In our last series, we talked about loving our neighbours, and stepped through six shifts. From stranger to neighbour to acquaintance to partner to friend to becoming “like family”.
It’s possible to become like family with a focused group of people, where you practice loving your neighbours within that small group, and see that spill over to others outside.
This series looks specifically at this stage of being “like family” with other followers of Jesus. It’s called the church, believe it or not. Important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.
You probably have all sorts of preconceived notions of what that word means. Attached you’ll find a video of some people on the street who were asked about what they think of when they hear “church”.
You can find the video here:
Question: When you hear the word “church” what do you immediately see, or think? Make a list, there may be several. What experiences have informed you?
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This week we’re exploring the importance of meeting regularly with other Christians, as part of a church community, like Redeemer Church, the one we are forming through Redeem the Commute.
The Bible passage we’re exploring this week suggests two purposes to gathering: Encouragement and Worship. We’ll focus on worship next week, and for this week we’ll focus on the encouragement part.
Encouragement to what? Hebrews says community can encourage us to love and good works. First, what would it mean to be encouraged to love in a community? Think of the relationships that form through fun and fellowship. Our Movie Night is one example – we had a great time, and some online members met one another, and a neighbourhood. Our Wings & Trivia was the same, and our Christmas Event will be, too.
Honestly, are churches are meant to get along. I know someone who went to a church and attended a few worship services, and decided to join. But first, they wanted to attend a business meeting of a church – and he walked away saying, “these people don’t believe what they say.” They were not charitable, loving, kind or generous at all, even though they claimed to believe in a God who is.
The Church is meant to be a preview of the kingdom of God. It’s described in the Bible as a party – like we are already in heaven.
The Church is meant to love one another as themselves…even though the rest of the world may not love them the same way.
The Church is meant to care for one another with generosity of Christ, who died for his friends.
We could go on, but it all starts with spending time together, knowing each other’s needs, hopes, dreams, routine and more. Some people like to call this, “doing life together” even though it’s a bit clichéd.
Question: Go out for lunch, drinks or coffee with someone. When can you get together with your discussion group simply for fun? Or if you don’t have one yet, think of who you could share our challenges and discussion with, and start by simply inviting them to something fun.
Reminder: Last week we saw the importance of reading the Bible together in sync, so our new daily bible readings start today in our mobile app and web site.
This series looks at becoming “like family” with others learning to follow Jesus. We're exploring how the church is not a building, institution or event, but a community of people. It's important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.