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Archive for the ‘fellowship’ Category

 

We come to church to worship God – there’s no question about that. But we also come to church to work.

We come to work in the sense of serving others and helping them grow in maturity as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. As it says in the book of Hebrews, “let us spur one another on to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24-25). We do this by being intentional and deliberate when we’re at church. We look for those who need prayer or a word of encouragement or a listening ear or a well-chosen word from God’s Word, and then step up and meet the need.

The cry of a worshipping worker is “What can I give?” and not “What can I get?” While it’s true that a worship service is all about God, it’s also true that He uses us to strengthen and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ at the same time and in the same place.

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Colin Marshall has written an excellent article called “One-to-one prayer and Bible reading” at The Briefing. It’s a tremendous idea and very simple. I need to do this more.

(Hat-tip to Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds)

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Last Sunday, I finished my sermon series called “Out of the Gate” at Immanuel. I wanted to spell out some basic and foundational themes as I start my ministry there and we start a new chapter in the history of the church.

In Acts 2:41-47, we find the essential ingredients of a healthy and well-balanced church. We see:

  1. Discipleship (v. 42 – “the apostles teaching”)
  2. Fellowship (vv. 42, 46a)
  3. Worship (vv. 41, 42, 44, 46a, 47a)
  4. Ministry/Service (v. 45)
  5. Evangelism (v. 47b)

The church’s purpose is to glorify God. The church’s mission is to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20 – the Great Commission). The church’s objectives (or goals) are the five things listed above. When we do those things, we fulfill our mission which leads to achieving our purpose.

We have to strive to be balanced in these areas, even though we’ll undoubtedly be stronger and weaker in some of them. Everything we do as a church needs to be run through this grid. Prospective pastors, and those who have a call, will be asked, “What is your vision for the church?” The Bible’s answer, and therefore God’s answer is “To glorify God by making disciples. We make disciples through a balance of evangelism, worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and service.” That’s our “business.” That’s what we’re all about.

One thing I didn’t emphasize during the sermon is that each individual Christian needs to be balanced in each of these areas, too. If we are healthy and well-balanced as believers in Jesus Christ, then the church will be, too.

May God be pleased to bless us and give us that kind of balance and health. May He have His fingerprints all over our church, just like he did in Acts 2!

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How can we build deep relationships with one another if we’re fixated on a “microwave” lifestyle? It’s extremely hard if not impossible. But we can take steps in that direction, writes Shawn Young. Her article “The Lost Art of Lingering” is well worth a few minutes to read and get us thinking. You can read it here.

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