My Church Does Not Care About Me
Have you ever said this?
Let’s look at the early church and what it was like.
The Believers Pray
Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church
“Scripture teaches that the community that matters is community built by God. We may cultivate it, feed it, protect it, and use it. But we dare not pretend to create it.”
“How you run your schedule on Sundays says much about what you expect of your people. What if they’re ushered from the parking lot to the nursery and right into your theater-like seating area—then gently rushed out afterward to make space for the next service? It says that church is primarily about the experience of what happens during the service rather than the relationships that form around the service. . . Consumers rush in and out of the service, viewing church as a spiritual ‘drive-thru.’ But providers show up early and, as able, stay around afterward. They see church more as family and less as an event.” (144, 145)
“Absent supernatural community, the church can’t compete with the world to attract non-Christians. For people bent on pleasure and ambition, the world will always be a more attractive place than your church to spend a Sunday morning. You can’t out-world the world.” (193)
Colossians 4 MSG
2-4 Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.
5-6 Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
7-9 My good friend Tychicus will tell you all about me. He’s a trusted minister and companion in the service of the Master. I’ve sent him to you so that you would know how things are with us, and so he could encourage you in your faith. And I’ve sent Onesimus with him. Onesimus is one of you, and has become such a trusted and dear brother! Together they’ll bring you up-to-date on everything that has been going on here.
10-11 Aristarchus, who is in jail here with me, sends greetings; also Mark, cousin of Barnabas (you received a letter regarding him; if he shows up, welcome him); and also Jesus, the one they call Justus. These are the only ones left from the old crowd who have stuck with me in working for God’s kingdom. Don’t think they haven’t been a big help!
12-13 Epaphras, who is one of you, says hello. What a trooper he has been! He’s been tireless in his prayers for you, praying that you’ll stand firm, mature and confident in everything God wants you to do. I’ve watched him closely, and can report on how hard he has worked for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Luke, good friend and physician, and Demas both send greetings.
15 Say hello to our friends in Laodicea; also to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, make sure it gets read also in Laodicea. And get the letter that went to Laodicea and have it read to you.
17 And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, “Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your very best.”
18 I’m signing off in my own handwriting—Paul. Remember to pray for me in this jail. Grace be with you.
The early church was ignited by the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit were given to encourage the church. We must seek to activate our Spiritual Gifts for one purpose: to build other up!
Find a way to share your gift ________________________________
Prepare words of encouragement to: _____________________________________________________________
Pray for Open Doors
Connect with ________________________________________