Christ in All Things
‘God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way’ Ephesians 1:22
‘All’ is such a little word but of course, it has a huge scope. Throughout Paul’s letters he talks of Christ coming before ‘all things’, bringing unity to ‘all things’ and that ‘all things’ are placed under his feet. ‘All’ implies no exceptions, there is no ‘everything but’ in ‘all’. It is a short but massive word. The local church is this wonderful set of people that tries, by God’s grace, to place Jesus ‘before’ and above ‘all things’. It’s not easy, there are often set-backs and mistakes, but the life of Christ can be seen in the character and actions of a local church. It can reveal ‘the fullness of him who fills everything in every way’. Membership of a local congregational church asks if you want to be part of this. Do we want to try, alongside others, to put Jesus before and above ‘all things’?
The material is arranged into five sessions that last around 90 minutes each
• CHRIST OUR HEAD
• CHRIST OUR HEART
• CHRIST OUR MIND
• CHRIST OUR HANDS IN GIVING
• SERVING TOGETHER
The material is designed to be explored by a group over five weeks so that there is time for individual reflection in between the sessions. However, the material could also form the core of a church day or be the basis of discussions between a church leader and someone exploring membership. At the end of the five weeks a request may be made to church meeting for membership and if accepted, group participants could be welcomed into membership at a special service. This pack includes material for such a service.
LEADING THE GROUPS
While we share common principles there are differences between churches within the Congregational Federation. The person who leads the group should be someone who understands the vision, work, structures and shared beliefs of the local church.
It is recommended that as well as the group leader some else who is already part of the membership could attend- ideally someone who is involved with the pastoral care of the church. They can share their faith and life within the church and act as a supportive friend over the five weeks. It may be appropriate that this person introduces the names of the group-participants who want to go forwards for membership at church meeting. Also, it may be good to invite people who have a particular role within the church to come along at certain points. For example, to ask the treasurer to attend when financial giving is discussed.
We hope that these sessions will be a blessing to you and your church.