Refocus: Community, Acts

November 14th, 2016

Refocus: Community

Acts 2:42-47 & Various Texts

 

Community as Central to the Church

  • As the Church, we are, by definition, to be in community with one another

    • Sharing life together
  • The commands to Christians in the NT are overwhelmingly communal in nature
    • There are 56 verses that center on how the church is be in community by using the expression ‘each other’ or ‘one another’

      • Love (21), encourage (8), be patient (6), be at peace (5), build up (2), be kind (2), serve (2), be concerned (1), accept (1), carry burdens (1), forgive (1), don’t lie (1), confess (1), pray (1), be devoted (1), don’t judge (1), instruct (1)

 

The Early Church as an Example (Acts 2:42-47)

  • They learned together
  • They prayed together
  • They ate together
  • They worshipped together
  • They did life together!
  • And they shared everything they had with one another
    • Not out of compulsion
    • But out of genuine love
  • And because of the work of the Holy Spirit through that community, they grew constantly!
  • There is nothing that the early Church had that we lack
    • In fact, we have greater opportunities and less hardships than they did

 

The Need for Community

  • We are not created to live life alone (Gen. 2:18)

    • We do not only have a God-shaped hole, but also a people-shaped hole in us
  • We only reach our potential as individuals when we share life together (Rom. 12:4-5)
  • Community keeps us humble and grounded in the truth
    • And it allows us to be alone without falling into despair or pride
    • Because it keeps us accountable to one another

 

The Enemy of Community

  • The number one thing that keeps us from doing life together: Busyness!

    • We let other things get in the way
  • The irony is busyness leads to emptiness
    • Community leads to fullness
  • The solution is intentionality!

 

Opportunities for Community

  • Sunday mornings

    • Not just about worship, but also about fellowship
  • Bible Studies/Small Groups
    • Men’s group, Women’s Bible Study, Adult Bible Study (Th)
  • Events
    • Thanksgiving Event
    • Monthly events to be planned
  • Serving
  • New ideas:
    • Small groups based on the sermons
    • Celebrate Recovery
    • Others?
      • Always open to suggestions
    • It doesn’t have to always be events
      • Eat meals together
      • Go visit those you haven’t seen in awhile
        • Visitation ministry?!

 

So What?

  • Let’s do life together!
  • Let’s be intentional about it!
  • Make a point to connect with someone from the Church this week that you haven’t before
    • Let’s share some of those stories next Sunday night!

 

Meditation Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Refocus: Vision various texts

November 7th, 2016

Refocus: Vision

Various Texts

 

      As Jesus’ Church we are called to be something more than simply a collection of believers

      We are called to be and build God’s kingdom in this world

      And stand as a witness for Christ in the world

o   The light in the dark (Matt. 5:14-16)

      God gives us vision to keep us on task (Pro. 29:18)

 

The Need to Refocus

      We know who we are called to be

      Every time God calls His people to something

o   He needs to remind them of that calling

o   Because we are forgetful

      The Israelites needed this reminding constantly

o   Thus, God gave them feasts, symbols, and instructions

      Feasts: Annual reminders of God’s promises and actions

      Ex.) Passover (Ex. 12:14ff), Tabernacles, Pentecost (Duet. 16), The Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27-32), etc.

      Symbols: Stones of Remembrance (Josh. 4:6-7), Phylacteries (Deut. 6:8; Matt. 23:5), the Temple, etc.

      Instructions: The Law as central to life (Deut. 6)

      When the Israelites struggled most was when the Law was least central in their lives

      The Church needs reminders too

o   Feasts: The Lord’s Supper (1Co 10:16)

      Easter, Christmas, etc.

o   Symbols: The Cross, Baptism, etc.

o   Instructions: The centrality of Scripture to the life of the Church

      When the Church struggles most is when the Word is least central in our lives

 

What We’ve Been Lacking

      But these things alone are not enough

o   We must make a point to be intentional about living out God’s calling on our lives

      Last week we looked at how we are unfocused

o   This is not necessarily due to a lack of knowledge in these areas

      Though it may be for some of us

o   But rather, a lack of intentionality to practice these areas of our life together

 

Our Vision

We seek to be a community of loving, praying disciples of Jesus Christ where:

      The Lost are reached through relationships (Evangelism)

      The Word is faithfully proclaimed and Christ is glorified (Worship)

      The Body is edified through intentional training (Discipleship)

      Our lives, hurts, struggles, and victories are shared with one another (Fellowship)

      Christ is shown to our community through our intentional acts of love (Service)

 

So What?

      Let’s get refocused on what we are called to be

o   Keeping His vision for His Church before us at all times

      This is God’s work in and through us

 

Meditation Verse: Matthew 5:14-16

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