Theme: In week 2 of our series “Re-engage”, we are looking at re-engaging in Gospel community. This past year has created isolation in many believers' lives which can be dangerous when it comes to your walk with Christ. It’s our hope that the word of God can draw you deeper into relationship with one another, and as a result also draw you deeper into relationship with Christ. As we do this, Christ will be magnified to the world through our community.
(Devoted) The early church made it a top priority to DEVOTE themselves to four things:
1. The word of God - (This should be the foundation of our time together)
2. Fellowship - (Not an activity, but a lifestyle that puts us in a deep eternal relationship)
3. Breaking of bread - (Allowing people into the intimate places of our lives)
4. Prayers - (This should be our first response not our last resort)
These four things are somewhat self explanatory and each of us probably engage in them to some degree. However the problem seems to be the word devoted. To devote ourselves to these things the way the early church did (or the way Luke intended for us to) means that these things have to take precedence over everything else in our lives. This means in community and in our personal lives. If we don’t focus in on these things during the week then we will not be able to contribute in community. Part of your role in community is to help others grow and move past obstacles in their faith, but apart from connecting with Christ through these four things you will fail at your responsibilities.
2. (Mission Driven) This group of people was characterized by their passion to see others come to faith in Christ. They remembered the clear mission given to the church by Jesus (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20). As a community of believers we have a responsibility to speak & live out the message of the Gospel in the lost communities of this world. We are God’s response to the brokenness in people's lives around us. We need to find favor with people just like the early church so the message we preach holds weight with lost people. This means we need a good reputation as believers. So how do we craft this good reputation?
Make Gospel decisions (If the Holy Spirit says no, then don’t do it)
Be consistent (Be present in people's lives, this takes time)
Be charitable (Figure out how to meet needs of lost people)
The early church was living with zeal for the mission of Christ and it’s my prayer that we would be a community characterized by that same zeal: to see lost people reached with the Gospel and Jesus receiving the worship he deserves.
(Unified Family) The church today is known more by what it stands against than what it stands for. This is not God’s heart for his church. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one just like He and the Father are one. Today’s church has allowed things like:
1. Gossip (half truths)
2. Secondary Doctrines (What kind of house we will have in Heaven)
3. Past History (Mistakes previously made)
divide us. In the same way a paralyzed body can no longer perform the functions it was created to perform, a disunified church can no longer perform the tasks God has called us to perform. In contrast, a unified church will meet the needs of its families and magnify Christ to an onlooking world. This type of unity isn’t experienced outside the church so when unbelievers see it they have questions. As we walk alongside each other in this way it will remove fear and create boldness for Christ!
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
What does it practically look like to devote yourself to these four things?
How are you actually living out that kind of devotion?
Which one of the four things does your community struggle with most?
Who do you think of when you hear about someone living on mission?
What are you personally doing to live a mission driven life?
What next step does your small group need to take to re engage in the mission?
How have you experienced disunity in the Church?
What are some things you can do to reconcile disunity in the church personally?