A Statement of Purpose - Part 2

A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

'We at St Matthew's are a fellowship of Christians committed to placing God at the centre of our lives. We exist to follow Christ's example and to share his message and love with the local and wider community'.

Last month I introduced you to our new statement of purpose but it's time to begin to think harder about what it really means.


'We at St Matthew's are a fellowship of Christians'

The first disciples of Jesus were, in a sense, the first Christians.  They stuck with Jesus, learning what he had to teach and trying to follow in his footsteps.  They had been chosen by Jesus and they had a choice:  would they try to work out how to get along with these other folk who they hadn't opted to be with, or would they go their separate ways.  If they wanted to stay with Jesus they had to take the whole package of his other followers too – warts and all!

We're first introduced to the idea of 'fellowship' after Jesus has returned to his Father God in heaven.  All those who have believed in what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit find themselves overwhelmed by the power of Jesus Christ in them.  There is story after story about the ordinary, 'unschooled' men who teach with authority, heal the sick, and bring huge numbers of people to the point of belief in Jesus Christ.

We hear that they were devoted to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done....they had everything in common....there were no needy people amongst them...every day they met together,....praising God and enjoying the favour of all people.  And the Lord added to their number daily...  (Acts of the Holy Spirit, chapter 2)

So that's the ideal: people devoted to God and devoted to each other.  They are not joined together because they necessarily liked each other but because they have a common belief.  They share what they have, they worship together and when God is central, big things can happen in the world, including an ending of poverty and a respect all round.

It's an immense standard to live up to and there are many times we do not manage it!  Yet it's what we are- a group of odd-bods who all know a need of God and recognise his greatness.  We come together and we are intended to stick together through thick or thin, because of the bond of Jesus himself which inspires our efforts to love above all things.


A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

“ We at St Matthew's are a fellowship of Christians committed to placing God at the centre of our lives. We exist to follow Christ's example and to share his message and love with the local and wider community''.