The service is over...

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I’ve commented to some friends back home how church here can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. It’s not quite what we expected. This formal style of service seems counter-cultural in rural Africa. It seems as if someone from the UK came here in about 1870, showed Uganda how a church service is meant to run and that nothing much has changed since then.

Recently I was thinking about how ‘church’ should be. Acts 2:42–47 describes how early Christians did church. There was no order of service, it was natural and Holy Spirit inspired. They were devoted to the teaching, fellowship, sharing meals and to prayer. Amazing things took place as a result of their devotion to God and to each other. Ultimately; ‘each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.’ Surely this is a brilliant blueprint for church. Instead, we fit church into our schedule. Church is often a well scripted hour or two on a Sunday morning rather than a Christ inspired way of life. We can ‘tick a box’ rather than become part of a thriving community through which God can work.

It occurred to me – Kiwoko Hospital is our church! Each day starts with Morning Prayers at 8:15am until 9am. About 150 people, from very different church backgrounds, meet in the dining hall. We sing some songs, hear a message from one of the senior staff, spend some time in prayer and then ‘work’ begins. On the way out of the dining hall there’s a sign that reads “The service is over – let the worship begin”.

Kiwoko Hospital has a well-known mission statement “We treat, Jesus heals”. Over 360 staff treat the sick here. Whether you are a cleaner or a surgeon you are treating the sick. All staff are part of one body which is helping to make people better. But, we all acknowledge, that Jesus does the healing and we are working for His Glory.

The Hospital also seeks to meet spiritual needs. Staff members give up their lunchtime to pray with patients on the wards. The Mission team run Village ministries, Prison ministries, Christianity Explored etc. Every year Hospital staff run a leadership training programme for local Pastors…

Amazing things happen here. Anyone who has spent time in Kiwoko will testify to that. Surely this is a picture of how church should be.

1 Corinthians 12v27 says; “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it”.

The church is the body of Christ—his heart, his mouth, his hands and feet—reaching out to the world.

Paul.

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