A Firm Foundation is Key

It was a difficult week ……

City Gates Christian Centre had its topping out ceremony less than a week before it fell.  Plans for re-building is now more than a year behind schedule.

“Not so long ago we were celebrating the topping off service,  and looking forward to a new building ready for Autumn 2012 and today I am talking to you about the demolishing of our church.” The Senior Pastor went on to say that to the Recorder, “the fact that there were no casualties was the best news; praise God. I fully believe that the Master was in the midst when the building fell to a crashing halt. I believe that when the builders left an hour early because lighting visibility turned dark and also surprisingly llford town centre was  very quiet for that time of the day, He was orchestrating so that there would be no fatalities. How we as a church respond to this is the key element. We will not suffer financially and we pray for investigations to be over quickly. As a membership our foundation is strong and we have a church to build.” Senior Pastor, Stephen Derbyshire

The building collapsed at around 4.30pm on Tuesday 31 January 2012

Remarkable the only injury was a twisted ankle.  It would be inappropriate to speculate on what caused the collapse.  Eyewitnesses have said it was a “miracle” no one was killed following the collapse of the building. All 22 workers on site were quickly accounted for following the collapse and no one was found inside the wreckage.

(Pictures by Paul Bennett: Newham Recorder)

4 years on…

city gates

(Picture: City Gates Christian Centre)

 

Why should your Church be situated on top of the Hill?

By Jennifer M Valentine

During the time of the early church and the command of Christ, the church was an institution.  Though, Jesus and his followers founded the organisation as a visible manifestation of his Kingdom. But does that mean this is what our church is today in the twenty-first century?  That is hard to answer as a general principle since there are a number of different churches today and around the globe with many different characteristics.  None of these specific churches can be identified exclusively or totally with the Kingdom of God.  They contain the faithful and the imposter.  No one church follows the teachings of Jesus completely and faithfully.

With that being said, it is equally apparent that many Christians and ministers today have developed the attitude that somehow their local government is supposed to enforce by law what only the Spirit of God can enforce through grace. Let’s be plain: local government cannot do the church’s job.

Likewise, it is not even our central government’s role to undertake family duties. It is the responsibility of each mother and father to teach morality and faith to their children. Parents are given the task of disciplining and correcting their children.

The Prime Minister revealed during a No. 10 meeting with church leaders how he has been rocked by the fuel crisis and the rows over donors and the pasty tax. He said: “In the past week I’ve felt like I needed someone to pray for me.” (Telegraph, 2012)

Mr Cameron also tried to heal a rift with churches over his plans for gay marriage. In a surprise move, he hailed the “Christian fight back” on the right to wear a cross – and praised Christian values. (Daily Mail, 2012).  There is therefore a major impetus for Christians to step up in their thinking, because it is not the government’s role to step up for them.

At this point, I should make it clear that state and local governments have every right-and even the responsibility-to establish community standards. Central and local governments are legitimately within their rights to prohibit those activities deemed harmful to the health and well-being of their communities.

Many churches, locally and globally, are struggling just to stay afloat, including my own. It’s not the responsibility of the church to bail the government out of its own debt. Christ’s church is an example of thankful people who give glory to God because of his resurrection, strength and power.

There are a lot of people who have nowhere to turn and no options and they end up on the street. However, there are a great number of homeless people who are that way because of drug addiction, mental illness, and other similar circumstances.  These people need to be helped by government agencies and institutions for their specific problems. However the church is there to meet a need; which is to serve.  God is glorified as outreach efforts bless the lives of those in need.

There are many Christians who see servant hood as a lack of power because throughout history it is associated with servants or slaves. We find this stress on service throughout the Gospels and the ministry of Jesus.  It is written “who ever wants to be great among you must serve the rest like a servant” and “whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave.” Matthew 20:26 NIV

At such, the most important thing to remember about the Church is that it is not a mass of human beings, but of God.  The reason as to why your church should be that light house church situated high up on a hill is that Christ is not only the founder, He is also its head.

Available on Audible.co.uk

Available on Audible.co.uk

 Words Pressed: A Short Biography – copyright © 2012 Jennifer M Valentine