I recently was told by a church strategist that when people are asked why they attend the fastest growing churches in America, the reasons given are often "I can remain anonymous", “it’s a lot of fun” , “Their programs are what we were looking for in a church” and “I like the music.” He said he cannot remember a time when he heard someone say I am part of a Christian community, “So I can Love God, Love Others and Make Disciples.”
Our church's mission is to Love God, Love Others and Make Disciples (build up followers of Christ, not consumers). This is what Jesus called us to be about in this life. Our mission comes from both the Great Commandment (love God with all your heart) and the Great Commission (Go and make disciples of all the nations).
In Acts 2:41-47, we read that the early Christians were involved in basic Spirit led activities. They:
(1) believed in Jesus Christ,
(2) were baptized,
(3) were added to the gathering,
(4) spent their time in learning,
(5) took part in the fellowship of other believers,
(6) shared their possessions,
(7) prayed together,
(8) met regularly as a group to worship, and
(9) regularly added new believers by having Gospel conversations of Jesus Christ with family, friends and neighbors.
Jesus said the number one need in every person's life is the need for meaningful relationships with God the Father and then others. The second greatest need is to learn to be effective in equipping others to follow Christ and His teachings.
Think about it, how many times have you shared Christ’s story with someone lately? Who do you meet with weekly or bi-weekly to equip to follow Christ? How ready are you to die for Christ if needed? Is your church and small group preparing you to answer these questions in a way that makes much of the Lord Jesus Christ? Only by walking with others to be strengthened and encouraged in Christ can these begin to be a reality for us.
The experience of small-group community (Community Groups) helps fulfill the second part of the Great Commandment: "You shalt love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). Loving our neighbors into God’s Kingdom is one major reason God gave us a kitchen and living room. People need to be invited in to see real Christian community.
Pray and go. Get involved with others. Make disciples. Love Christ and others with an outrageous love. Join a C group. Summer in Erie is great time to invite someone into your rhythms of life!