Church Vision - Part 2

As promised, this is the continuation of some teaching I have given on our church vision. In the last blog I wrote about a vision to grow in numbers of disciples through witness. This time I'm looking at a different type of growth. In one sense this may be specific to our churches and I hope it gives you a vision of what we're trying to do. In another sense, I hope the Biblical stuff is inspiring for your own churches.

Growth – Fellowship

I want to look at growth through fellowship. This is the growing in depth and maturity of our faith together.

If you at Acts 2 and particularly v.42 we read:
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Act 2:42 NIV)
This gives us an idea of how the early church interacted. There are four things:


  • They spent their time learning from the apostles. Churches are places that take teaching and learning seriously. We don’t have apostles, but we do have their words. Churches must be places where the Bible is clearly and faithfully taught and Christians must be people committed to learning that message. Do you read your Bible every day – if not why not get some Bible study notes and get started? Do you come to the services, listen to the sermons and try to learn? We may not be great but we’re trying our best to teach you God’s word faithfully. Bring a notebook and pen. Write down the stuff you need to learn. Think about it over the week. Read the passages before you come to church, so you know what we’re looking at. What about coming to the church Bible study? Make it your priority.
  • They took part in fellowship. In short I think this means they met together. They shared their lives together. They cared for each other. It goes on to say how they looked out for each other financially and materially. Sunday wasn’t a drop in for a bit of a spiritual fix, it was meeting up with the family and by the way it wasn’t just Sunday and it wasn't optional so they showed up when they felt like it!
  • They shared fellowship meals. That’s probably Luke’s way of talking about the Lord’s Supper or Communion. They kept the death of Jesus at the centre of their faith by doing what he commanded them to do.
  • They prayed. Do you pray? Daily on your own. Do you pray weekly when you’re in church and I don’t mean rattling through the words, I mean talking to God as we pray together. I don’t mean switching off while the person waffles on in their prayers at the front. I mean engaging and praying with them. Do you come and pray with people? At the Bible study or Prayer Meeting or when you meet up with them?

That’s what the church looked like. That’s what we should look like.

Decline in churches will inevitably happen if we neglect these basic things of the Christian life. The Bible. Prayer. The fellowship of the church. The focus on the cross of Christ at the Lord’s Supper.

Did you see what happened to the early church as they deepened and lived out their faith. They grew in numbers as well, because you become a radiant witness. That’s what we read in v.47:
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Act 2:47 NIV)
The second lines of our church mission statements are:
  • Grow in the knowledge and love of God
for St Luke's and the similar statement:
  • Growing together as we follow Jesus’ teaching.
for St Peter's.


As part of our vision for 2018, will you commit to that this year, as you commit yourself to Bible teaching, the church fellowship, the message of the cross and prayer. To growth through fellowship.

Conclusion

So that’s the vision for 2018.

We want growth. We want more people to follow Jesus – so we need to witness to them. Our goal is 18 more in 2018.

We want growth. We want to deepen our faith. We want to grow as a fellowship together as we’re taught the Bible, as we pray, as we care and as we remember the death of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Will you pray with me this year for that growth? Will you work with me this year, not in our own strength, but in the power of God’s Spirit for that growth?

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