Pastoral Perspectives

How Do You Treat The People Of God?

       Whenever I go to the Event Hall, a place where the worshippers usually gather, I notice many things happening there and different groups of people gathering there. I have seen the DG members who are doing their Cozy Corner duties and gladly serving the people of God. Some DGs are very hospitable as they provide their own unique refreshments willingly and cheerfully. They are going beyond their call of duties. They are doing them out of love for the people of God. We are not expecting every DG to do the same as what they are doing. We know that the make-up of each DG is different and their giftings are also different. Those who are in-charge of Cozy Corner duties and procedures do not insist that this very thing ought to be done by every DG but totally left it to the discretion and initiative of each DG as they are comfortable. We recognise the diversities of operations and functions among the DGs.

       I have also seen two or three DGs who often meet together to have fellowship with one another. It is really heart-warming to see the people of God, making efforts to catch up with each other on a Sunday morning. The only thing that I would not know is whether they are relating with each other deeply or not. My main concern would be how they are treating each other. I have also noticed that those who are currently doing the Pew Ministry curriculum would then be applying what they have learnt in the manner they relate with other people. It is good that they are applying what they are learning and hopefully, not just as a requirement of putting into practice what they have learnt. Besides, I have also noticed some groups having their Bible Studies there. This leads me to these important questions: “How intentional are we in relating with one another as the people of God?” and “How are we treating one another as the people of God?”

       I would like to suggest some practical ways where we can treat one another as the people of God, the people whom Christ loved, died and redeemed by His precious blood. Let us treat each other with love and respect. Let us see to it that those who are left alone by themselves are being readily taken care of. When we truly love them, we would walk “across the room” and take up the courage to get to know that person and befriend him or her. We can approach them politely and ask whether we can sit down with them to have a simple chit-chat. In that sense, you would not be found to be intruding into the privacy of others. Even if he or she may decline your request, at least by the grace of God, you have the courage to make the first move. To treat each other with love takes a deliberate effort on each of our part as children of God, as children of Light. If we never try, we would never succeed. Love for the people of God overcomes every obstacle and barrier. Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (See Hebrews 10:24). To treat each other with respect would mean that we would be careful how we speak to each other, not being rude or proud, but being kind, loving and understanding. We cannot impose our values on others nor can we expect others to be like us. We must exercise love and patience when we relate with one another. What we are comfortable to do, others may not. We must also be careful of our body language when we treat each other. Each of us has our diverse temperament, background and upbringing. Some are introverts whereas others are extroverts. If you see someone who are having their quiet moment, then do not approach them to talk with lest you interrupt them or disturb them. One possible way is to be prayerful about who we should interact with and who we should not. Everyone needs some space for themselves. We really need to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit when comes to treating one another as the people of God. Love and respect are key areas which we all need to work in and at. Good works are necessary too. Whenever I have the opportunity to sit down with someone to interact and fellowship with, I often enjoy getting to know the person better and then praying gladly for the needs of that person. Practice makes perfect! Let us practice hospitality and humility whenever we treat one another. When we are open to others, others will also be open to us. It really takes both hands to clap. Relationships in the church will be greatly enhanced when we make great effort in treating one another well with love and respect and also in showing forth really good works. So, there is intentionality as well as determination in wanting the best for each other to grow in the community of faith and love. A better community can be forged when everyone plays a part in it. We need each other because we belong to each other as we are the church. May the Lord guide and help us to be able to treat one another as the people of God! Amen.

Preacher George Ang

October 28, 2018