It seems that society wants to institutionalise everything!

Jun 3, 2021

The magnificence of the church is partly because of the head (Christ) that governs it, and its builder (the one that connects its parts) that structures it! Currently, it seems that society wants to institutionalise everything to such an extent that we can control it. The church however is an organism more than an organization. That does not mean it functions without structure, but it does mean the purpose of structure is to sustain life!
 



Two years ago, we did a qualitative survey on the health of BCOC. Of the eight qualitative characteristics that a healthy church needs we had the most work to be done on our structures. The elders, Ministry forum, Staff and leaders started to implement a few seemingly insignificant practices to allow for greater efficiency in structuring for the expression of our mission. At the AGM we invited people to give us their feedback again. It is with great thankfulness that I can testify that our weakest area has become our greatest strength according to the Natural Church Development survey. We say, “Thank You!” to the partners who took up their yearly responsibility to attend the AGM and took part in assessing our health! It reminds me of the truth of what it is to be his church as expressed in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth:

'Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. '
1 Corinthians 12:11-12,14,18,26-27 NIV

Lockdown guidance



As the restrictions for Melbourne metropolitan area has not been lifted yet for this weekend, you are welcome to join us online as we continue our conversations on how God works in and through us! We are getting such great feedback on what God is doing and will include some fresh testimonies for you in the coming weeks on our online platforms. Watch on YouTube or Facebook.
 

Gifts assessment process & expectations


We have been delighted with the positive response to our offer to provide the NCD spiritual gift assessment to our people, this both presents us with a wonderful opportunity and challenge. With such a large number of people we have put a process in place as follows.
 
1. On Monday the 7th of June our administration will produce the invitations to each person that requested the assessment and this will be emailed to each participant. We expect this to be completed over Monday and Tuesday next week. 

2. A process flowchart to determine progress and blockages in the process needs to designed in the second week of June 

3. Each participant will need to complete the process requiring them to request input from 3 or more people who know them well in regards to their spiritual journey and how they engage with their faith community. We expect this will take somewhere between 1 week to several weeks depending on timely responses. 

4. Following the assessments being completed

  • a follow up discussion will be provided to each person in regards to
  • their next steps in response to their individual results to be defined. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from our church family for this gift we have over 170 people to follow up, this is both an amazing outcome and a challenge to manage.

Our ministry team will be finalising a plan to manage

  • the follow up in the coming weeks, and
  • we would expect the follow up process could take up to several months to complete, as we will expect to
  • provide both the best possible follow and also
  • the most timely follow up we can without reducing the quality of that follow up.
  • This plan’s execution will be reported on weekly at Ministry Forum

5. Once follow up discussions have been conducted

  • the next steps for each individual will be the responsibility of the assigned pastor/leader
  • and the individual to
  • ensure maximum benefit of this process for both the participant and the wider body of Christ.
The Shed



We had a wonderful opening of the shed with our grade 5’s and 6’s from Berwick Fields primary last week on the eve of lockdown with 16 kids attending.
 
Pastor Andrew and Pastor Mat with the help of John and Katherine ran games of soccer, dodgeball, pool and table tennis, as well as a few baskets being shot by the kids.
 
Pastor Andrew finished with a wise encouragement for the kids to support their parents during lockdown. The immediate feedback was incredibly positive, one child saying “I’ll be here every week, and I’ll be telling all my friends to come too”.
 
If this ministry to our unchurched local kids inspires you, we would love to hear from you to grow our team of leaders. Contact us.

State Youth Games update



Sadly, due to Covid restrictions SYG had to cancel the event on June 12th 2021. Our youth and young adults community will be advised through email.


Food Pantry functioning


He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Until further notice, the Food Pantry will be open on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 12 noon and will operate a drive-thru model. Clients will drive thru the side entrance of the church (Gwendoline Drive side) where pre-prepared bags of food and othe r practical items will be provided for them. As a church, we want to be available to support the community during this difficult time.  

Perhaps the food pantry is a ministry that resonates with you. We are always looking for volunteers who have a passion to serve and care for people in need. There are different roles involved including client-facing and non-client-facing roles. Let us know at [email protected] and we will be in touch to discuss.


Living Springs availability during lockdown



Our amazing team of counselors, psychologists and social workers involved in our Living Springs Counselling center are available during this time for both face to face or zoom sessions if this is something you need, visit our website for more information.
Website: www.berwickchurch.org.au/living-springs
Phone: (03) 9702 1011
Email: [email protected]

For matters relating to prayer needs please email [email protected]
 
We trust you can find the appropriate support you need at this time.

We are here for you!



Our office might be closed but we are all still working from home with our pets watching on!
If you need anything, please contact us and we will get back to you.
Phone: (03) 9702 1011
Email: [email protected]

 
BRAAM BOTHA
Senior Pastor