The final of the Australian Open may have had an impact on Scottish Church attendance this morning but you would never had known it at Queen’s Park. The church building was well filled and the congregation was alive in worship.
Church: Queen’s Park Baptist Church
Date: January 27 2013
Service: Morning Service
Congregational Make-Up: There is a real family feel to the church fellowship. It is great to see all ages worshipping together.
Central Feature(s): I very much appreciated the welcome I was given as I entered the church. I was warmly welcomed at the church door; welcomed again with a newsletter and on entering the sanctuary there is a “welcome desk” with information about the church as well as a tea/coffee station. The lady at this point again was helpful and interested to make me feel at home. This is such a vital dimension of church life; first impressions are crucial.
The current teaching series is entitled “Rhythms of Life” and the theme this morning was “Consuming or Contributing” from Mark 1. One of the big ideas in the preaching was the transformation that ought to take place in a disciple’s life. This subject carried over into the service as a whole though worship and testimony. One woman was interviewed and spoke of inner difference she experienced through coming to faith in Christ at an Alpha course. The church is about to launch Alpha again so there was a strong emphasis on this course and an encouragement to the fellowship to ask family and friends to this introduction to the Christian faith.
Stand-Out Moment: After the preaching (given by the retired pastor), the current pastor invited the church to respond. Some made a commitment to Christ for the first time; others rededicated their lives to God. I was struck by the fact that what took place this morning in church could be used by God to change the future direction of people’s lives.
Conclusion: Careful planning, challenging preaching and openness to the Spirit seemed to mark what took place today. These are essential elements. We can plan and prepare (and we should) but we must allow God room to do what only he can – transform people’s hearts.