Have you ever met someone who was disillusioned with the Church? Maybe you were that person. Maybe you are that person.
For some, it’s due to deep hurts from betrayal or broken trust. For others, it may be due to Christians making statements about loving people yet failing to take action. Maybe it’s simply a failure to recognize how the Church – as an organization – is relevant to daily life.
There are a host of reasons why people are leaving the Church and are aimlessly wandering into a world of empty promises. However, deep down, I think people both within the church and people walking away from the church can agree on one thing… This is not the way it’s supposed to be!
So what is God’s heart for His community of believers – the Church? What should that community look like? Is it even possible to experience true, authentic community? And if so, how will He empower us to live in ways that embody a community that the world longs to see and be a part of? Join Pastor Nate McLaurin in Acts 2:42-47 as we get a picture of the Church as God intended for it to be and find hope that He can do the same among us today.
We find the early Church devoted themselves to the “Apostles’ teaching.” From a broader reading of the New Testament, there are diverse reasons for such devotion, but a few we touched on in the service were as follows: a.) People needed perspective for their lives as it related to how their beliefs informed daily life. b.) People realized the Spirit would use the Word to change them (see 2 Cor. 3:17-18). c.) People realized devotion to Apostolic teaching was necessary for unity (see Eph. 4:1-6).
1. How do you view God’s Word? Do you value being shaped by it? (See Ps. 119:33-40)
2. Do you find value in the Sunday Worship Service? Why or Why not?
3. Are there ways your Life Group can pray for you/your family regarding these matters?
Secondly, we saw the early Church devoted themselves to fellowship. Primarily, this characteristic was described by the following: a.) Sharing their homes. b.) Sharing meals. c.) Sharing their possessions.
1. What are ways to identify and celebrate your Life Group practicing these things?
2. What are some creative ways the group could care for one another in new ways?
3. Possibly have a time to break bread together after a meal (as the early church modeled).
4. Possibly open up a time for the group to share about particular needs – or ways the group has met needs in the past.
5. Take time to acknowledge the Spirit’s activity among your group in these matters, and take time to thank God for His grace.
Thirdly, the early church devoted themselves to prayer.
1. Are there ways your group can grow in its ministry of prayer?
2. Possibly take time to encourage your group’s participation in the Corporate Prayer Meeting.
3. Possibly ask the group to come up with some creative opportunities to pray together.