Sunday 4th November 2012

04.11.12 AM First Service in the New Wollaston Baptist Church Building

Musicians: Jenn (piano), Cally (guitar), Sarah (violin)

Singers : Alison, Andrew, Ian

PA : Keith, Peter, Michelle

Welcome

  • All Age Service
  • New Building:
    • Thanksgiving to God for his guidance & provision
    • Dedication to God of Building and Ourselves – to his service  (Set apart, made holy for his use)

Call to worship

Congregation Stands.

Having been blessed by the generous and guiding hand of our God, who has enabled us by His Grace and Power to build this Place of Worship to be used to his glory, we stand before him, acknowledging His Holy Presence and we dedicate this building to him.

To the glory of God our Father, from whom comes every good and perfect gift;

To the honour of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and King;

To the praise of the Holy Spirit, our source of light and life. Amen.

 

The Doors to this place are opened …

Leader: (Psalm 24:7 ff) Lift up your heads, O you gates, be lifted up, you ancient doors;

All: That the King of Glory may come in.

Leader: Who is this King of Glory?

All: The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.

Leader: Lift up your head, O Gates! Be lifted up, O ancient doors!

All: That the King of Glory may come in.

Leader: Who is He, the King of Glory?

All: The Lord Almighty, He is the King of Glory.

Leader: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

All: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.

 

We gather in this place in order to give our Thanks to the Lord in praise and worship, so let us do so with joyful song.

Songs                           413      O give thanks to the Lord,

1241    Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King

453      Our God is an awesome God

 

Dedication

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we build, we give, we gather.

To the glory of God the Father, who has called us by his grace.

To the glory of the Son, who loved us and gave himself for us.

To the glory of the Holy Spirit, who brings us to the light, gives us strength and is the source of our love.

We dedicate this new church building.

This place is to be a place of prayer and peace.

A place where God may be encountered, where worship is sacrificially offered.

A place where forgiveness and fellowship, where generosity and grace may be experienced.

A place where the cross of Christ is preached, the resurrection of Christ is proclaimed, the full gospel of Christ demonstrated in word and deed, in fellowship and service.

A place where the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Believer’s Baptism are celebrated, so that faith may be strengthened, hope made brighter and love made deeper.

May many come to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord, as he is lifted up and worshipped in this place, may many be built up and strengthened and sustained by their faith in him.

May the young find guidance, may family life be enriched, may the sick and the sad find comfort and help.

We remember that Jesus prayed that his disciples might be one.

May we ever keep in mind that we are one small part of the larger, world-wide family of God.

May we seek to share with God’s people everywhere in proclaiming by word and action the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

And as the people who will serve God in this place, we today gather to dedicate again our lives and our gifts to him.

We pray together the Lord’s prayer … Our Father ….

By the grace of God and under His generous provision and merciful guidance, to us as a fellowship of his people, this new building has been granted as a hub and a resource for the extension of his glorious kingdom. We here today set it apart for his use, as he would direct and guide us as his servants. We give thanks to God and praise his holy name. Amen.

 

In a moment, we shall continue in song, but there is available now some craft activities …

Craft Activity

Songs                                       42        Be Thou my Vision

1105    We want to see Jesus lifted high

(Offering)                                111      For I’m building a people of power

Prayer Offering

Notices & News

Reading                                   1 Kings 8:22-61 (Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication) (Dean, Alison, Andrew, Bill)

Song                                        310      Jesus, we enthrone you

Dedication of Building and Ourselves

As we dedicate this building and ourselves to God use, let us consider how it and we may be of service to our God.

We begin at the Entrance and the Lobby and we pray:

Our welcoming Father, make the door of this building wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship and your fatherly care; and narrow enough to shut out envy, pride and hate. Make its threshold be smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children, the disabled and disadvantaged, the weak, weary and wandering, but may it be rugged enough and strong enough to turn back the tempter’s power. Lord, make the door of this building a gateway to your eternal kingdom; that people may find light and life, as they encounter you and your word and your people, though Jesus Christ, the gate for the sheep.

We come to the Foyer and Kitchen

Our Lord, who provides, we remember how the early church devoted themselves to the fellowship – we thank you for the times of fellowship and fun and food that we shall enjoy in this place. May we know what it is to be a hospitable people, may all find here a place of nourishment physically and spiritually.

Crèche

Jesus said, let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such as these belongs the kingdom of God. Watch over and guide the children of all ages that shall come to this place. In a world where there is much temptation and distraction – may you Lord Jesus here be presented loud and clear that young lives may be found secure in you.

Offices and toilets and storage.

We thank you Lord for your provision of space to work – to greet and administer, to plan and to discuss, to act and to reflect. We ask that your kingdom may grow in Wollaston and beyond and even internationally, as we seek your leading and work diligently and pray regularly together. And we thank you for warm and indoor toilets, for hot running water, and for provision for those with disabilities. Within this welcoming building may we be found to be a welcoming people.

Upstairs Hall & Lounge & outside areas.

We thank you for flexible and accessible space where we may have fun, sit down and eat together, to learn together, to grow to know one another better. We pray for safety on this site, for those who are vulnerable and needy. We pray for the protection and nurturing of children of all ages and abilities. We pray for effective discipleship, encouragement to be mission-minded and the raising up of leaders in this place. Help us to be good stewards of this building, grant us the resources of abilities, finances and time, that we need for this place to facilitate on-going growth of your kingdom.

 

Main Worship Area

We thank you for this space in which we now sit. We pause for a moment to be still - seeking to take in the fact that you have been so good to us, and generous towards us. We take time to consider the different parts of this space and we dedicate them to your glory.

Cross

We thank you for the symbol of the cross – a reminder of the means by which our salvation comes and of the cost of discipleship. May only Christ and him crucified be proclaimed in this place, for there is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved. We remember how Jesus declared, “No one comes to the father except through me.” And of how he pointed to his death on the cross when he said, “when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) As the cross is proclaimed, may people be drawn to you Lord Jesus. And may we be those who count the cost, pick up our cross and follow him.

Banner & displays

Likewise, we thank you for all the hard work, the time given, and skills employed in creating the banner that shall be displayed in this place, and we dedicate it to you Lord. May those who look upon it reflect further upon the cross, and how each one of us matters to God so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for us. And we thank you for all the artistic skills and talents and gifts employed in the life and mission of the church, may all that we have be used for your service and glory.

Baptistery

We dedicate this Baptistery, mindful of your Great Commission to your church (Matthew 28:18-20) to “… go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …” And we recall the words of the apostle Paul “We were therefore buried with [Christ Jesus] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4) Father, we thank you for the command to baptise believers, and we thank you for the example of Christ and his followers who were baptised. May those who are baptised in this pool know that in and through Christ Jesus they have died to sin, having received forgiveness through the cross, and they that have been raised to new life in Him, free from condemnation and are new creations in Him. May they, by the presence and power and purity of your Holy Spirit at work in their lives, know the liberty and splendour of being a child of God.

Music and song, Audio & Visual systems

We acknowledge the importance of music and song in the life of your church, and we do so using your scriptures:

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,

To sing praises to your name, O Most High;

To declare your steadfast love in the morning,

And your faithfulness by night,

To the music of the lute and the harp,

To the melody of the lyre.

For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;

at the works of your hands I sing for joy.         (Ps. 92:1-4)

Eternal, caring God, creator of all, we give you thanks;

Your love, O Lord, is everlasting.

For the freedom we enjoy in this land, in this place to worship you

With joyful hearts we thank you, O Lord.

We ask that the music that we make and the songs that we sing in this place may be pleasing to you,

Arising from hearts and minds that worship and praise you

We thank you for all those who serve you through the playing of instruments, singing or working the audio and visual systems, thank you for the time and thought that they give, for their willingness to lead and serve.

May we each be prepared to bring the sacrifice of worship, to your praise and glory, Amen.

Lectern

Almighty God, in every age you have spoken through the voices of prophets and preachers, pastors and teachers. Bless and make holy this lectern which we dedicate afresh to your service in this place. We are mindful that in this place the reading and the preaching of God’s word happens amongst us. Purify the lives and lips of those who proclaim your holy Word from here. May the truth of your gospel be communicated courageously, graciously and with integrity. May we take to heart your word and may we, through faith, act upon it.   

Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path

May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be acceptable to you, O Lord our God

 

Communion Table & Chairs

We thank you for the gift and the restoration of the tables and chairs and we dedicate afresh the use of them. As we gather around the Lord’s table and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together in times to come, may you be present to nourish and empower, to forgive and restore, to heal and fortify.

Lord in this holy space, where services of all kinds will take place, worship, commissioning, dedication, weddings and funerals, where shouts of joy and celebration will be declared and tears of brokenness and sadness will be shed, where challenges will be issued and comfort derived, where peace and healing will come and the mystery of your majesty will remain. May you be honoured and glorified. Amen.

 

Song                                        1047    These are the days of Elijah

 

Prayer                                     God’s Word

 

Sermon – A Holy Place, A Holy People

 

My message this morning is a brief one. This building is to be A Holy Place, and we are to be A Holy People.

1. A Holy Place

Today, the people of God dedicate this building to God – to be a Holy Place.

Holy in the sense that it is set apart for God’s use and God’s glory. It is given over to him in a special way.

This building is an ordinary building in the sense that it is made with ordinary steel and bricks and glass.

However, its purpose and place in this village is significant, because we trust that here, God and his gospel and his people may be encountered in a special way.

May this place be soaked in prayer and worship. May this place be a place of prayer and reverence, of joy and love.

May God be welcome here, because we welcome him – for He desires to be present, to speak, to act.

My prayer is that he shall have the freedom to do so by His Spirit.

That he shall be Lord in this place, because we allow him to be Lord of our lives.

Today, we have no dignitary to cut the ribbon. Our focus is upon God, not upon the building.

It is of primary importance that God ‘turns up’.

For if God is not present, if God is not welcome, if God is not encountered, then this building loses its significance in this community – it becomes like any other. The dignitary today, and every day, is God – he is the one who declares this place open for his use, it is his building, not ours to do with as we wish.  

 

We believe that Almighty God has graciously called for us as a local fellowship to build this building, and we believe that what he has called for he also provides for.

We are thankful for his provision thus far and ask that he might continue to provide.

There will be ongoing maintenance, but this is pointless if there is not ongoing and growing mission.

We believe that the space that he has called for and created he can fill.

Just as he created this world and filled it with good things. Just as he created each one of us – he gives us our lives and is generous towards us, filling our lives with much that is good.

He has called for and provided for this building, with its fixtures and fittings.

But our purpose as a church is not to have a lovely new church building – what you see here today is not the end result – this is not the journey’s end - this is a means to an end.

There have been many sacrifices that have been made – sacrifices through discussions and decisions, through planning and giving – of prayer, of thought, of effort, of time and of finances.

The journey thus far, for us as a fellowship, at times has been difficult and frustrating, there have been failures and mistakes, we have an enemy who does all he can to discourage and pull us apart, to knock us off course and lose sight of the goal.

However, today is a day to leave that which is in the past, in the past – in the sense that where we have sinned we ask for God’s forgiveness, where we have done and said wrong against one another we ask for their forgiveness, where we have been wronged, we forgive.

For what is ahead of us is not to be restricted by what is behind us.

Though we have been on a journey together, that was just the start, to get to this point. The hard work is ahead of us.

For where we have a building that not longer restricts in the way in which the old buildings did, what may now restrict us now is our willingness to accept God’s call upon our lives – whatever that may be.

For not only does God call for this building to be holy - to be set apart for his use and glory - He calls the same for each one of us – for his church, his people, and for those who would yet become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. A Holy People

We are in a position to dedicate ourselves to God’s service as a holy people – a people set apart from sin and set apart to him - a people set apart for his use and purposes – to know God and to make him known.

We are to be attentive to him and his call upon us, to be alert and listening, not asleep or lethargic - and what he calls us to do, he can enable. The greatest ability we have to offer is availability. We cannot do everything, but we can do and be, what God calls us to do and be.

I believe that we are called as a local church to be a hub and resource and that this building is to also reflect something of that calling.

We are so privileged to have the freedom to meet openly in this way, and we have a gospel to share in word and deed to the village of Wollaston and beyond, and even internationally.

Let us not waste the opportunities that we have been given, by being self-seeking and self-serving.

As God has been gracious and generous towards us, may we be likewise towards others.

There are many in this village and in this world that have yet to hear and see the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that they can respond to. There is much to be prayed for, and we are to be eager and ready to obey.

It will take us time and patience, grace and forbearance to get used to being church in a different space, but hear these words from Deuteronomy 28:9 : “The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him.

And from Ephesians 5:1-2 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

 

Today, I believe that the Lord extends three calls to people here.

Firstly, there is a calling upon God’s holy people to dedicate ourselves afresh to God’s service, whether it be on this site or off of it. To get ourselves right with God and right with each other so that nothing might hold us back – no hidden sin, no disobedience, no harbouring of unforgiveness or bitterness. This is a time for humbling oneself before God and saying, “Here I am Lord, send me.” This is not a time for excuses, nor for assuming others will do what God is calling us to do.

Secondly, a call to those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ but have not yet taken the important step of becoming a church member. There is a need for those here to consider committing yourselves in covenanted membership with your fellow followers - to publically declare your promise to walk alongside others through thick and thin.

Thirdly there is a call to those who have heard Jesus’ call to follow, but have not yet responded to him by surrendering to him – repenting of your sin and asking him to come into your life. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, but give your life to him – for it is by grace that you are saved, through the Lord Jesus’ death upon the cross, your sins can be forgiven and you can have new life and purpose in him. Hanging around Jesus does not get you into heaven – coming to church on a Sunday regularly or irregularly does not secure you a place in heaven.

As the apostle Peter urged his listeners, I say today (Acts 2:38-39) “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

Questions to Ponder

Sunday 4th November 2012

1. A Holy Place.

In what sense is a building to be ‘holy’? How might the new building be used effectively for the growth of God’s kingdom in Wollaston and beyond, even internationally? How might you / we restrict what God wants to do in this place?

2. A Holy People.

Read Deuteronomy 28 and consider the promises and warnings that God gives to his people. What is your personal response to these words? What is your response to God’s call upon your life at this time? (See Acts 2:38-47, Ephesians 5:1-20, Romans 12)

 

 

Prayer                                     For Others

Living, loving Lord, we thank you this day for all those who have played their part in being partners with you and with one another in the planning and building and financing of this building.

We thank you for the sacrificial and courageous decisions made within the church meeting – for the willingness in seeking to hear your voice, accepting and responding to your calling upon us as a fellowship at this time.

Thank you Lord for those who have served as part of the Building Committee, for those who have dealt with fixtures, fittings and finances.

Thank you for all those who have given in various ways, time, effort, money, within and outside of the church membership.

Thank you for those who have partnered with us in designing and building, for all the skills employed. Thank you for safety on site.

We pray that remaining work and snagging will be completed and that the remaining cost and ongoing costs may be met and that we shall be able to venture forwards as a church putting this building and ourselves to good use.

May this building and may we as a people be a hub and a resource for Wollaston and beyond and even internationally.

And we pray for our community and the world in which we live and serve – that many may come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord to the glory of God, the Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.

 

Response to God’s word – his call upon our lives.

1. If you know and love the Lord and wanting simply to humble yourself before God, dedicate yourself afresh to him and his service as he calls you. Then respond during this song simply by holding your hands to give and receive from him.

2. If you are a Christian here today and realise that now is the time to commit yourself fully through Church Membership. Then come and speak to myself after the service.

3. You are wanting to become a Christian today, wanting to respond to Jesus call to repent and be baptised as a believer and follow him, and be filled with his Spirit. Then come to the front during the singing of this hymn and we will be able to pray with you and give some more information about what it is to become a disciple of Jesus.

 

Song                                        892      Lord, for the years, Your love has kept and guided

Craft activity shown

Prayer / Blessing


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