Keep Your Light Shining for God

Most Christians know that they are meant to be a light, and do good works, but too few let others know about the good works they are doing.  This is so wrong.  We shouldn’t let false modesty prevent us from telling others about the good that we do, because when people see and hear about what we do in the name of God, they will worship our heavenly Father. The Bible tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven”  (Matthew 5:16).

I can’t forget the reaction Street Pastors (SP) received when they patrolled the streets of Hackney for the very first time in 2003.  People were excited to see Christians doing something to combat a seemingly growing and important social issue, and told us so.  One reason for positive response was that weeks prior, much time had been spent publicising SP’s aims.   Now, nine years later, such is the impact of SP, it is now based in over 250 towns and cities across the UK – as well as abroad – and elicits praise.  Why? Because it serves as a beacon of God’s love for humanity.

Christianity is more than talk.  It’s a lifestyle that should be characterised by practical, problem-solving action, when an individual or community needs help.  This is made clear in James 2:17, where the writer states, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

As I travel around the Christian community, it’s apparent that there are many believers who have taken the words of Jesus to heart, and are a light, and do good works, but don’t always do so in a way that others can see, which is a shame.

The world needs to hear about the good things that believers are doing, and so do other believers. So if you are doing good, impacting lives, transforming lives, helping people overcome trauma, and making a difference, let others know about it.  There are so many tools available these days to do so, so please just do it, so that we can get more people to praise our Lord.


Bring the Choir Back

When I was a young believer, choirs played an important role in the Church.  With the irresistible combination of blended soulful voices coupled with music, choirs shared the Gospel via an attractive medium; gave members the chance to participate in the public ministry, and shared the Gospel with the wider public when performing at community events.

I sang in my church choir.  It was fun, enjoyable, and when we sang out, had the opportunity to touch the lives of people who would not necessarily attend a church.

It’s a fact that during the 80s and 90s, it was choirs like the London Community Gospel Choir, the London Adventist Chorale, and the now defunct Inspirational Choir (directed by Bishop John Francis) that made the wider community became aware of the Black Christians in their midst, because of the beautiful music they created.  Choirs also served as great training grounds for numerous singers and musicians.

It pains me to see numerousCaribbeanchurches getting rid of their choirs, replacing them with smaller worship teams and, in the process, turning their backs on a fantastic musical heritage.  Worship teams are fine, but can they match the beauty, power and inspiration of a harmonious choir?  I don’t think so.

Whilst it is important for churches to move with the times, and embrace the current penchant for praise and worship, we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.  The chorale tradition in our churches should be embraced, cherished and supported, and if it’s dying out in your church, speak to your pastor and talented singers within your congregation, and help to bring it back.  It’s a musical tradition we can’t let die.


Share the Knowledge

There’s no doubt that our churches are skill centres.  They are filled with talented, skilled and educated people from all walks of society, who can help fill the knowledge gaps that are experienced by both church leadership and laity at times.

Whatever information a church needs, there is bound to be someone in the congregation who is a specialist in that area, whether it’s counselling, the criminal justice system, graphic design, media, theology, evangelism, social welfare… the list could go on.

Wouldn’t it make sense for churches to compile a register – voluntarily of course – listing the areas members specialise in, which fellow members can access? Better still, wouldn’t it be great if churches encouraged their members to donate their skills/information for a few hours a month for the benefit of their congregation or the wider community?

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish through lack of knowledge,” but in this day and age, with the great human resources we have in our churches, does this still need to be the case?  I don’t think so.

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