The Rock ChurchThe Rock Church

By admin

The dream team

The church is a beautiful thing. We are God’s dream team. We are the ones he chose to be his hands and feet, to love the world and to draw people to him. There are times we may disqualify ourselves because we are not in full-time ministry, don’t know the bible well enough or feel tongue tied when people ask us about our faith. We can even go so far as to say that the work of the church should predominantly be done by the elders and the church exists to support them in their ministry.

But the first churches in the bible shows us that this simply isn’t true. Yes, churches were led by elders who carried responsibility to care for them under Jesus. But the church was powerful and effective because it operated as a body, ministering to one another and spreading the gospel. We are called a royal priesthood, which means we are all ministers of God’s word, each with differing gifting which God uses in different ways and at different times.

This past weekend I had the privilege of being part of a team which reflected this truth in a profound and powerful way. My husband, Brad (who is one of the elders at The Rock) and I were invited to spend the long weekend down the coast with some friends from our church. In total, there were four couples and eleven kids. Of the eight adults, five were musicians from our worship team who were going to lead worship at Southcity Church in Ramsgate on the Sunday morning. Brad and I were not going for any ministry reasons but rather to spend time with our friends.

On the Saturday afternoon the muso’s needed to practise and I was keen to do some training so Brad offered to take nine kids (varying in age from three to ten) swimming on his own.  Early the following morning the worship team headed off to set up and we took care of the kids until it was time to go to church. During the service, a friend who was with us, and I, each shared a prophetic word which led into a time of ministry.

 Sometime during the worship I looked across at my husband holding the daughter of one of our musician friends and I thought: this is the church. This is the body. This is the priesthood. The elder is not always the one with the up-front ministry. He is not always the one sharing a word from God. He is sometimes the one holding a little girl whose mommy and daddy are leading the church in worship. The church is never about profile or hierarchy. It is about knowing we are all priests in the house of God. It is about knowing our gifting and knowing each other. It is about creating space for the gifting of others to bless the church.

Whether an elder or a two-week-old believer, whether leading worship or taking kids swimming, it is all about Jesus. When we understand that we all carry his authority and we have a revelation of his servant heart, we will see every task for what it is: a powerful advancing of his kingdom. That is when we operate as the dream team God wants us to be.

By admin

Scars and all

by Eliska Redelinghuys

Last night I woke up from my sleep…. you know that feeling when you are constantly repeating something over and over in your head and it feels like you are going over the same thing discussing and dissecting it in more and more detail, like you are trying to rehearse a speech or something?

I was thinking about the story Christy Herselman had shared at church on Sunday about us swimming with dolphins on Saturday morning. You can read more about our experience here. Christy spoke about how God doesn’t want to know us from a distance but rather wants an up-close, personal relationship with us. As I lay in my bed, I kept thinking of this one thing I wanted to add to that, to the point where I got up out of bed, switched the light on and wrote it down……so here it is.

When one of the dolphins was swimming next to me, I noticed lots of little scars all over his body. Those scars made me wonder where those dolphins had been in their lives, what they had experienced, dangers and obstacles that they had overcome. It could have been due to bad decisions they made, being where they were taught not to be or doing something they knew was wrong. Maybe they were pushing the boundaries and checking out the unknown. Or maybe noble things they had done, like acts of courage and sacrifice, had left those scars on their bodies.

But whatever it might have been, good or bad, we didn’t once look at those scars on their bodies as something ugly or as an imperfection. It didn’t matter to us. We were just so glad to experience that moment with them and were so glad that they gave us that opportunity to enter their world and spend time with them. If anything, those scars just made them more real and intriguing.

I believe that is exactly how God looks at us. We all have our own physical and emotional scars but that doesn’t matter to God at all. He is just so happy when we come to him to spend time with him and be in his presence. He doesn’t care how many scars we have, He’s just so overjoyed that we come to him and want to spend time with him. We don’t have to be perfect. He’s so gracious and forgiving and loves us just as we are, scars and all.

By admin

It’s all about relationship

I come to church most Sundays, and when the merriment of it all starts I wander off to the designated mothers’ room at the back with my fantastic child who just wants to run to the stage and dance. I’m in the mother’s room when worship starts and I stay there until church has ended. I hear the songs being sung to Him as I watch my little guy play and dance. Then the preach starts and the noise level in the mom’s room rises. There is a large number of toddlers gracing that room at the moment, and their joyful squeals blot out any chance of hearing the sermon that’s already on full blast on the TV (ask the sound guys, they’re asked to crank it up every week). Needless to say, I hear a sentence here and there, but never fully get what the crux of the message was about. Other Sundays I am on worship, so I get to be actively involved. But then I trot off to the moms’ room and the above scenario takes place. I read a verse this morning, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22. And then I continued to thank God for my life, my family, my work, my home and all the blessings that I sometimes fail to see. I spoke about my concerns and my delights. I asked that He’d drop some holy energy into my bones so that I’d be able to tackle this week, and He reminded me that His joy is my strength… And in that moment I saw the value of relationship. No amount of me attending church, being around Christians or hearing worship songs is going to help me get closer to God unless I actually do things with Him. I love this quote: “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” If not for a personal relationship with my Father, I would be attending church just for head counts sake. The value of a one on one, real life relationship with Jesus Christ, during the week, in your own time, is so important. I thank God that He sent His Son to bring us closer to Him, so that I can talk to my Father, when I need to, when I want to, and because I’m in relationship with him, I can talk to him even when I don’t really want to, because He wants to know what I’m feeling. It’s real. It’s relationship. Disclaimer: I love the moms’ room. So before anyone reads what I’ve written in a different light and think that I meant that the moms’ room is where your relationship with God goes to die, it’s not. The moms’ room is amazing. We engage with each other, we encourage, we laugh, we advise, we love, we laugh – there’s a lot of church going on in that room. So even though it may seem like I’m saying that we’re left out, we’re not. We’re doing church, except we can sit on couches and drink tea …………… Couches and tea, bet the moms’ room isn’t looking so bad now. Baby anyone?

By admin

It’s kingdom

My mood started pretty much like the day, grey and heavy.  As I woke I received messages from two precious friends who are facing real battles in their lives. I could feel their pain, loss and frustration and I badly wanted to help. Added to that, my little girl did not have a good morning. She wasn’t her usual chatty self in the car and didn’t jump eagerly from the car when I dropped her at school. As I watched her walk away with her massive school bag on her back, I wanted to stop my car, run after her and try to make everything right in her world. A short while later I saw a close friend who has moved away and is figuring out a whole lot of stuff in her world. My heart ached for her. For the next hour I stared at the white line on the bottom of a local training pool trying to figure it all out. What is this feeling in my heart and what am I meant to do with it? What is this tugging, aching stirring I know is from God and why has he given it to me? As I see those I love struggle or in pain, what should my response be? To look on in pity or sympathy? No, I don’t think so. As I counted laps I realised that this feeling is compassion, something at the very heart of God. But compassion cannot just be a feeling that passes without action. It must be something that stirs me and spurs me. So how is compassion outworked, I pondered? What is its fruit? I believe it needs to be outworked as love in action. And I believe it is very practical and powerfully spiritual. So after I dried myself off, I delivered a coffee and a hug. I made a meal for a friend and gave some writing advice. I baked with my daughter and talked about life. But most of all, I prayed. As I went about my day and the faces of my loved-ones popped into my head, I took their struggles to my Heavenly Father, knowing he loves them even more than I do and his heart aches way more than mine, knowing that as I pray, stuff happens and atmospheres change. A life lived in community is an incredible thing. We get to share each others joy and pain. We have the privilege of getting struck into each others lives. We get to be real and to encourage. We get to lighten each others burdens. And we get to pray. It’s dynamic. It’s powerful. It’s Kingdom.