“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? Today, Christmas is far removed from anything it was originally intended for, replaced with alternative stories and meanings. But why do we celebrate Christmas, and what are the implications for a people that God has revealed Himself to? Christmas declares the Kingdom of God is here.
On this week’s podcast, we’re considering how we as followers of Jesus can live on mission for the Kingdom over Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Regardless of your plans this weekend, are you more focused on sharing presents or the presence of God with others?
In the final message of our series on Defining Community, we examine the outcome of biblical community life: Growth! Healthy growth comes out of healthy community life that actively lives on mission in the world. We’ll also examine the common “threats to community” that undermine that mission and its solution: devoting our lives to Jesus Christ and bringing glory to God in all things.
A New Testament church is a community of devoted followers of Jesus who pray – together! Not only is prayer a common practice for common life, but it’s also a means of powerful transformation and restoration. The Kingdom of God is made real and breaks into darkness when the community of the faithful come together and prays over hardships, illness, and sin. A community of prayer is not a community with good sentiments, but a community with real power.
The early church loved to eat together! But their feasts were more than after-service potlucks for the purpose of socializing. For them, table fellowship was a tangible expression of the gospel and the presence of Christ among them, rooted in the historical roots of God’s redemptive plan for all people. This week, we’re examining the practice of “breaking bread” together and why – in its purest form – is the central, unifying participatory act of creating and cultivating authentic fellowship and worship in a discipleship community.
This week, we continue a closer look at the New Testament church and what it means to be a community devoted “to the fellowship” (Acts 2:42). What is biblical fellowship and what are the theological implications for sharing life with others? And more importantly, how does the gospel intersect with our understanding of this new life together in community as a means of restoring life with God and others?
Questions for Discussion:
How might your “common life” with God have implications on your “common life” with other believers?
What are the common barriers to participating in the fellowship with the body of Christ?
How can we as a church community become a model fellowship for others?
Gospel movements are sustained by everyday leaders. Our pastors, teachers, seminary professors all have an important place in teaching, equipping, and building up believers to participate in God’s redemptive plan for the world. But it’s the everyday leader – the peacemaker – who builds bridges and opens up opportunities for God to reveal Himself to others. Therefore, every believer is an everyday leader in gospel-movements. The following is a message given to the Village Church of Barrington (Barrington, IL) on October 13, 2019 by Pastor Matt.
This week we’re starting a new series, “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others”. We’re beginning by looking at what community is, how it’s practiced in our modern secular culture, and how the Bible offers an alternate story and vision for community life, bonded together in Jesus Christ.
“The way of Jesus is to give priority to the biblical command over the tradition.”
The problem of rethinking church is that it has the potential to become a scary and upsetting endeavor. Everything is put on the table and questioned when we get serious about seeing our faith, the church, and the definition of what it means to be a follower of Jesus exclusively through the lens of Scripture.