Ephesians 4:1-6, 15-16; Colossians 3:12-17
Today I want to talk about community, our community of believers - our body here at SVBC. I want to talk about what that community looks like, what we are instructed about a community that is centred on Christ and built up into Christ with the Christ-like love that Pastor Tom spoke about last week.
I want to talk a little about what God’s word says about his body and how we should show up with each other in that community.
I also want to talk about our heart as leaders, my heart as a leader - where I am at and some of what we see in our body at SVBC.
First and foremost, we are very excited by what God is doing in his local body here at SVBC. He has blessed the faithful stewardship of this body - stewardship of our time, talents and resources.
For more than 40 years this church has been serving the people of St. Albert, Edmonton, Alberta and the world. Many people have come to know the Lord, become his disciples, and are contributing to his kingdom work.
We have sent off missionaries God has raised up from this body, and we continue to do so as we look to support and send Tiffany off later this year.
We are increasing our support to missions and are looking increasingly at St. Albert and the changing needs in this community where we can come alongside partner ministries or organizations to make a difference in the lives of people in need - physically and spiritually.
We have a growing and dynamic children’s ministry that is impacting the lives of our children and those in our community, with a chance to do more of that this summer with VBS and a deliberate outreach to kids within our community.
We have a community of believers who love and care for one another - who lift each other up in times of sickness or hurt, who support each other and are striving to do life together in a way that honors the Lord and demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ.
This has been the case for the entire life of this body and it is a wonderful testament to the character of the people in this body, to their love and concern for their brothers and sisters in Christ and their neighbours in St. Albert.
In short, we have some great things happening in our body and we should all be encouraged about what God is doing and can do in and through us.
That said, I don’t think that it would come as a surprise to any of you if I acknowledged that there have been struggles along the way - we celebrated our 40th anniversary last Spring and revisited the good and the bad that make up the history that is this local body. We have a stone at the corner of the property to remind of us God’s call to us as a church.
Those challenges came from internal and external to the church - choices people made, conflicts that arose, struggles with leadership, struggles between families, and spiritual attacks on our body.
We need to be on our guard against such instances of conflict and struggle, and attacks against our body of believers.
Therefore, we need to be vigilant - God tells us in his word that we are “to be sober-minded and watchful as the devil is prowling around seeking someone to devour.”
We can never take the body here at SVBC for granted in the same way we can never take our families for granted - we must invest in our body and our families.