“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where
it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to
see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
This above passage is what came to mind when I thought about our church family over the
last year. It is incredible to think that Jesus, the Light of the World, came down to earth and
gave His life for us. In doing so, He has empowered us with that same light, and he has
commissioned us to take that light into the dark spaces of our homes, communities and
everywhere we do life. Christ mentions that our light is the good deeds we do, acts of love,
truth and compassion. These will draw people to the Father and others will be compelled to
praise our God, the one true God.
It is important we realise what our light does, it does not shine on our good deeds.
Therefore we are not serving to draw attention to ourselves. No, these good deeds
illuminate the very Grace and Glory of our Father in heaven. We are such a blessed people,
so blessed to know and be in relationship with the Creator of all things. This relationship
inspires us to go and share that love with those around us by loving and serving them. We at
Elizabeth Church of Christ have been doing that. I am so honoured and challenged by your
love for community. I wanted to take a few moments and reflect on a few things we have
done this year. My hope is to encourage you and inspire you with your willingness to be the
Light to those around you.
One of the first things that stands out to me is our willingness to help those in need. If there
is someone in our community that is doing it tough, you step up and provide so much
blessing. You are willing to donate goods if they are needed, you are willing to give of your
time to go and help people with their property, you are even willing to have a chat and a
coffee if just a listening ear is needed. I have seen our Acts 6 ministry take a lead role in this
area and I believe we have only started to scratch the surface of what is to come in the area
of supporting our community needs.
I am also inspired by your willingness to see a need and create a ministry to care for those
areas. I think about Tough Love. This ministry was started because someone saw a group of
people who needed support and care. We now have a great ministry that will support one
another when they are stressed with family members who are struggling with addiction or
Café Hope is another area that is so supportive of those doing life tough. I know we have
had Café Hope running for a while, but I have watched this year as God continued to grow
the ministry to a deeper level of impact. I can’t count the amount of meals we have given
away or the amount of conversations that have taken place in the café. People are not just
finding a place to get help, they are finding a community to belong to. A place they can
come and be valued and value those around them. Café Hope also has a remarkable
discipling tool, they are teaching Work for the Dole volunteers about life skills and job
responsibilities. The café team are also walking with high school students who are in the FLO
program. This program is for kids who don’t fit the mould of a normal student, individuals
who have been given up on by the school system. But the Café is part of empowering
them, entrusting them with work, and encouraging them as they have ago. I don’t think we
will ever realise the impact this could have on these students. What a light of Christ that is
shining through this ministry.
I would take up pages in this little article if I tried to write about all the various groups that
are shining the Light of Christ, but you can read more about them in their articles in this
report. Here is a brief synopsis of some of these groups:
- Talk-N- Do who just celebrated 40 years of ministry to our area. What an
- The Boomerang Centre that provides good practical needs through its service, as
well supporting many who are dealing with Domestic Violence.
- MOPS who have seen more mums coming along this year. They continue to offer a
place of rest, support and encouragement to these young mums.
- Girls Brigade who continue to offer young girls practical life skills and an
understanding of who God really is. They too are dealing with tough families and
endeavouring to support them through life’s battles.
- KIDS Ministry which continues to grow and bless families. We have certainly seen an
increase in young families who find our family focus comforting and encouraging to
- Youth Ministry has seen a change this year with Ben and Anni moving into
Streetlight, but Riley has come on board and done a fantastic job of keeping the
group together and focused on growing in Christ.
- Streetlight continues to flourish. Ben and Anni took a huge step of faith this year and
I see God’s light shining so bright. I am very honoured they have continued on as
part of our church family. I am also so encouraged with how you as a church have
supported them on this journey. I know the Matthew passage above is a scripture
that Ben was challenged with some time ago, and it is the reason they are out doing
what they are doing. God is at work, and it is going to be great to keep journeying
with Streetlight and supporting what God is doing through them.
- Prayer Ministry is growing even stronger in our church. We are seeing groups gather
in prayer and taking action steps to bless their streets and communities.
- Connect Groups are such a key part of our ability to shine the Light of Jesus. Our
groups are digging into the word but are also looking for more practical ways to
impact their communities. We have also seen a few new groups started this year!
The last area that I want to highlight is Volunteers. All of the ministries above are led and
supported by many people like you. They volunteer their time to help the Light of the
World permeate the community. Along with the ministries listed above we have people
who give their time in the office administration. We have a group that come each Monday
and spend hours doing maintenance of our facility. We have people who lead worship, run
ppt and sound desk. We have those who are on committees like GMT, LMT, Management
But it doesn’t stop there! All of you also shine your light in various other ways. Whether it
be through your workplace, your homes, communities or even the local shops. Our light is
not funnelled through the local church programs, it is illustrated in our everyday life. I truly
believe we are on a journey of seeing a greater immersing with God’s light, because you
don’t just come to church or serve through the church ministries, you are the church and
you are going out loving people and leading them toward Christ. It is this light that is
drawing people to praise our Father in Glory. You are all part of the process of God’s
Marvellous light shining into the darkness all around us.
I want to say thank you. Thank you for not allowing your light, the light of Christ, to be
hidden. Thank you for standing tall in your sphere of influence and shining his light of hope and truth so brightly.