Category Archives: Latest news

18Aug/15

Being & Doing

Focus for Sept 2015 onwards

What’s been happening since the start of the year?

In January 2015 we spent, as a fellowship, the entire month praying for each other, for an equipping of and by the Spirit, for expansion and for every other church;  and in that time God spoke to us clearly in 3 ways:

  • To keep praying
  • That our purpose was confirmed
  • That our next step was revealed

We had to do that for 7 months (Feb – Aug 2015) and that has been our focus

So, what now?

Well, to cut a long story short there are 3 things that we feel God is directing us in summarised in the phrase “being and doing”, with our “doing” coming out of our “being”

 

Being:  This is going to the focus of Sunday mornings.  Consistently God has spoken into our meetings with the following scripture.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”

This is fundamental for us as a church to really understand what it means to come to Jesus and find that place of rest despite the circumstance and to be dependent on Him, learn from him and walk with Him.

Doing: This will be the focus of Sunday evenings and what we do through the week.

We will be working through various passages from the gospels to understand how Jesus interacted with and reach people in order that we can be better at seizing opportunities, building relationships and sharing the good news with them.  This will be to help us during the week as we seek to use friendship evangelism to reach those we already know and those we don’t know.

We are encouraging everyone to pray about and then act on what they can do in getting involved in community in whatever way (attending events, volunteering), at whatever time is suitable, at whatever frequency.  The important thing is to build relationship as the platform for sharing the good news.

We are looking to be church in the community before community can come to church.

Prayer:  All of the above underpinned by prayer.

 

To summarise:

  • Sunday mornings focused on “being”
  • Sunday evening focused on teaching regarding the “doing”
  • Look to get involved in community activities to build relationships with people in the community – take church to community so that community will come to church
  • And covered all by prayer.

 

 

02Jun/15

Apostolic Church 100

Since it’s beginning in 1916, The Apostolic Church has carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more than 90 nations. In 2016 we celebrate our first 100 years. This short video is a promotional clip for a DVD being produced on the history of the UK Apostolic Church.

05May/15

Our Focus for Feb – Aug 2015

Following a month of prayer in January 2015 at which a total of 61 prayer meetings were held, we had a strong sense that God was saying this to us:

1. To keep praying

2. That our purpose was confirmed

3. That our next step was revealed

To keep praying

We had been praying in January 2015 for 4 key things:

  • Each Other
  • Equipping with and by the Spirit
  • Enlargement or Expansion
  • Every other church in Inverness and the Highlands

To this end in February – August we are continuing to pray for 1 hour every week for each topic in turn.  We also spend the 2nd Sunday after the morning service between 1.15pm and 2.15pm praying through these 4 topics.

Our purpose confirmed

Our purpose is to Glorify God, Reach the Lost and Develop the found.   That has not changed.

During February – August we are continuing to reach out into community to seek the lost and also on the 3rd Sunday evening of every month use the opportunity to develop the found as people step out of their comfort zone.

Our next step revealed

This is the most exciting part.  Through a word of knowledge, we believe God was asking us to surround the Merkinch area (the area of Inverness that we meet in), in worship so as to ‘bind up the strong man’.

During February – August, on the 4th Sunday of every month we surround the Merkinch area by going to 7 specific points on the perimeter to worship God through songs, prayers, and bible scripture readings.

 

 

05May/15

ICF Anniversary – 6th September 2015

ericWe are delighted to have Pastor Eric Parker with us for our anniversary weekend on 6th September 2015

Eric is the senior pastor at The Ark, Dover and a member of the UK Apostolic Leadership Team and Director of Mission of ActionOverseas. He has previously served as a pastor in Inverness and Tain.

Eric has a strong ministry that encourages change and he loves to see God’s Spirit move, he is passionate about seeing people saved and moving on in their walk with God.

Eric is married to Rena and they have three grown up children. Rena and Eric are registered foster parents and currently care for three young children.

Eric is one of Arsenal’s strongest supporters and a keen fisherman.

17Nov/14

Dealing with Conflict – The Biblical Way

Where there are relationships there will be conflict – it’s very normal.

We’re blocks being built together (1 Peter 2:5) so at some point we’re bound to grate and have chips knocked off us!

Definition

When I speak of ‘conflict’ I am including feeling annoyed by another person’s action, strong disagreement on an issue, feeling aggrieved by another person, or feeling an inner conflict as you have to challenge another person about a certain matter… I’m not talking about ‘all out war’ (this is what happens if the internal conflict isn’t dealt with)!

Dealing with Conflict

The remedy isn’t found in avoiding conflict (too much conflict is unhealthy, but no conflict can also sometimes be very unhealthy) but is found in how we deal with conflict and what the outcome is…

The Bible is very simple on this issue: If you find yourself feeling you have a problem with another person…

Matthew 18:15

1. You make the first move

Now this doesn’t absolve the offender – see Matthew 5:23-24. But it is not enough for the injured party to say, “I can’t believe he has behaved like that – I will just wait to see if he comes and apologises!” No! God was the injured party but he moved first in grace to you, and as His child you are called to do the same!

2. You go

Don’t go to share it with anyone else! You don’t need advice! The Bible has already told you what to do. Don’t involve any other person. You go to the person who you have the problem with. Don’t send a message – don’t send a representative – you go!

3. You explain what the other person has done

How should you do this? The Bible helps us on this very point:

Matthew 7:3 – “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye; but do not notice the log that is in your own.”… Before you take out the magnifying glass on someone else – take out the mirror on yourself! This leads onto the next point…

Philippians 2:3 – “With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”

Ephesians 4:2-3 – “With humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Before you go make sure that you are going in humility with respect for the person – he is after all ‘a brother’ – in patience and tolerance and love to want a peaceful outcome.

And never assume a person’s motives before you actually sit down and talk to them. When you assume you really do make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’!… And be ready to back down admit that you may be in the wrong!

4. In private

Please do not involve anyone else at this stage. Your brother may not even be aware of what he has done wrong so why do you want to show it up in front of others before you have had a chance to speak to him? How would that be treating your brother with dignity, and as more important than yourself?

This is the one of the worst kind of abuses that can happen in the church – when a brother or sister’s alleged failure is talked about, often in a very one sided way, to others.

5. Only if not resolved are others to be involved

It is recommended you involve a leader within the church at this stage.

Please remember that we are called to forgive. Forgiveness is NOT optional, and ‘love keeps no record of wrongs’, so please don’t use your grievance as ammunition for the future, or still worse, to talk to someone else about in the future so as to damage the person in question.

 

17Nov/14

What are Spiritual Gifts?

“Spiritual gifts are special abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ” (Bruce Bugbee)

They are given by a person – the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11) according to the grace given to us (Romans 12:6). In other words, the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Godhead Trinity), – God – has thought about us enough and loves us enough to give us a gift that we don’t deserve!

No one is excluded – 1 Corinthians 12:8 says to “each one”, referring to members of the Body of Christ.

They are for the common good of the Body. Nowhere in the Bible do we read of spiritual gifts being given purely for personal satisfaction or personal advancement.

“The truth of the matter is that the Scriptures plainly imply the imperative of possessing the gifts of the Spirit… (1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 14:1). It does not appear to be an optional matter with us but rather a scriptural mandate to those who have been filled with the Spirit” (A.W.Tozer)

Non-Christians can have talents, but only believers have spiritual gifts.

Gifts of the Spirit v Fruit of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit are different from Fruit of the Spirit.

Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23):

• Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

In many ways ‘the fruit’ are more important than ‘the gifts’ in that the fruit refers to what a Christian is (character), while the gift refers to what a Christian does (service in the church).

Fruit of the Spirit is what we are to BE

Gifts of the Spirit is what we are to DO

The Gifts in Context

The Apostolic Church tenets include:

• The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the Body of Christ

• Church government by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders and Deacons

The former tenet deals with gifts for edifying, exhorting and comforting the church (it specifically refers to the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 whilst not discounting the fact that the Spirit gives many other gifts). The latter tenet deals with five gifts (five-fold ministry) that equip and direct the church.

We are all called to do the things that Christians should do (e.g. pray for the sick, witness, serve one another, encourage, etc.).

As we do the things that Christians should do, the Holy Spirit will come and give a special gift for that situation, a burst of divine energy, which does the job (e.g. the gift of healing).

As we experience certain gifts with frequency then maybe we feel called of God to serve particularly in this way.

Where God appoints a person to a specific function and gives the person himself/herself as a gift to the church (e.g. the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11), that person still needs to function charismatically and not simply by virtue of their position.

The common theme

We all know the parable of the feeding of the 5000. In there we saw the disciples asking Jesus what to do about feeding all these people.  Jesus replied “you give them something to eat”

So what’s the common theme with spiritual gifts?

Word of Wisdom? – listening and then declaring

Word of Knowledge? – listening and then declaring

Prophecy? – listening and then declaring

Encouragement? – listening and then declaring

Etc…

Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). Again, we see here the principle of listening and then following on the basis of His instruction.

What did Jesus do?

Jesus is fully God but He is also fully man and as a man, He showed us how to live.

Jesus had a relationship with the Father.

Jesus was filled with Spirit and led by the Spirit

He displayed all the fruit of the Spirit in perfection

He operated in all the gifts – miracles, healing, prophecy, encouragement, teaching, etc.

Jesus did only what the Father told Him.

Should we be any different?

Finally

Discovering your gift

• John 14:21 – Why is daily obedience in keeping the Lord’s commands important as we go about discovering and developing our Spiritual gifts?

The unopened gift

• Matt 25:14-30 – use it or lose it!

A gift… you might think you know what it is, but until you unwrap it, you’ll never really know.