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    Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land: Re-shaping the Church for a Changed World

    The most devastating experience of God's people in the Old Testament was the exile. But rather than destroying them, it resulted in them emerging from it with a fresh understanding of God and committed to new ways of worshipping him. For many churches and individual Christians, the Covid pandemic has also been a form of exile. How far have we emerged with fresh understanding of our faith, new ways of being and doing church, a reinvigorated commitment to the mission task? Mission, particularly the clear proclamation of the Gospel, is the core task of the church, our response to Jesus' Great Commission to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Every individual Christian has their part to play in this, learning how to sing the Lord's song (the gospel) effectively in our current context, which is not always entirely friendly. Every Christian community, every local church, needs to be able to sing the same song through the quality of their life together. Whenever new people join us, we need to offer them a positive experience: comfortable facilities, meaningful worship, relevant teaching, and, above all, a genuine, warm welcome. Without this, any message we may proclaim is likely to fall on deaf ears.