Here is our church newsletter for August 2017.
Archive for the ‘Feltham Evangelical Church’ Category
We are Feltham Evangelical Church. But what does the word evangelical mean? Have you ever pondered upon that question? Perhaps you have contented yourself with the thought that “that bit sounds like a nice religious word and I will ask no further questions”. But really, if we call ourselves “evangelical”, we should have some idea about what it means. So if someone asked you “What does evangelical mean?” what would you say? Let us take time to consider how we should respond to that question.
In defining “evangelical” there are two interrelated tracks to take. They are “Gospel” and “Bible”. As evangelicals, we are “Bible” and “Gospel” people.
Gospel Firstly, we believe with Paul that “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16). We believe that this is the most important message that anyone needs to hear and anyone needs to respond to. It is a message rooted in historical events. Most particularly, it focusses on the life, death, burial, resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ our LORD. Paul sums up the message when he says to the Corinthians that “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. “ (1 Cor. 15:3-5). The gospel message focusses on Jesus.
As gospel people, we believe that it is vital that this gospel is made known. So evangelical people are also evangelistic people. Not all of us have the gift of “the evangelist”, but all of us are interested in evangelism. We who have received the gospel realise how incredibly blessed we are and so we want to make it known. We long and pray for people to embrace the gospel and be saved. It gives us joy and delight when we hear and know of Jesus being preached as the only Saviour of sinners. On the contrary if you are not interested in seeing the gospel go forward through evangelism then you are not evangelical.
Bible Secondly, we believe that the Bible is the complete written revelation that God has given to mankind. Anything that is to be known of God and His way is only known because God has revealed such in His Word. In fact the gospel message itself is only known through it being revealed in the Word of God. We preach Jesus and we preach the Word. So what do we believe about the Bible? We believe it is:
Complete. There is no need of any further revelation. God has revealed His purposes in the Scriptures in and through Jesus Christ. In the Bible, we have God’s complete revelation for us.
Inerrant. This means that the Bible does not err. It is a book of truth. We have to be clear here that we are referring to the original manuscripts as being totally inerrant. But scholars have established that the Bible we have today is a reliable representation of those manuscripts.
Sufficient. God has given us all that we need in His Word. We do not need to look for other books or other gurus to lead us in the true way. The Word of God is truth and thus, all we need for living in the true way.
Body of truth. As we believe in Scripture, we are led to believe that there is a body of truth represented by Scripture. Jude speaks of the the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people (Jude 3b). These truths would include the belief in God as three persons in one God, the deity of Jesus, the only way to God being through Christ, the fact that Christ dies as the one offering for our sins and the physical bodily return of Jesus Christ in the future.
So we are an evangelical church. We are a “Gospel” and “Bible” Church. And if you have the Bible, it will lead you to the gospel. And we only have a gospel because it is revealed in the Bible. And as we ponder upon these things, we are led to conclude that every Christian must be an evangelical because to be a Christian, you must believe in the gospel presented in the Bible and the Christ revealed by the Bible. And so, not only is an evangelical a Christian, but a Christian is an evangelical. To say you are a Christian, but not an evangelical is a contradiction.
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of April 2014)
Door-to-door evangelism involves going to the homes in our community to seek to speak to people about the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Through this work we are able to speak personally with people about the gospel and also pass out good gospel literature. Here are some thoughts.
- Able to speak personally with people about the gospel. This can lead on to further conversations in their home or in church.
- By being there in person able to show that real people are connected to the church.
- Show that you want to get out into your area with the gospel and not just sit in our churches in “holy huddles”
- The people in your locality are given a further opportunity to “hear” the gospel through being spoken to.
- Whilst visiting you can to pray for your locality, the homes you are visiting and many other matters.
- You learn something about your locality; seeing the homes and seeing things on display.
- It can give an opportunity to have fellowship with others as you serve together.
- You can connect with other believers, who you were previously unaware of, who are living in your area.
- People can be suspicious of those coming to the door. Some might even be frightened that a stranger is knocking at the door.
- People can be upset about being disturbed in their homes.
- This work requires a certain aptitude for quickly striking up a relationship with someone. If that is not your gifting then don’t do this work. God has other things for you.
- It is good to do this work with others. The fellowship can be encouraging. It gives opportunities to share about questions asked or conversations held.
- Some would say that you must go to every door with someone else. They would use the pattern of the Lord in the gospels as a directive on this. So we read in Luke 10:1: After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. I would suggest that this scripture encourages us to go out with others, but does not mean we have to go to each door with others. It can be that more than one person going to a door is a bit intimidating to people when they come answer the door. My recommendation is to go one-by-one to homes unless you are specifically training someone in the ministry.
- As opportunity arises, take a younger believer with you to interest them in this work and train them in this ministry.
- Make sure you are dressed in an appropriate way. Don’t put people off by looking “odd”. Many people think that Christianity is for odd-bods so don’t give fuel for that fire.
- Plan to know what to say. You could start. “Hello I’m from ……..church. I have a booklet from the church; would you like to have one?”. That could then lead on to a conversation. You may want to comment on a beautiful garden or make other comments that can immediately “break-the-ice” with people.
- Make sure you smile.
- Allow people to speak, but not too much. It may soon become apparent that the person wants to tell you about their life history, whilst evidently having no interest in the gospel. It requires discernment to extricate yourself form such a conversation..
- If someone says that they are not interested, then graciously withdraw. In no way should we be offensive; we do not want to annoy people.
- In speaking with someone, always remember that your goal is to introduce them to our Lord Jesus and His saving work on the cross.
- If there is a sign which says “No Canvassers or Sales People” (or the like) then do not knock at that house. If you do knock or ring the bell you are in danger of unnecessarily antagonising people.
- Be thoughtful about when you visit. 8.00.a.m on a Saturday morning will leave you with much abuse from homeowners enjoying a well-earned lie in or nursing a less well – earned hangover. Mealtimes are not good times to visit.
- Always leave a property as you find it. If the gate was open, leave it open; if it was shut, leave it shut. As you are going to knock at a door it is best, if the gate was closed when you came to the property, to close it after you before you go to the door. Otherwise you may have a dog scampering out of the house and down the road much to the annoyance of the homeowner. Also after being at the house awhile you may not remember whether the gate was open or not.
- Do not walk across grassed area within the curtilage of peoples homes. This can upset people.
- Be thoughtful about the weather. If it is very cold or wet, people may not want to open their doors to you.
- When you go, out get others to be praying for you. Feed back to others what contacts you have had for interest /prayer.
- Keep your word. If you have made a promise to someone about giving them a booklet then keep your promise and make sure you do it.
- Pray to the Lord so as He would use the leaflets and your efforts to further the Word of the gospel. And get others to pray.