeks, a few changes were made to the programme and I think these helped a great deal, it was a refreshing change for the usual helpers who were down all week. Our days ran from 10am to about 8.30pm. The whole week was quite hectic and as a result very tiring but completely worthwhile as I saw many spiritual benefits from the week. Even being in the church all week with mostly the same group of people, greatly enhances the fellowship you share, you get to know your fellow members so much better and all being there for the same purpose was greatly encouraging too.

Our week began with the usual congregational lunch after morning worship on Sabbath, this was a good time of fellowship for the church to enjoy but after it, we recieved a briefing from all the members of the Outreach Committee on the various ministries and activies that will be going on throughout the week. After this, a time of prayer followed which was fantastic as it gives us time, as an entire congregation to bring our prayers and petitions for the week before the Lord.

Congregational Lunch

Me either being highly unimpressed by the quality of soup or quality of Emmaline's company...

Me either being highly unimpressed by the quality of soup or quality of Emmaline's company...

Briefing Meeting for Congregation

Briefing Meeting for Congregation

And so the work began on Monday, each morning, one of the Elders led a Bible Study based on the book by Donald Whitney, ‘Ten Questions to Diagnose your Spiritual Health’, these were very challenging with topics ranging from ‘Thirsting for more of God’, ‘Loving More’ and ‘Concern for others Spiritual and Temporal Needs’. A time of discussion and prayer followed these studies. I really enjoyed this time, it got the day off to the right start, reading from God’s word, discussion, a few challenges for our lives and prayer. I really enjoyed sitting and listening to the thoughts and ideas raised and discussed by every one and especially the older members of our congregation, in particular, Mrs. Leahy (see the Moderator’s Diary) who has such a vast knowledge of the word of God and brought forward many thought provoking questions and statements during the studies. After this, a time of coffee, pancakes and shortbread was provided before the helpers headed down to our Bible Club in the morning. Later on in the week, this was especially appreciated!

Coffee Time

Coffee Time!

Coffee Time!

Our Holiday Bible Club ran from Monday-Friday and a decision was made to hold it in the local school rather than in the church, this way, it was closer to a lot more homes, but also I think parents perhaps felt more comfortable bringing their children to the school and we had great numbers, i’m told an average of 51.8 over the 5 days?! Mostly every one was well behaved as lots of games, singing, lessons, memory verses, craft and quizes were carried out. Our lessons during the week were based on the ‘Wordless Book’ which contained no words or pictures but only colours, each of the colours represented a different theme, (for example, Black was Sin, Red was Christ’s death, Green was Growth.) This worked well as by the end of the week, most of the kids were able to remember the story based on the colours.

Bible Club Story

Enjoying the school's playground

Enjoying the school's playground

At the end of the week, Clare decided that never again, she would ever make up actions to Psalm Choruses on the spot...

At the end of the week, Clare decided that never again, she would ever make up actions to Psalm Choruses on the spot...

Robbie and William try out their own craft

Robbie and William try out their own craft

This wasn't during my Lesson!!

This wasn't during my Lesson!!

Dad deep in prayer during Mum's Memory Verse....

Dad deep in prayer during Mum's Memory Verse....

Pre-Talk Nerves?

Pre-talk Nerves?

Debbie using me as an illustration?

Debbie trying to impersonate me as a baby.

On Monday afternoon, the church had a brilliant, brand new idea of having a Fun Day at the church for the local community to come along and enjoy. We had various games around the site of the church, both inside and out, both wet and dry, it was fantastic, we had around 50 young people attending this, along with many parents, it was so encouraging to see, in Lisburn, many would see church as completely irrelevant to them, not even seeing it as a tradition to go along on a Sabbath, so to see so many on the church site and having fun there was fantastic. The kids were able to run round and try any games they wanted, prizes were distributed for the highest scoring kids in each game. Unfortunately due to all the Child Protection issues there aren’t many photo’s I can use of all the different activites but hope you get a good grasp of how awesome it was any way!

Gregg was clearly missing Gregg's Games...

Gregg was clearly missing Gregg's Games...

Michelle in Action

Unfortunately...my game was quite popular...

Unfortunately...my game was quite popular...

Hoola Hoops

When Debbie swapped with me, we bent the rules a wee bit...

When Debbie swapped with me, we bent the rules a wee bit...

Tuesday went much the same, another good turn out at the Bible Club in the morning, then we really got stuck into the Leaflet Distribution in the afternoon, we covered many areas in Lisburn, giving out bookmarks which were invites to our next 6 Guest Services, all on the last 6 Commandments, which are all to do with both God and Man. Pray that there will be a good response to these and that the people’s consciences will be pricked. During the week we covered about 6000 houses, it was a great effort considering the amount of hands we had, hopefully there will be some fruit for our labours. Tuesday afternoon was also set aside for the Caring Ministry, this is a vital activity which was organised very well, a few people were set aside to go along and visit some of the more elderly in the congregation who can’t make it out to church any more, a few Nursing Homes were visited and time was set aside for us to just chat to the old people and there was a short epilogue along with a few musical performances.

Jeff sorting out the distribution

Jeff sorting out the distribution

Dr. McCollum started night-shifts during the week, I think it was getting to her....

Dr. McCollum started night-shifts during the week, I think it was getting to her....

Lunch Time!

Lunch Time!

Girls chilling on the steps

Girls chilling on the steps

Dad getting schooled...

Dad getting schooled...

Blowing off some steam during time off
Debbie the Distributor

Debbie the Distributor...

Debbie the Dinosaur

Debbie the Dinosaur

In the evenings, there were two ministries going on, most people went on Door to Door around the immediate area of housing around the church, challenging people about life after death and their views towards God’s word. There was also a very cunning move by the Outreach Committee as the other people who weren’t on Door to Door went to other areas of housing near the church to do Door to Door disguised as Leaflet/CD Distribution. This was brilliant as the people on Leaflets had to knock on doors and personally invite the people to the next series of Guest Services while also trying to give out a free CD of our last Guest Service on the 4th Commandment. It was great for both young and older people in the congregation to get more used to talking to people on the doors and generally every one was encouraged by their experiences. However, with Tom away for a week on the Ballylagan Relief Team, I had no partner in crime, however, I had one replacement in mind, and with one phone call and after a rousing “GO ON?!” Tim was there!! Tim wasn’t really bothered by the usual problem he has at large RP events as the congregation didn’t seem to accept the fact that Tom had left and called Tim, Tom for most of the week any way. And luckily, as soon as he arrived, we got McDonalds for lunch after the kids club that day.

Apparently the attendant was a bit shocked by the amount ordered

Apparently the attendant was a bit shocked by the amount ordered

I know you're all thinking it but i'm not putting it as a caption...

I know you're all thinking it but i'm not putting it as a caption...

The McDonald's Advertising Team was clearly thinking about Pete F

The McDonald's Advertising Team was clearly thinking about Pete F

Isobell was also getting stuck in

Isobel was also getting stuck in

That night we had our annual Lisburn R.P.C Football Match down at Ferris Park in Dromore. The team line up as always were the Elders and Deacons vs. the Rest, it was a pretty great game, good quality all round and generally good craic which was always the main idea as we blew off a bit of steam during our busy week. Some Dromore blow ins were also called upon as the Elders and Deacons were a bit short on numbers. The final score was 4-4 which pretty much reflected the game. James was very sporting during the game and decided that he’d only let Lisburn people score so he kindly blasted over a number of times from close range.

Some of the interesting warm up rountines

Some of the interesting warm up rountines

Good Skill

Pulled off some pretty good saves!

Despite looking the wrong way, he pulled off some good saves!

Points for effort...

Points for effort...

When Thursday came around, it was time for another new challenge for Lisburn, the Outreach Committee had planned for a free car wash to take place in the car park while a Book Fair took place inside where the visitors came and got some free coffee and tea while browsing the books that had been provided by the Bookshop. A grand total of £161 of books were sold during this so it was a great success, a number of the ladies also got chatting to the visitors so the day was fantastic. The Car Wash also turned out very well, in total, we washed 32 cars, 10 of those were people from the community who went inside to view the books, and 1 tractor. There was a great team of helpers, it was all good craic and we formed a pretty good team, we left signs on some of the congregation members cars to let them know it was theres because we did such a good job on their cars!

Directing

Tim looking as cheerful as ever...

Tim looking as cheerful as ever...

Debbie's Car Sign

Initially we thought Gregg was joking...

Initially we thought Gregg was joking...

But we all got stuck in

But we all got stuck in

Interesting messages were found in some people's cars

Interesting messages were found in some people's cars

Sweet Ride

Sweet Ride

We decided Hannah smelt a wee bit

We decided Hannah smelt a wee bit

Car Wash Team

Car Wash Team

And so by Friday, I think it was fair to say that every one was pretty shattered, we’d enjoyed a great week and it was all going to be topped off by the BBQ on Friday night (after a fairly thorough clean up of the church during the afternoon), the deacons and ladies served up a great feast and there was a great number in the church from the community too, I think some of the older folks were shocked by so many crazy kids running about the place. So every ate untill they were full and good company was enjoyed. Pray that these young families who we’ve come into contact with remain for further Bible Schools and hopefully will join our Sabbath School and CY.

Later on during Friday night, Debbie gave a photo presentation on all the things we’d got up to during the week. A gift presentation was also made to Debbie who had been with us as a worker for some time, i’d just like to thank Debbie for all the hard work she put in during her time with us, she was fantastic in all the ministries she was taking part in and made an impact in so many people’s lives. Remember Debbie in your prayers as she heads off to Sudan to work with the Cush for Christ programme untill December.

And so the 2009 GO Week at Lisburn drew to a close, a fantastic week with many great memories. Hope you’ve gained a little insight into what goes on during a church-run GO Week, and maybe a better look in to what Lisburn is like as a congregation. Hope you’ve enjoyed. Stay tuned on Another King for more fantastic reports of GO Teams from across the country coming soon.