Today is a special day for 2 reasons
Firstly, we receive several people as new members. Some come by transfer from other churches. We welcome them as they formalise their membership with us. We look forward to them being an active part of our life, foellowship and service.
Other new members came through adult baptism. For some of these, their baptism comes after some years of being Christian. For others, the decision to follow Jesus is a recent event. In either case, we share the joy of heaven. Baptism does not make these people into Christians, but it is an imporant public declaration and reminder that they have chosen to trust and follow Jesus as Saviour and Lord. We also welcome these people and thank God for the privilage of being part of the story of his work in their lives. We look forward to their continued growth in the faith and in Christian service.
Our membership service is one paort of our church's disciple making agenda. God's business is with people , not programmes. Our Business must be the same as his and it is a privlege to see his fruits today.
Secondly today, we farewall one of our members who goes to Canada for studies to be a Wycliffe Bible translator.
Samantha Cobb comes to our evening service. Her departure for these studies is the result of several years of preparations, waiting and prayer. Her departure adds to our links with Wycliffe through Paul Johnson and Jim & Ginger Moore. because we believe that the Bible is God's book, it is such an privilege and so important that we do all possible to help others have a Bible in their mother tongue.
These two events today are an encouragement and a challenge for the rest of us. How encouraging it is to be part of God's story in calling some people into his kingom and sending another out for missionary service. But, there is also a challenge. Not all of us are called to be Wycliffe Bible translators ( or any kind of full time Christian workers). But, we are called to be faithful and fruitful followers of Jesus.
What are you doing to build on your own baptism by growing as a Christian? How are you serving the Lord int he task of disciple making?