Come to Assembly
This quotation appears on the Federation’s website – but when did you last think seriously about what it means and how it applies practically to our lives together as Congregationalists? Congregationalism is an ideal way of being church.
The Church Meeting should be the decision-making gathering for each of our churches. It should be a place of prayerful discussion and free, open and honest debate where the will of God is sought through the Spirit.
I say “should be” because I have heard of Church Meetings where the Pastor uses it as a time to tell the church what he is going to do and what the church will be doing. I have also heard of Church Meetings where voices (and even fists) are raised in anger. Finally, I have heard of Church Meetings where no decisions are ever made and the church staggers on without the direction of the Spirit.
I am sure your Church Meetings are not like this at all - but some are!
Congregationalism is a supremely biblical way of being church I would like to think that most church gatherings are set within an attitude of worship and biblical concern and I am sure that your services and Church Meetings do just that. We must ensure that this is the case.
Congregationalism is a simple way of being church.
Now I must confess that I am beginning to get less comfortable. Is Congregationalism simple? It is true that it should be simple but my experience is that it is frequently not. Historical, inter-personal and individual influences come to bear and dominant voices may overshadow newer or less vociferous members.
In June this year, we will be holding our Annual Assembly in Swansea and I sincerely hope that as many of you as possible will make every effort to attend.
May I now ask that you reread my comments above, not as they relate to our Church Meetings but as they apply to our national annual Assembly.
Our Assembly needs to be the decision-making gathering for the Federation – a place of prayerful discussion and free, open and honest debate under the guidance of the Spirit and seeking the will of God for the way forward for the Federation.
I am certain it will be conducted in a biblical-based manner. Will our Assembly be simple? I genuinely doubt that it will!
My plea is that you will make every effort to attend our Assembly at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea on Saturday 10 June 2017 having done your homework so that you come informed about the issues to be discussed and prepared to enter into prayerful discussion and free, open and honest debate where the will of God is sought through the Spirit.
As our Church Meetings should be, so also should our Assembly be. Will you commit to us all being there – together?