I get a bit bummed out by what people try to make church out to be. You have to dress like this or act like that or serve only if...that's my point. What God intended the church to be is many times far, and i mean FAR, from what we experience.
This Sunday we finished the Confessions of a Pastor series at The Community with a sermon about this from Acts 2:42-47, and I want to give you just a glimpse of what we talked about.
Church ought to be a fun place that helps you have joy in your every day life. God's call is for us to spend time together, to experience Him together all the while becoming a community. That community experiences God and then takes God to others. In this passages God tells us that the 1st church devoted themselves to the truth of God, fellowship with other believers, being together (eating together and more) and to prayer. Pretty good place to start. It also says that they continued doing this. The Greek word for continued means to not stop whatsoever.
Here is some of that scripture:
42 All the believers devoted themselves to ... (see last paragraph)
43 A deep sense of awe came over them ... life is about experiencing God, not religion.
44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. --- Sharing everything means that they 'did life together'. That is more than one worship service a week
45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. --- The church is to understand that God gives us stuff to serve Him and to influence others for Him.
47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. --- Knowing God and experiencing Him with other people ought to lead us to worship God and have impact or influence on the people around us.
This message rocked my world this weekend. Why? Because God is teaching me more about leading His people and loving Him. Awesome truth, big sacrifice.
Often we don't get to know each other because we choose not to. God wants us to get each other. To do life together. Church is not a once a week event. It is a lifestyle. The more we are 'one with God' the easier we will find it to be 'one with others'
By the way, church people or God's people, the last verse says that while they were together (finding things in common and enjoying each other) that God was adding to them. That is church growth. I am willing and ready to let the church be what it is to be. What the church ought to be is more than we think or dream on our own.
Community family, we ain't seen nothing yet. Don't miss Mother's Day worship as we will be talking about taking the next step, a step of faith for our church family (if you aren't here for worship, watch the blog).
John 10:10 (nlt) --- The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Lets be what God made us to be!