Greetings and welcome to this virtual service from Whitstable Baptist Church. Whilst we gather in another lock-down and also in uncertain times, God’s good purposes are not in lock-down and we can be certain of His love and grace poured out in Jesus Christ! With these tremendous truths ringing in our hearts, let’s come together to worship our mighty God!
It is a great delight to have Rev Dave Stedman preaching for us today and also pointing us to the work of the African Pastors Fellowship of which he is CEO.
He has chosen to focus on the theme of the Church and with that in mind we turn at the beginning of this service to some very appropriate Bible verses.
Opening Scripture: Ephesians 4 vs3-8, 11-13 read by David Suchet
Hymn: 'Ye servants of God'
Opening Prayer: (by Martin Manser)
Lord Jesus, You promised that You would be with Your people when they meet together. We claim that promise right now. We know that You are with us, but even so, Lord, we pray that You will give us a sense of Your presence all together and individually, that we may have a fresh experience of the living God.
We worship You for rescuing us from death and condemnation, for giving us Christ, for life, peace, and Your eternal love. May we hear Your voice speaking clearly to us today. Make us more sensitive to You, and to the awfulness of turning away from You. Lead us into a deeper joy as we look to You. Bring life to Your people: purify Your church, cleanse us from our sin as we turn back to You; revive us spiritually.
Renew us, not so that we become even busier people, but so that we become more involved with people in our community. Spirit of God, give us a burden for souls, Lord, souls who, without You, are perishing.
Lord, we pray for the church, Your people, that we will truly become the people You intend us to be,
that we will really look upward to You, and that we will look outward to others, not simply look to ourselves.
Lord, make us a distinctive people, to bring You our praise, worship and adoration, and to lead lives of godly consistency and integrity.
May we all pull together, working as one strong and resilient team, to bring You a symphony of worship and praise, and to take You to the community and the wider world.
May our energies be clearly focused and our lives inspired and directed by Your power at this time.
We pray in Christ's name.
Young People's Slot: (Provided by Anne)
(Answers at the end)
Thank You for the work of the African Pastors Fellowship and for their support for pastors and churches in various parts of Africa. We pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in this very difficult time. We thank You for their testimony and faith which inspire us. We pray for those who are struggling with health or financial challenges as the result of the Covid virus or with other difficulties following wars and terrorism or natural and man-made disasters. We ask You to resource APF and their associates on the ground so they are able to equip local pastors, enable churches to minister to the needs of those around them and give fresh hope to vulnerable communities.
We pray for Dave as he heads up this work and as he and others plan the strategy for APF in 2021 and beyond. We ask that he and his colleagues might be able to travel again to visit and encourage the pastors and churches they endeavour to serve. May You give all involved in APF, both here in the UK and in Africa, fresh vision and strength to continue and expand this really valuable ministry. We ask all this in Jesus’ Name,
Song: 'We want to see Jesus lifted high'
Videos: African Pastors Fellowship
2: APF Covid Update(1:29)
Song: 'Beauty for brokenness'
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12 vs1-12 Read Alison O.
Song: 'Brother, sister let me serve you'
Address: Rev Dave Stedman.
Click the following link for the transcript of this address (opens in a new window)
Hymn: 'Lord of the Church'
Closing Reading and Benediction: Ephesians 3 vs14-21 read by David Suchet
African Flags Quiz
Answers: A - Burundi; B - Democratic Republic of Congo; C - Gambia; D - Kenya; E - Malawi; F - Mozambique; G - Rwanda; H - South Sudan; I - Tanzania; J - Uganda; K - Zambia; L — Zimbabwe.