“Hey, Tom. We’ve just moved into the area and are thinking of joining Brickworks church. Tell me why we should.”
"Yeah, and what about me? I've lived in the area all my life but I haven't been to church for years."
“Well, Brickworks is about loving Jesus, loving each other and loving this community in which we live and work. If you’re up for that - or happy to give it a go - then Brickworks is the
place for you.”
“Yes, Ok, but what does that mean in practice?”
“Let’s start with loving Jesus. The first thing you need to do if you want to show someone you love them is... listen to them. So we’re a church that takes seriously what Jesus said – in fact all of what God has said – in the Bible. We let the Bible shape what we do as a church. We expect God’s Word to speak into our lives, we’re not surprised when we find God putting his finger on things that need to change.
And to love someone properly you need to let them be who they really are, and treat them as such. Since Jesus is God, and we’re not, that means worshipping him. So we aim to be a worshipping church. We’re enthusiastic in worship – not because we like it that way (although we do), but because we reckon that gives most honour to God. And actually it’s good for us too. Worship isn’t a kind of mushy escapism - true worship puts us the right way up again, regains our bearings in a topsy-turvy world. It may bring us to our knees, but it sends us out on our feet.”
“That all sounds pretty religious to me – Bible, worship and so on…”
“Not at all. When Jesus was on earth, he got involved in people’s real lives, not just their religion. You find him down by the fishing boats, in the market square, out in the fields, at parties and weddings. The only times he went into religious places was to disrupt them. So we want to be a church that’s about real life, not religion.
One of the big areas of real life it impacts is our relationships, our friendships, with each other. For the moment, at least, Brickworks is a small church. That means that we can really get to know each other properly. We eat together regularly as a church – on Sunday lunchtimes and Wednesday evenings at present. We can be there for each other through the highs and lows of life. Issues with elderly parents, new babies, job changes, injuries – they’ve all been part of our experience even in these first few months.
And even as the church grows, we’re committed to keeping it that way. A church where ‘fellowship’ means a no more than a five minute conversation over coffee after a service is not one where Jesus could say: ‘They’ll know you’re my disciples by your love for one another.’”
“So you’re focused in on each other, are you? A kind of cosy club, a place where I’ll feel secure and looked-after?”
“Well, we hope you will be looked after, but we’re certainly not inward-looking. We mean it when we say we’re here for this community. Community events have been defining moments for us as a church – things like the pancake party, Easter egg hunt, summer games and Korean night. But we also get involved week by week – in the school, through social activities at the Sunshine Club for young and older people, by getting to know the local police, and simply being out and about as much as we can.
If you join Brickworks we really hope that you’ll find some way of being regularly involved in the community here. Don’t feel limited to the things we’ve already done – new ideas are always welcome.”
“That all sounds pretty exciting. Where do I start?”
“Come along any Sunday morning at 11 (normally the Sunshine Club – but check the calendar for dates when we meet at school), or Wednesday night at 6.30 for tea at our house. We look forward to meeting you!”