A look back at last week’s photo taking and Annual Congregational Meeting
Dear BPCWA worshipper, Thank God for seeing us through another year, and that with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, we could continue with a Combined Worship Service before the ACM, have the ACM in church, and eat lunch together in church thereafter! We cannot take it for granted, as the government is warning that it is not an if COVID-19 comes into Western Australia again, but a when. What we have now are rare opportunities that we must humbly thank God for each day in today’s new COVID-19 and its variant ravaged world.
The importance of chronicling. Our ACM reports this year reflected the changes that we experienced over the past year, particularly through the pandemic. We are recording these so that we and those who come after us have memories of what it was like during this period. Photographs also help us to document our history as well. As such, the photo taking last week was our desire to capture this momentous moment in our church’s history of God’s particular graciousness and mercies to us. The photograph captures this point in time in our church history. What will next year be like? Who will be in the photo? Will there be newer ones that come to join us? We cannot be sure, but in everything, let us not forget to be thankful in our hearts. I also want to take the opportunity to summarise my exhortation at the ACM so that every worshipper can work together with us to further God’s kingdom in the year ahead.
What the must church must focus on. Mt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. As we must be continually reminded, the church is here to fulfil the Great Commission. However, this commission is more than just preaching the gospel to save someone from hell. As Christ commanded, the church must teach before baptizing, and then teach again even after they have been baptized. God’s truth must always be taught faithfully so that people will obey whatsoever Christ commands. The church must not fear or want to please men in our teaching, and our purpose is for every man to do what God commands and please Him. When we put that as our focus and do it, Christ promises to be with us, with our church! Why would not our Lord be with a church that makes disciples for Him with His Truth?
What the church is doing. As mentioned above, the church’s role is to teach, baptize, and teach. We must plan to enable the church to fulfill the Great Commission. That is why we are extending the church space. The current configuration whereby worshippers sit in the L-shaped layout during English service is not ideal for inviting people, encouraging people to stay, and evangelising. It is also not ideal for learning God’s Word. At the same time and thereafter, you must play your part.
What you must do. While the church is preparing the space, you must do your part. It begins first with you yourself obeying and to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” even as the church teaches the Word of God. Whatsoever Christ has commanded includes you going out to invite, to encourage, and to evangelise, hence fulfilling what the church extension is intended to do – to accommodate people coming to learn about God, know Him, worship and serve Him. You must do the bringing in – that is not something the church leadership can do by ourselves – and hence fulfill God’s call for His people to be the light of the world. It is the role and responsibility of the Christian to do so. While it is for all Christians, this is especially something that members must do, as their commitment and service to the church. So go out, go forth to invite, follow-up, and re-invite if needed.
But even as we marked another year of serving Christ, the Head of our church, in Perth, and especially as we commemorate our 35th year of serving Him, our focus is even more urgent now as the signs of the end times are obvious. We must continually prepare people and to live lives that are prepared to meet the Lord without regrets, lives that constantly glorify Him on earth.
We thank God also for the opportunity to be able to have a combined lunch together with one another after the ACM as well, as some stayed behind to continue the fellowship together as His covenantal people over lunch. Many have served in various ways before the ACM, and many served last Sunday. We thank God for the various people that He has placed in BPCWA and raised for His work. While we have closed off the events of the day together, I hope that the echo of the hymn we sang will continue to sound in our hearts and be reflected in our lives and in BPCWA as we fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission through His church.
We’ve a story to tell to the nations, That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy, A story of peace and light, A story of peace and light.
Yours in our Lord’s service,