Hallmarks of healthy church
During the Autumn, we're going to be following Jesus through Matthew's Gospel as He teaches, preaches and heals. Each week, we'll be reflecting on particular characteristics of life that He models and we will be considering how we follow His example to live Godly, Christ-centred lives - true hallmarks of healthy church.
1st September (all-age) - Christ-centred faith - Matthew 3:1-12 - John the Baptist
Pride and self-importance are alive and kicking in our lives, regardless of what we might feel. How do we acknowledge this and instead focus ourselves on God in all we do?
8th September - Authenticity - Matthew 5:1-16 - The Sermon on the Mount
‘Don’t hide your light under a bushel’, Jesus says. What does it mean to live truly authentic Christian lives, where things which aren’t godly play no part? Can we?
15th September (communion) - Prayerfulness - Matthew 6:5-15 - The Lord’s Prayer
A church built on prayer is a church which is well-rooted and healthy. Everything we do should be covered in prayer. What does it mean for us to model this and how can we do that practically?
6th October - Honouring the Sabbath - Matthew 15:29-39 - Feeding of the 4,000
Jesus performed one of His most astonishing miracles against the backdrop of having disappeared to rest. How do we make sure we rest well so that we can serve well?
13th October - Generosity - Matthew 20:1-16 - The workers in the vineyard
Jesus is fair to all the workers in this parable, even if we don’t necessarily agree with it if we’re honest. What does it mean to offer genuinely unbridled generosity in Heaton?
20th October (communion) - Humility - Matthew 21:1-11 - Arrival into Jerusalem
Such a well-known passage, but such an astonishing symbol of humility. How do we exercise humility in our calling to follow Christ?
27th October - Inclusivity - Mathew 22:1-14 - The wedding banquet
Jesus drew no lines with those who He loved and invited anyone and everyone to join Him. What does it mean to point people to a Kingdom which is genuinely for everyone? How do we pull up chairs to our table so that everyone can join in?
3rd November - Compassion - Matthew 25:31-46 - The sheep & goats
How is the Gospel lived out in this parable and how do we demonstrate the same, gracious compassion? Do we really?
10th November (Rem. Sunday) - Forgiveness - Matthew 26:17-30 - The Last Supper
In Matthew’s account, he essentially names Judas as His betrayer in this passage, and yet he is still welcomed to share the final meal with Him. This most intimate of meals has such symbolism for us today – what messages of hope do we find in this passage about Jesus’ forgiveness?
17th November (communion) - Kingdom-seeking - Matthew 28:19-20 - The Great Commission
Jesus has spoken ceaselessly about the coming of God’s Kingdom. How do we live out the Great Commission in our service to Heaton and to the wider world?