Service Schedule - 2019
THEME Practising an authentic faith
Nottingham Chinese Christian Church (NCCC) –
Theme and Preaching Schedule 2019
THEME Practising an authentic faith 實踐真信仰
As part of the three-stage development plan agreed (Please refer to ‘NCCC – Moving Forward’ (Aug 2016)), the theme in 2017 focused on how NCCC should move forward as a united community. A united faith community in Christ should be one that, by working together, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, (i) can present worship and service which is pleasing to God; (ii) can enjoy honest, loving and mutually forgiving fellowship with one another; and (iii) can witness Christ through our personal and church lives, support of others in mission, and direct evangelism in our community and beyond.
In 2018, we set a theme on ‘Imitating Christ, committing to serve’, with the goal that, by the end of 2018, NCCC will have advanced further as a community so that everyone will have made a step forward to commit to serve.
It now appears that, for NCCC to flourish on a medium and longer term, there are at least two areas which we could attempt to address: (i) true love and compassion towards everyone, no matter who they are, and whether they are inside or outside NCCC; and (ii) a stronger sense of looking outward – evangelising and care for justice etc. outside the walls of NCCC. These are consistent with the core values of an authentic faith. Otherwise we are running the risk of simply being bogged down by the routines of ‘doing’ church, and missing the ‘real thing’. The yearly theme starts with the word ‘Practising’, with a practical and dynamic thrust.
The followings are selected to cover scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments.
Hosea – We have studied two OT history books in 2017 and 2018 and it is time to turn to another category – the prophets. Hosea is a minor prophet book with a core theme on what God desires of His people (e.g. mercy over sacrifice (Hos 6:6), and how God is committed to love His people despite their failures.
Matthew – This will be the first time we systematically study a gospel in the recent three years. Matthew has a strong Jewish context where Jesus inaugurated His kingdom with a new set of values and definitions about an authentic faith, as opposed to conventional religious practices. He challenged the Jewish leaders and audience that they did not know the true meaning of Hos 6:6 (Mt 9:13).
James – This letter is well known to teach us how we may practise an authentic faith. The series is based on the subtheme ‘Godliness from head to toe’, breaking down into sections on the feet, hands, lips, hearts and knees.
Mission – Three topics are selected, from a triune perspective, to cover the incarnation of Jesus Christ as the foundation and example (Son), the person driving all our work (Holy Spirit), and the true meaning of God’s blessing for us (Father).
The structure follows the same pattern as in last year, this time based on four books/series as detailed above.
The theme will be delivered through:
Preaching on Sundays is based on the message of (i) Hosea; (ii) Matthew; (iii) James; and (iv) Mission. Topics and texts follow the structure as outlined by the respective series in ‘The Bible Speaks Today (BST) and a book on James. This plan is made available to all speakers upon confirmation of invitation.
All midweek fellowship groups are encouraged to follow the same pattern in their activities, with a focus on ‘putting things into practice’ i.e. discussion on how the group may apply the message heard on the previous Sunday in their unique context. This plan is made available to all coordinators, who are encouraged to purchase the respective books as references.
Combined services – For the ‘theme highlights’, sharing of testimonies alternates with children’s talk. The first ‘theme highlight’ in the first Sunday of the year focuses on introduction of the theme.
 Tidball, Derek, The Message of Hosea, Nottingham: IVP, 2010.
 Green, Michael, The Message of Matthew, Nottingham: IVP, 2011 (with Study Guide).
 Motyer, Alec, The Message of James, Nottingham: IVP, 2010 (with Study Guide).
 Peskett, Howard and Vinoth Ramachandra, The Message of Mission, Nottingham: IVP, 2012 (with Study Guide).
 Lamb, Jonathan, Godliness from Head to Toe, Milton Keynes: Keswick and Authentic, 2010.