Day 20 – You and the Church: Sustainable Success
“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”
A healthy church is divinely empowered by its members
We read in Acts 2: 42-47 that when the 1st church came together, they met going from house to house, studying the apostle’s teachings (aka the first edition of the New Testament), going to the temple (to study the Old Testament), praying, sharing the Lord’s supper together, praising God, eating and generally just hanging out. They took care of each others needs by pooling their resources so no one was left wanting. And God blessed them by growing the church consistently. In Acts Chapter 1, they had all been filled by the Holy Spirit, so their dedication was not only down to their own will, but because they were also divinely empowered. Thus a healthy church is divinely empowered by its members through the Holy Spirit; everyone using their gifts for God’s glory; those who are God appointed preach and teach the Gospel to all the places they are called to; and the rest of the Body ensures everyone is growing together spiritually, serving each other and everyone’s basic needs are met.
A Prayer To Get You Started
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of church you have given me. You have called me to be part of your Body Jesus and experience community, as you do with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Help me to be faithful in stewarding the plans you have for me and church. Let me not be distracted from the vision you have set before me about church.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
The Five A’s
As before, we achieve sustainable success of our vision plans by answering questions for the Five As:
- passions: teaching or hospitality
- personality: proud or humble
- responsibilities: having to work on Sundays
- positive mantras: “My presence in and contribution to church matters” or “I am part of the body of Christ”
- resources: your Bible, a local church
- environment: loving, genuine and caring communities
- people: church leaders, fellow church members
- complementary agenda: attending Bible Studies or life/cell groups
- negative mantra: “I can be church by myself” or “I don’t get church”
- resources: online christian resources which replace you contributing to a church community
- environment: stagnant or passionless church
- people: anyone dismissive of church
- competing agendas: other commitments
- Trigger: whatever day the church services are on or other regular church gathering
- Routine: spend time with your church community; serve with your gifts; pray with others
- Reward: achieving your goal
- Continue: everything is going great and you are noticing positive changes in your church relationships, contributions and spiritual development
- Correct: you are not seeing the results you should be or are hoping for, so something needs to change
- Close down: either you have fully achieved success or correcting the habit won’t make it stick, so you replace it completely instead.
Psalm 133 explains the beauty of unity
Colossians 3:16 is Paul describing to the Colossians what ‘being the church’ looks like
Tomorrow, our last day, we Give Thanks for Restored Vision.
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