KING’S CHURCH BLOG


3rd June 2017

Let us...

The number five isn’t just the name of a boy band from the 90s; it’s also the number of ‘Let Us’ phrases found in Hebrews 10 (verses 19-25).

Hebrews was possibly written to a small group of Jewish Christians who were unsettled in their faith and were in danger of drifting as they had not fully broken away from Judaism but also hadn’t fully embraced Christianity. This group had also endured persecution as the Jewish people of the time were hostile to Christians and excluded them from the temple precincts. This is why Hebrews 10:19-25 has five ‘Let us’ phrases, encouragements to do five things together which will help the Christians receiving the letter to live connected and foster relationship and discipleship, resulting in strengthening of their faith.

These five ‘Let us’ phrases (not to be mistaken for lettuces!) are a reason why we are re-investing in mid-week life and, as of September 2017, will be launching Connect Groups. These mid-week small groups aim to serve the people of King’s by creating space to live connected through relationship and discipleship.

The five encouragements in Hebrews 10:19-25 can bring real momentum to us and help us see how Connect Groups can invest into our faith and relationships. To help encourage some momentum, I just wanted to bring a ‘what would it’ question to each ‘let us’…

‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith.’ What would it feel like if we could meet up in a small group who accepted us for who we are and encouraged us to draw near to God sincerely and honestly?

‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess because He is faithful.’ What would it be like to belong to a group who reminds us and challenges us to grow in the hope we have in Christ?

‘Let us consider how we can spur each other on towards love and good deeds.’ What would it look like to be part of a group who encourages us to live for something bigger than ourselves?

‘Let us not give up meeting together.’ What would it feel like knowing you have a mid-week small group, based on relationship and discipleship, to be part of?

‘Let us encourage one another.’ What would be feel like to belong to a group who want the best for you and accept you unconditionally?

Maybe take one or two of these points and begin to think about some of the possibilities of what belonging to a Connect Group could mean for you. If you’ve been part of a small group before and you have the feeling of ‘been there, got the t-shirt’, maybe think about one thing you’ve learned in the past which you can make a personal goal to bring into the life of the Connect Group you join.

We’re really looking forward to launching Connect Groups. The groups are going to be a great move forward for us, taking lessons learned from the past and moving on to create space for growth.


Paul Edworthy

Posted by Paul Edworthy
10:47

    

4th April 2017

What can I do about human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery involving the movement of victims within or away from their home nation. Victims may be recruited by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion; by deception; through the abuse of power; or with the giving or receiving of payment to achieve their consent, for the purpose (as they later discover) of exploiting them.

Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world and the second most lucrative. The European Parliament estimates that the human trafficking industry generates profits of over 117 billion euros per year and that as many as 21 million people are trafficked worldwide, significantly more than the number of slaves transported during the entire transatlantic slave trade. Many of these will have been trafficked within their country or across borders, following the promise of a better life somewhere new. The problem is large and growing.

When asking what the Bible teaches about slavery and trafficking, we first need a clear understanding of the value God places on human life. God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:26). Every life is of great value, carries dignity, and is the object of God's love.

As a result, we are to love our neighbour (Matthew 19:19) including (especially) those in need (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus taught “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Proverbs 31:8-9 teaches us to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

How can we practice these biblical principles by helping those trapped in modern slavery? First, we must pray for those in bondage. As James 5:16 notes, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Human trafficking requires God’s power for any adequate change to occur; we need God's light to shine into dark places in order to expose situations where oppression is occurring.

Secondly, we must speak out on behalf of those in need. Many across our community are quite unaware of the problem and how they may be able to help.

Thirdly, we must act. We can do this by keeping our eyes and ears open to recognise situations where the people we encounter may be being denied their rights and their just rewards for the work they are doing, and referring our concerns to the authorities (by dialing 999, or speaking anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111); we can join with others to pray; volunteer in or give to an anti-trafficking organisation; or speak, perhaps even teach, about the topic where we live and work.

The anti-trafficking team here at King's were thrilled recently to host an event at the Hastings Centre where 25 people from 12 organisations across Hastings and Eastbourne, as well as someone from the immigration service at Gatwick and Folkestone, came to be trained as trainers to spread awareness in the places where they work. A trainer from Stop the Traffik (www.stopthetraffik.org) led us through the afternoon, supported by a representative of the International Organisation for Migration.

We heard recently that as a result of a previous training session we ran, two people were recognised to be victims and were rescued from trafficking in Hastings! May this be repeated wherever anyone is being exploited in our area.

We hope to share more about God's perspective on this issue and how we can recognise the signs of exploitation and coercion in those we meet and build relationships with in future blog posts. Meanwhile please do visit our contact page for additional links and information.


Chris Bunt

Posted by Chris Bunt
06:00

    

2nd April 2017

Bible Reading Apps for Families

Family God Talk is your chance to keep up to date with God together as a family, spending time worshipping, praying and chatting through what God's been doing in your lives. 

In Totz this week we will be reading about the Last Supper. Jesus told his disciples to always remember what he was going to do for them – that he was going to make a way for us to know God forever. Have a look at the story together here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eql5wEkPb-Q

Lots of families have been asking us for resources to use with their families during weekly family devotional time. This week we've put together information on free apps you can download to help you read the Bible together. Your children can also download them to help them with their own walk with God as they develop an independent daily walk with God. We hope you enjoy them. Let us know what you would like to see here and what would help you to meet with God as a family on a daily or weekly basis.

This way for the free apps: click here.


Kate Thurston

Posted by Kate Thurston
10:30

    

22nd March 2017

Family God Talk 26.03.17

FAMILY GOD TALK 26.02.17

Family God Talk is your chance to keep up to date with God together as a family, spending time worshipping, praying and chatting through what God's been doing in your lives.

After the Family Praise Party we've put together some resources for you to use in your family worship times at home. I hope you enjoy them. Let us know what you would like to see here and what would help you to meet with God as a family on a daily or weekly basis.

To download this week's NRG and NGage Family God Talk click here.


Kate Thurston

Posted by Kate Thurston
17:44

    

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