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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So why do Christians gather to worship week in and week out? The answer is that there are at least three very good reasons: to acknowledge God’s presence and worth, to remember that we are not alone but part of a community that is growing and learning, and to offer a visible witness to ourselves and others. But when we gather to worship for these reasons, what do we do? We celebrate!
The keynote of worship is celebration. At times in its long and winding history the church has lost its sight of this. But that is what Sunday mornings are all about—celebrating who we know God is (wow—he is our Father) --celebrating what Jesus has done for us (wow—set us free from the consequences of our sin)---celebrating that can live in relationship with God through the power of the Holy Spirit (wow---we are not alone).
God is a God who throws parties. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Jesus told adults to keep their eyes on the children if they wanted to know what God is like. Left on their own, adults develop strange ideas of what worship should be. …in the purely adult world, God frequently comes across as a cranky old grandfather..but children seem to know instinctively that God likes celebration.
Christians are people who are called to live in community, and we are a community of learners. We need to realize how impossible it is to be a Christian on our own, not to mention half the fun.
As Redeemer Church comes together, we’ll have three approaches to worship, in order:
Personal: We encourage you to engage in prayer, particularly on Fridays. We also hope you’ll have personal moments of worship to thank God for what happens in your life day to day.
Small Groups: As you share our challenges with friends, we hope your Friday prayers will no longer be something quiet and personal but something you share with the team. Share the moments when God was at work in your life, and pray about them!
Celebration Events: Up to now, our celebration events have been just about fun, but in a few months we’ll start to host events with worship component. We want to hear from you what will help you worship God as part of a larger community.
Challenge: Complete our online survey about worship here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8TS7K93
Reminder: Earlier in this series, 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.