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We are Evangelical, Charismatic, and Sacramental

January 9th, 2021

This Week's Guest Blogger- Grant Crichton

Pastor Grant Crichton is the Lead Pastor at Life Centre Church in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and in process of being ordained as a missionary priest. 

“The Church is on the Precipice of the Next Reformation!”

Have you heard this? Maybe you have read this recently. Increasingly, there have been a number of ministry leaders beginning to sense that the Church is on the cusp of a new chapter in its life, potentially as large as another Reformation. This may be the case, or perhaps this is simply a sense of the changes already happening within the Church due to the global pandemic.

 

Just like thousands of local churches and house ministries around the world and within our own Diocese and Society, our church family is also wrestling through what this season looks like and the vision moving forward for us. Recently, Fr David John spoke about the increasing emergence of house churches. Bishop Wayne Boosahda often speaks of the roots of the Church and the simplicity of our Celtic Christian heritage. Recently, my local church arrived at a new vision for 2021 after much prayer and seeking of the Lord. When Fr Jon asked if I would contribute to our website this month, I was excited to share this with you. My prayer is that in this, you may find inspiration in your own ministry and/or some new views of how to do Church!

 

Our vision for 2021 (and beyond) became simple. CHURCH. COMMUNITY. COMMISSION.

This arose from time spent in Acts 2:42-47 and Matthew 28:17-20.

Acts 2:42 leads us to our roots; to what we felt contributed to what it means to be a healthy, vital church family. When we step back and look at what it means to be a Christian gathering, and what the elements of these should be, we found the roadmap.

Apostles Teaching: We need to be grounded in scripture and evangelical mission in our pursuit of greater knowledge of the Word. We find this comes from preaching, study groups and extracting wisdom from the early church fathers and mothers.

Prayer: We need to be grounded in prayer and charismatic expression in our pursuit of the Holy Spirit. Prayer needs to be essential to everything we do and every time we gather. Whether this be practiced through the prophetic, through a pentacostal experience, or through traditions such as the compline or Lord’s Prayer, prayer is CRUCIAL to our ministry.

Communion: My church, Life Centre, had not practiced Communion for most of 2020. The first Sunday I arrived, we celebrated the Eucharist. The Lord’s Supper is incredibly critical to our faith journey and we now seek to celebrate the Table at every service, prayer gathering, or study.

Fellowship: We are a community within a community. A family apart from family. Caring for one another, spending time together and loving each other is foundational to what it means to be a church.

Worship: While the passage doesn’t explicitly say “Worship”, we find all of these to be acts of worship by bringing glory to His name. As St. Paul states, all we do should be worship. How different than simply seeing music in a service as the extent with worship.

 

We also found the importance of Community in Acts 2. It becomes so easy to feel comfortable doing church within the building. What if, instead of focusing on church within the four walled sanctuary, we did church in the “community parish” we are called to? The first Christian Church had the goodwill of the community, because they CARED ABOUT and INVESTED in the community they found themselves in. Instead of orienting our budget solely on salaries and overhead, what if we re oriented it towards community involvement and supporting those within the Church making a difference where they live?

 

The final piece of this vision comes from Christ’s words at the end of St. Matthew’s gospel. He gives us our marching orders as a Church. It is clear and simple. To be disciple makers, wherever we are. Fr David Watson in his book, World Changing Discipleship, makes the assertion that the Church has widely forgotten this. It isn’t enough to simply be discipled! Christ called us into active disciple making! Equipping the saints to bring the Gospel and disciple others in their own contexts is what Christ asks us as the Church to do.

 

Church. Community. Commission.

How can we be a healthy church rooted in who the church set out to be? How can we make a positive impact in our community? How can we equip our church to be the Gospel in their own world?

 

Be Blessed friends. God be with you as you expand the Kingdom!

Pastor Grant Crichton

Please check back periodically for new articles and videos in this column.

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20337 East 45th St S Broken Arrow, OK 74014-8750

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