Why do we plan the yearly church calendar?

Dear BPCWAians, Thank God for seeing us through yet another year of activities in BPCWA in 2018! You would have picked up the BPCWA 2019 bookmark calendar by now. Why do we produce this every year for you? Why do we plan for so many activities and meetings in church? There are good Biblical reasons for the calendar of activities. I hope that all worshippers will understand the reasons and thus make the effort and priority to come, and be continuing steadfastly to do so from here on.

God exhorts us to gather. God’s Word calls believers to be found together, “. . . not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is . . .” (Heb 10:25). This is echoed in the theme for this year, which is “Continuing Steadfastly”, taken from Acts 2:42, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”. We neglect coming together to our own soul’s peril, as the manner of some is.

To know God better. The various Bible studies are planned for you to study the Word of God in depth. And the purpose of that is so that you may understand more about God’s character, His thoughts, His ways, and what He desires from us and for us. Without that, we cannot know how to achieve our chief end, which is to glorify Him. Without a good understanding of Scriptures, we will live lives that may not be according to His Word, have desires and make choices that are not congruent to His will, and respond to trials in ways that grieve Him. Moreover, we will be easily swayed by popular but unbiblical concepts of God and Christianity. Besides missing out on the ongoing weekly Friday fellowships, you will also miss out on the calendar of other Bible studies such as Family Seminars, the Combined Fellowship series, Men/Ladies Fellowships, Seniors’ fellowships, Chinese Care Group, Adelphe and so on. But it is not too late to start this year. Some have testified that the many Bible study lessons have prepared them for decisions and events in their life, and how the particular lesson was perfectly timed for what was needed. Without knowing God well, you will not face the challenges in life in a way that will glorify Him, not to mention how we will reap the consequences of our sins. That is why God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hos 4:6).

To serve God. The dates for Australia Day outreach, City Evangelism, University Outreaches, and Gospel meetings, and Busy Bee can be easily updated into your mobile phone calendars. We plan them ahead of time so that you can mark out those dates to serve together, go forth with the church, and also invite people to come to hear the Gospel. Just like you mark out anniversaries, birthdays, and other appointments, do mark out these church activities into your calendar. Look for Dn Adrian if you are not sure how to automatically update them into your phone calendar. We are saved to be God’s instruments, so mark these dates and come and serve!

To encourage and be encouraged by others. Coming for the activities in the calendar is not just for yourself. Hebrews 10:24 reminds us, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”. By coming, we stir and encourage others to come and study the Word, and to serve, and to grow in our love for God and each other. The word “consider” is to make conscious efforts to notice the situation and needs of others with the purpose of encouraging and helping others. The church calendar of activities and fellowships provides us with the avenue to fulfil God’s desire for us toward each other. We are not to be loners. Coming to church only on Sundays for worship although you are able to join us for the other activities is not God’s intent for a Christian. Neither are we not called just to be loved by others. But we are called to “consider one another”, ie to get to know and to care for others. And church camps are one of the best opportunities for this. This year, we will have both an English as well as a Chinese camp scheduled (July and September respectively). Heads of homes should already plan to bring your family to attend the respective camp that you are best suited for. And do not select based upon what is convenient. Heads of homes are to lead in spiritual worship and teaching. If heads of homes are unable to effectively understand, read, and speak the language in which the Bible study, camp or fellowship is conducted and material is provided in, you cannot lead your family as you should. And as part of the Biblical model, wives should follow their husbands, and not the other way around. The choice of which camp to attend is the same for individuals too, else how can you encourage others and be encouraged at the camp?

To keep us steadfast. Ultimately, the church seeks to provide this schedule of activities so that you can, “. . . hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (Heb 10:23). The study of the Word, the fellowship, coming together to serve and to reach out to others will keep you from the snares and temptations of Satan and the world. God provides us with the church as a place on earth where you can grow, serve, and be safe in. The activities in it are designed into the church calendar with these purposes in mind. We neglect the assembling of ourselves to our own detriment and danger. But if we make maximise the attendance of it, we will remain steadfast in Christ.

Yours in our Lord’s service