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Posts Tagged ‘Acts’

Simple Beginnings

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

What would it be like if life were still simple? Isn’t that a question we all ask? Things would be different, no stress, no breaking sweats in mid day, no worrying about what is next. It would be easy. I think that might have been what it was like for the early church. When I read through the gospels and through the book of Acts, I feel as though Christ himself alongside with the early apostles were preparing us for something not necessarily big, but simple.

The early church didn’t make themselves so busy they could barely get a decent nights sleep, they organized their life around the church and made sure their priorities were straight. I feel as though we too easily fall into the trap of organizing our life around things that don’t last. We organize our lives around the kids basketball and volleyball games, we organize around the overtime we need to make the next round of bills.

The life that Jesus taught to His followers was a simple life. Put God first and his purposes to follow. The early church filled their schedule not with busy activities, but with opportunities to worship. They met together daily to break bread, fellowship, and worship. They spread the message of the gospel to others out of worship. They met met daily giving up of themselves and their possessions to glorify God with their whole being. They weren’t stressed about this, they did what they did becuase that was all they needed to do.

What would it be like if we could get back to that place of simplicity when all that mattered in our week was how we would worship God? If Jesus were to look at your calendar for this week, what would he say? Would he say that you are worshiping him or something else?

Take some time to think about the simple beginnings the church had and how every need was met. Wouldn’t it be nice if our every need was met?

Changing our habits on Sunday School and Small groups

I’ve had a number of conversations over the last several weeks with folks who have been finding it difficult to change their habits and beliefs on Sunday School and small groups. For many years, the standard was to go to church and then Sunday School. It’s what every good christian did. Today is different. Today’s focus leans more on the importance of connection and community. Today’s models of connectivity lead to get the most out our small groups.

Many churches today have even gone as far as abandoning Sunday School altogether for the sake of small groups. While this is successful for those churches we are striving to keep both around at Third City. The key element is to learn in Sunday School, but to invest in Small Groups.

This is a hard line to cross for many. However, if you consider it for a moment, Christ has called us to four levels of discipleship: Following Him for our Salvation, in our lifestyles, fellowship with His body, and serving others. The key to this is the word fellowship. Someone said that fellowship is not just a name of a room. I think for years fellowship has been viewed as joining with friends after church for coffee.

I think that is only a very small meaning. The book of Acts shows us that fellowship was devoting oneself to the apostles teaching, breaking bread with one another daily, and prayer amongst other activities. It said they met in homes, which was out of necessity at the time, but the point was the many different communities who were connecting through out the city on a daily basis. Our view on connectivity is one that encourages people to go far beyond just learning in Sunday School but we encourage people to find real community with a small group. Real community contributes to real, well rounded spiritual and relational growth.