Community in the Community
Posted by Brad Quiring on October 27, 2015
The church continues to grow because Jesus declared it would grow and that he himself would make it grow. Therefore, the church is represented all over the world. This huge community has smaller communities all over the world. We are one of those smaller communities that represents the greater community of believers and followers of Jesus.
Each one of these communities, that we call church, are found in communities. In our case, we’re physically located in Transcona.
Here are some questions for us:
1. Do your neighbours know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ?
2. Do your neighbours know that you belong to a church community of followers of Jesus?
3. What are you doing so that your neighbours can know Jesus and join this community?
We have a command from Jesus to make disciples:
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
These were commands given to the disciples by Jesus himself. He said he had all power and authority on heaven and on earth. He is God. The disciples are the true followers of Jesus. therefore these commands apply to each one of us today if we claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ. All three of these commands have us obeying them in all parts of the world. For all believers and followers of Jesus in all parts TO all parts. This includes where we are right now.
The response of followers of Jesus is to be our response.
Acts 2:42-47 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The church had just been born (Read all of Acts 2). This is what church looked like then and should look like today. It is fully portable, crosses any border, applicable in every circumstance and place according to the customs and context of the area.
Community comes from having something in COMMON – in the case of these folks and us, it is Jesus Christ. They were fully committed to Christ in everything, therefore they were fully committed to living out community.
They were devoted to: The Apostle’s teaching: the Bible. It means studying In church Sunday morning. In small groups and Bible studies during the week. Sharing with each other in normal conversation what the Bible is teaching us.
Fellowship: being together. This is a regular time of being together. Visit one another. Talk together.
Breaking bread – eating together and communion, the Lord’s Supper. This is considered part of hospitality, which is a command for all Christians to follow.
Prayer. Pray together all the time, not just at formal meetings and prayer time during the Sunday service or small group time. When you join together, pray for one another as a normal thing. Join the church prayer chain. And, when someone asks you to pray for them, PRAY FOR THEM RIGHT AWAY!! Right there.
Practical care. This is the duty and privilege of being a follower of Jesus Christ and being part of a church. Take it upon yourself to help those in need, don’t wait for the church to help.
Meeting together in large group and in each other’s homes to praise God. This means Sunday morning all together. It means other days of the week. It means in informal and formal settings.
What was the result of all this?
Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Are we really ready and willing to have God add to our number every day? A growing church is a good thing. In fact, it is a great thing. It means people are coming to hear the truth about Jesus, TOGETHER!
As you go through the Bible check out the Book of Acts, this is the story of the birth of the church and how it grew in its first decades. One thing you’ll discover right away, where people were, they shared the good news of Jesus (Acts 8:4).
Where you are, in your community, share the good news of Jesus. Live out your faith as part of a true community of followers of Jesus. Then, bring your friends to church in your community: the community in the community.