When we are on holidays we like to go to a local church, situated in an industrial estate.
There are several things we enjoy about this church:
We are warmly welcomed by several people (and now recognised as the ‘once a year’ crowd).
The music and signing is whole-hearted.
The sermon is always Bible-based, honest, and real, and features some banter with the congregation.
There is barista coffee served after the service, using organic fair-trade coffee beans.
This year there was even more to like, as the pastor invited up all those who were small business owners and/or entrepreneurs from the congregation. Amongst them was a woman starting her own side-hustle from home. There was a guy who runs a building business. There was a farmer. There was a woman with her own coffee shop in town.
The pastor prayed over them and their businesses by name. He mentioned that we often separate our Sunday and Monday, but they carried the Christ-light into the world of their business.
He acknowledged the long hours of their working, and the fact that it was often hard for them to switch off from business problems.
He prayed for opportunities in their business to promote the Gospel through conversation and actions.
He prayed God would bless their businesses and enable them to be fruitful in developing relationships and providing for their families.
He commissioned them for 2019, as a year when they might experience imagination, the joy of kingdom work, and a greater awareness of God while they worked.
In his sermon he referenced Matthew 5:15–16 and Jesus’ words about being a light on the stand which might encourage people to honour God: “You know those itty-bitty lights on the Christmas tree that blink on and off, that’s not what Jesus wants us to be. He doesn’t want us to be itty-bitty, sometimes on, sometimes off. Jesus wants us to be a strong light on a hill that shines for the whole community to see.”
He pointed out that these words apply to our whole lives, not just the church gathered.