Happy October! If my Facebook feed is anything to go by, this month seems to be all about getting motivated to do something new. Loads of people seem to be getting motivated to take action on climate change, to stop smoking, to lose weight or to become more active. I am no different, Two weeks ago I embarked on a diet plan (again!) in an attempt to shift some of the excess weight. I was in conversation with a fellow dieter last night who was struggling and asking how to get motivated. I think motivation comes down to a couple of things; believing in something (be it a diet plan, a cause or a change of action) and believing in ourselves as individuals that our action or inaction will make a difference.
On Sunday we thought about the early church and the way that they were motivated to give to each other in a completely selfless way (read it again here).
Ultimately the early church were motivated by the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They believed in this new vision for the kingdom that Jesus had given them and they believed that how they lived made a difference.
In our discussions, we thought in particular about this word Koinonia (Koy-noh-nee-ah) which is the word used to describe the way that the early church lived and worked together. It means fellowship or partnership. We are often good at thinking about church as a fellowship - a group of people who share friendship together and have a mutual concern for each other. However, partnership suggests another level of involvement. It is that second factor in motivation that moves us from concern or interest to investment. When we view ourselves as partners with God and with each other we recognise that what we do as individuals has an impact on the whole and that all of us have an important role to play. We move from supporting something that someone else is doing to seeing it as something that we are doing together and that we are invested in the outcome. The simple truth is that without partnership, church doesn’t work because mission does not work.
One of the best examples that I have come across of partnership in mission comes not from a great speaker or leader but from a children’s film. Watch it by clicking on this link.
We have got a big vision to refurbish this building to enable us to continue to reach out to our community with the love of Jesus and to build on that work. We want to provide a warm and safe place where all are welcome, where the vulnerable are cared for the hungry are fed, where those without a home have a bed for the night in the colder months and a nice hot shower in the morning, where people burdened with poor health can access activities that will improve their health and wellbeing, where the lonely and isolated find friendship and community and where those who are desperately lost are found by Jesus. The task is too big for one or two of us to carry, it needs all of us to partner together in giving, action and prayer to make this vision a reality.
Also on Sunday, Helen filled us in on the Refurb: Building Lives project and gave us an update of where we are up to. In brief the headlines were:
For Phase One (which focuses on the Sports Hall side of the building and the heating)
- We need to raise £420,000
- We have saved £88,387 from church funds
- We have received £15,540 from Manchester Diocese
- We have received £60,525 from friends all over the world
- We have raised £17,251 as a congregation
- Our total so far is £181,703
- We still need to raise £238,297
- We are hoping some of this will come in through grants we are applying for but it still needs all of us to partner together to make this happen
Some of us might be able to give a lot and others of us might feel like the little girl in the video with the piggy bank where we can just give a little. It isn’t all about numbers and it isn’t all about money but it is about partnership. Partnering with each other and with God in mission here because church is all of us, living together in unity and working together in partnership to see God’s kingdom come here.
Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday if you can make it.