Monday, May 23, 2016

Build Your Kingdom Here

Build Your Kingdom Here
Watch Rend Collective’s Video Here:

“We Are Your Church…”

What comes to mind when you see the word church? There are many different reactions. Some see a place of learning, others see a place of religious obligation, and others see church as a complete unknown. Rend Collective sings that the the church is "the hope on earth' and I would agree with that. When we start really digging into the Bible for what the church is supposed the be, the thing that should come to mind is - family.

We never see in scripture that the church was a building. The buildings aren't going to come along for another 100 years or so. We see the church was simply the people of God, and it seems like they looked at themselves like brothers and sisters. Read the Apostle Paul’s words to his disciple, Timothy:

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. (1Timothy 5:1-2)

Paul is instructing this follower of Jesus to begin to view the people in his group like family. It’s clear that this wasn't just exchanging pleasantries on Sunday morning. The expanding group in the First Century really did life together.

The Church United

One of best places to see how this “life together”concept worked is in the book of Acts. In this New Testament book, Jesus leaves them and empowers them with the Holy Spirit and the church just exploded. 

In Acts Chapter 2, we read about that miraculous day called Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends. It causes a huge commotion and Peter speaks to the crowd who is wondering what’s going on. He shares the Gospel and about 3,000 people are added to the church. Notice that they didn't join up. This is not a social club. The family now has been increased by 3,000. We then find these words about what they did:

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

The Organic Church

I love that picture of the early church. I call this passage, “The Organic Church.” That’s when it was just a group of believers, doing what God intended them to do, before the man-made stuff got injected. 

Look at the specifics: They gathered together daily. They ate together. They shared with people who had need. They prayed together and gathered for times of teaching. They praised God together. They had fellowship.

I can only imagine what that group must have been like. It would have been great to be a part of all of that. But instead of longing for the days gone by, can we experience that in our groups today? I believe we can and we should strive for doing “life together” and not “doing church” as we think of it today. This is what people in the 21st century are longing for.

The Church on Mission

I am convinced that if we can get back to a more “organic” form of church, we will see lives change, the lost found and wounds healed. We will have a church explosion, because this is the way God intended it to be all along. Jesus never said we were supposed to go make buildings but, go and make disciples. I said this in my last blog, it’s always supposed to be about people.

Maybe you're the person who has given up on the church. Maybe you have been burned by “church people.” Maybe you don’t think this is even possible in our world. I’m here to tell you that this kind of family, “life together” church really does exist. There are groups who meet together in regular church buildings, homes, libraries or, like my church family, in schools. They have a different idea about what it means to be the church. 

I’m not suggesting that you go church shopping but ask God to lead you to a fellowship of believers who truly wants to be the body of Christ as Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 12. Take some time and read that whole chapter. Paul’s view helps us to understand more about God's people.

If you’re already connected to a church, perhaps, God is calling you to start something within your own group. Again, ask God to lead you. 

Pray today and ask God how you can become more involved with the people of God, His body. Ask God to help you think of the church as your family and how you can better serve people by doing “life together.”

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