Drummond Hill Newsletter, May 18, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Luke 8:9,10)
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that “looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.”
This passage is always very challenging. Jesus spoke in parables so that only few who were given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God would understand while many others would have no clue. It implies that the vast number of people would never come to understand the secrets of God’s kingdom.
How are we to deal with this statement in view of our willingness to spread the Gospel of Jesus today? Who will receive the Gospel? How will we know who they are and find them to share it with?
If we follow Jesus’ example, the parables are spoken in public. Everyone is to hear. Only those who are called will hear and understand these secrets of the kingdom. It also does not say that it will be interpreted by smart and well educated pastors, ministers, and priests for everyone to understand as intended. Jesus simply says that those whom God calls will receive and know. Important thing to realise is that it is not our task to find them. Ours is to share the parables of Jesus and let the listeners receive and come to know.
Our education or thought system is built on making sure everyone gets the basics and has a common understanding on certain things. We think it is up to us. In reality, receiving and knowing the secrets of God’s world embedded in these rather short parables are the work of God. Our tendency of building the world according to our knowledge has been devastating. We see how imposition of our will through science and technology has brought the current environmental disasters. It is time for us to relax and let God work in mysterious ways as we serve God in love.
Drummond Hill 3.0
We have been discussing what Drummond Hill would look like in five or ten years from now. I have been saying that the nature of being a local church is changing dramatically. It will probably be very different in size and activities. The current postulate is that local churches as we know them will be few in number. They will survive by sheer scale and size. They will continue to hold worship on Sunday, regular Bible studies on weekdays, and provide various outreach work whenever they can.
For the rest of us, things will be different. We will be more like gatherings of many small groups of people doing many different things. For example, we talked about how Drummond Hill could have four or five groups divided by spiritual interests, maturity and activities. We probably will gather together once in a while as a whole church, but these smaller ministry groups will be doing Christ’s ministry in ways that are suited to each. Probably each group will have a different worship time and style. Some may worship with traditional hymns while others may not sing at all and so on. It will be a totally different experience for different individuals or families coming together under the umbrella known as Drummond Hill Church, centred by faith in Christ.
The organisational structure will be totally different, even though our governing polity will stay the same. Each group will be smaller and more nimble as each person participates in God’s mission in this world. Each group will also address different levels of faith and spirit. It is more organic in structure and practice.
What does this mean in a real sense? What size of buildings, rooms, or facilities do we require? How do we prepare as we rethink being a local church this way?
First thing to remember is that for ministry of Christ to flourish or be vibrant as a faith community with a minister, our minimum number of active membership would have to be around 100 to 125 including children. This would give us 45 families and up in number for financial viability. Second, because most of these active members (including children) will meet in smaller groups most of the time, and will come together occasionally for the whole community celebration, space requirements are smaller in nature. If we envision three or four groups forming Drummond Hill meeting at different times, we need a facility big enough for 50 people at the most. Third, knowing our minimum number of faithful families helps us to be more strategic and within our abilities. We do not have to try and do things to attract a huge number of people to be vibrant in doing God’s mission.
We already have been doing God’s ministry this way for a while. We need to focus and do so that we are not hindered to be God’s people by lack of human and financial resources.
At last night’s session meeting, elders came up with a direction that will be presented to the congregation for approval on Sunday, June 26. It took a couple of years of thinking and rethinking to figure out which direction we may go. The basis of the decision is to find a way for Drummond Hill to be here on this hill for a long time in future. The history and heritage of Drummond Hill are very important to us. At the same time, it is also important for us to witness the gospel here for many years to come. We are trying our best to balance the two.
With Drummond Hill 3.0 we have been discussing what we may look like. To achieve being a church of many smaller communities under the umbrella of Drummond Hill Church, we need a new direction. The current facilities at the moment have become unnecessary albatrosses on our existence. As these structures age, more financial resources will be spent on maintaining them, leaving little or not enough to carry out ministries. Having considered many options, the session will suggest a way of being smaller, but more agile as we adapt to our new situation. We will prepare a package for you to peruse and make a decision on Sunday, June 26. Please mark the date and pray. Then, come out and help us to vote on a new direction for Drummond Hill’s future.
Some possible summer activities?
We have been preparing for the reopening of Drummond Hill so that we may share God’s gift of good news with our neighbours. Here are some of the things we are planning:
- Cinnamon Bun Tuesday will continue as planned. We are expanding this Cafe to everyone in Niagara Falls.
- We will have a special Conversation series at the end of June and early July. These conversations will discuss important spiritual issues of today. The topics will be shared in early June.
- Hot and Spice Thursdays will take place also in June and July. This is designed for people with youth and children.
- Make sure to mark Sunday, June 26 to make a decision on Drummond Hill's future direction.
- Pray. Pray that we are being faithful to and enjoying God in all that we do.
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.