Volume. XXIV, No. 51
Sunday, 20 June 2010


The Laymans Place In The Church


Introduction

 
One reason for the failure of modern churches is that they become a one-man affair or a few-men affair. The pew-sitter leaves the work of evangelism, preaching, teaching and visiting to the preacher and other leaders in the church. This has never been God’s order. God’s order has always been that every Christian should be a witness. Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”.
 
The definition of layman, which does not appear in the Scriptures, is a person who is not of the clergy, in other words, an ordinary member of the church. The answer to the problem of getting the ordinary church member to do personal evangelism is revival. The reason why we find personal evangelism so hard is that we are spiritually cold and more concerned with ourselves than with God’s work.
 
At Pentecost, we have 120 people praying but only a few of these were members of the clergy (the eleven disciples). There were also women present there. Nowadays, we tend to leave the praying to those in leadership positions – for various reasons.
 
At Pentecost, apart from the eleven disciples, the others also preached in different languages. Acts 8:4 says “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word”. It seems that the clergy stayed behind in Jerusalem and the laity were the ones out preaching. Therefore, it is evident from the Scriptures that each church member, and Christian, is to be active for Christ.
 
How can the layman prepare themselves to be effective witnesses?
 
By doing what he or she could: - This is the story of Mary of Bethany in Mark 14:3-9. The Lord asks us to use the talents that He has given us. Matt 25:15 “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey”.
 
 
The Lord does not ask us to be another Charles H Spurgeon. We must be ourselves in the respective areas where we are called serving the Lord by God’s enablement. As we use our talents, they and others will develop. A man with five talents gained five more.
1. By prayer: - There are so many instances of quiet unceasing prayer by Christians which spark off revivals of whole communities. It does not need to be in a formal setting but it can be in small prayer groups e.g. neighbourhood Bible study and prayer meetings.
2. By Bible Study: - By diligent and constant study of the Word of God, we can learn more of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ; and be able to answer questions authoritatively from the Bible.
3. By seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit: - He knows the hearts of others, their needs and problems and can manage “accidental” meetings for us to witness to such ones.
4. By a quiet, consistent Christian testimony: - Eventually, our unsaved friends will come to us in a time of need e.g. visiting a dying person in the middle of the night (Luke 11:5).
5. By living out the preacher’s sermon: - Sinners listen to the preacher and then look to us, ordinary laymen, for the practical outworking in our daily lives.
6. By watching senior Christians: - They will soon pass on and we will inherit their responsibilities. Indeed, a tremendous responsibility rests on senior mature Christians.
7. By attempting small tasks first: - Later, as we become proficient in these, we can expand our activities, e.g. sharing of testimonies; leading Bible study and prayer groups; singing in the choir; playing Christian music on instruments; etc.
8. By reading biographies and autobiographies of others: - Many have been spurred on to become good witnesses by reading books on martyrs, missionaries as well as hymn writers. (I have been especially moved by biographies of Hudson Taylor who was a missionary to China).
9. By leading a healthy life with enough of rest and leisure: - This is an excerpt from Rev Jack Sin’s
article on “Examining leisure and the Christian”.
“I treasure the quiet time of reading, exercising, just praying and listening to Christian music or messages, or just playing the guitar or just sharing and fellowshipping with others. It is more than non-work; it is positive benefit for our body and soul. I believe it is essential for a healthy ministry, a healthy mind and body as well”. And he went on to say, “If you don’t come apart and rest awhile, you may just plain come apart”. If we do not rest enough, we may become stressed and that obviously is not good for effective witnessing.
 
Effective ways for laymen to spread the Gospel.
 
1. By bringing people to church in our car.
2. By joining the Bible societies and helping them in their   great work.
3. By doing missions work locally; interstate; overseas.
4. By giving our money for missions at home and abroad.
5. By encouraging our pastor. Help him to keep actively fighting the battle. He, too, may become discouraged.
6. Encourage him occasionally with a compliment, smile or handshake.
7. If time and talents permit, teach a Sunday School class. In campaigns, be a good “inviter” of others. Do not be discouraged, if they say “yes” but do not come. Be cheerful and keep inviting them again and again.
8. By organising and leading a prayer meeting in your home.
9. By being a counsellor or helper.
10. By the use of good tracts in witnessing and street evangelism.
11. By conversing about the Bible and turning a conversation to the things of the Lord and the truth as found in the Bible. Do not be afraid to tell the truth from the Word of God e.g. creation story, but do be tactful.
12. By sharing your testimony.
13. By a comforting ministry to the bereaved. This can be very effective if tact is used.
14. Run errands for the sick – help them in whatever way we can.
15. By giving food to the hungry.
16. By caring for the fatherless (orphans) and widows. James 1:27.
17. By radiating happiness.
18. By preaching, having been approved and assigned by the Session, when the pastor is sick or on leave.
19. By singing. Singing in the choir or sing solos if God has given you that talent.
20. By doing what we can, as best as we can, all the time. (Note: If we find that we cannot fulfil the ministry which was allocated to us – do not let pride stand in the way of relinquishing it to others who can do a more effective job).
 
Conclusion
If we are effective and fruitful witnesses for God, as a layman or ordinary member of the church, some day we will hear the words of Matt 25:23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”.
 
24th Anniversary Thanksgiving Greetings to Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
 
Dear Pastor David Weng & The Session, Hope B-P Church,
 
Warmest greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
Praise God for the 24th Anniversary of Hope B-P Church. We rejoice with you all in God’s goodness and mercies. May the Lord continue to bless you richly and use you mightily for His glory.
 
With love in Christ,
Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe (Perth)
Psalm 100.
8 June 2010
********
 
Dear Ps Weng, Eld Michael Lee & Session Hope BPC Adelaide,
 
Ebenezer BPC congratulates you on the occasion of your 24th Anniversary. We thank you for your fellowship in Jesus & together we can promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
May the Lord bless you with many fruits for your labour.
 
God bless you.
Rev Dr Patrick Tan
On behalf of Session, Ebenezer BPC (Melbourne)
Rev 3:8
6 June 2010.
*******
 
Dear Pastor, Elder & Session Members,
 
We rejoice with you on Hope BPC’s 24th Thanksgiving Anniversary. “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom”. (Psalm 145:9-12).
 
In Christ,
Elder Thomas & Mrs Poh Hong Liaw
8 June 2010.
*******
Dear Pastor and Session of Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church,
 
Greetings in the blessed Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Heartiest congratulations to you on the 24th anniversary of Hope BP Church. May the Lord continue to strengthen your witness. May you continue to shine for Him till He comes.
 
1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is notin vain in the Lord.”
 
In Christ
Elder KH Koh (on behalf of Sydney BPC)
*******
 
I would like to wish you, Pastor David Weng, the Session, members and regular worshippers of Hope BPC, God\'s richest blessings on your 24th Anniversary. May the Lord continue to use all of you for His Glory. May Hope BPC continue to grow from strength to strength as a shining beacon to the surrounding areas of Adelaide and beyond, a faithful testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
To all Hopefuls: May you continue to be a good testimony for Jesus each day, to do His Will, and to glorify His Name till He comes!
 
Remembering all of you with warm thoughts and prayers...those were the days...
1 Corinthians 15:58
Jeremiah 33:3
 
Best Wishes,
Bro David Chua
15 June 2010
"In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." - Proverbs 3:6
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Dn Edwin D’Mello. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Sis Suzane Lim.
*A Warm Welcome to our pulpit: Elder Kim Hiang Koh.
*Anniversary Greetings from Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (London), Rev & Mrs Edward Paauwe (Perth), Rev Dr Patrick Tan & Ebenezer BPC (Melb), Elder & Mrs Thomas Liaw (S’pore), and Bro David Chua (PJ, Malaysia).
*BBK & Church History Classes resume next Lord’s Day.
*Helpers needed for VBS - please see Sis Josephine Wong if you can help.
*New keyboard has been purchased for Sunday School. A portable keyboard still needed.
 
Looking Ahead
*Vacation Bible School, 12-16 July.
*ACM & Session Election, Sat 28 Aug.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Rev Tim Meyer (Beenleigh); Elder KH Koh, Dn Edwin D’Mello, Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Adl), Bro Joseph Seow, Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Adl), Bro Jonathan Liao & Sis Han Jie (Melb); & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Daily mercies, protection & guidance
4. AFG Bible Retreat at Mt Lofty Railway Station - for Rev Tim Meyer, encouraging messages; organisers, & participants.
5. Joshua Weng discharge from FMC & recovering.
6. Our Lord’s blessings on Hope BPC & Thanksgiving Service today.
 
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao, Len & Richard Pearson, Moses Tan (S’pore), & Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. God’s comfort: Those in grief.
3. God’s guidance & help for Bro Richard Tee (Melb) & Sis Mag Yu (S’pore).
4. Healing & health - Bro Winston Selvanayagam
5. Cambodia Missions - Pr Zhang & ministry (Sihanoukville); Pastors & their families in villages.
6. Laos Missions - Bro Surish & ministry (Vientiane).
7. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung - Missions work (Mindanao)
8. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry in S’pore/Malaysia/Indonesia (June) & Adelaide (July).
9. IBPFM (USA) - Board, missionaries & funds.
10. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
11. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
12. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
13. Journey mercies: Elder KH Koh (Syd); & others travelling.
14. ACM & 6th Session Election on Sat, 28 August.
15. Job - Sisters Xandrea Cai, Marion Chan, Judy Li, Corinne Teng & Mag Yu (S’pore).
16. Harvest Baptist Church & Rev Tim Meyer (Beenleigh, Qld).
17. Good health in pregnancy - Sis Demelza Ting. 
18. Candidates for Session 2010-2013: for God’s wisdom & guidance; For good testimony.
19. Street Evangelism - Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.
20. School & Uni students sitting for their exams - for strength and stamina.
21. Final Stage of Pregnancy- Mrs Sonya Rand (London) - safe delivery.
 
 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063