The Church is incredible. Over thousands of years now through the power of the Holy Spirit, the church has endured. We ARE THE CHURCH! YOU ARE THE CHURCH. The BEST way to make a #disciple of Jesus is to do so in the context of local sending biblical community. When I look back over my life, my closest friends have been made in the context of biblical community. In order to be a disciple and in turn be a disciple maker, we must stretch ourselves to achieve excellence in three core relationships. Our mission statement is to be a “restored, family, sent on mission to make disciples.” In this post we will deal with the second relationship of the mission statement. The church as a family.
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit...“ 1 Corinthians 12:13
I’ll never forget one warm summer day stepping out into the Atlantic Ocean with Jorge, 17 years old. Jorge has an amazing story, but the above picture is one moment, a snap shot of a personal declaration of his belonging to Jesus and to the Body of Christ, the CHURCH! Jorge has been at 217church from the beginning but it wasn’t until a couple of summer’s ago when he made it public. We are family. If we are going to be a disciple and a disciple maker, we must invest our whole life in caring for one another deeply. You aren’t just baptized into a relationship with Jesus, but also with His church. This means showing love, adopting constantly and living with each other in the tension of failure and future promise. The church isn’t for the perfect but for those being perfected.
5 Marks Of A Disciple Making Church Family –
1. Forgive Regularly – The more you leave individual churches and go to other ones, the more you will become a consumer of religious goods and treat the church as an earthly organization rather than a reflection of heavenly grace and amazement. Have you “left” a church before? Many of us have left a church because of conflict and honestly, it goes back to unresolved sin issues. Either it was to hard to forgive or we were too embarrassed or unwilling to be forgiven. The more you run from church, accountability and admonishment, the more you will find your ability to disciple someone lacking. Keep this in mind, the church will NEVER be perfect on earth because you are in it! Leaving a church because you refuse to forgive will cause you to be bitter angry and you will carry regret with you for years to come. Odds are, you will “leave” the church family you just ran to as well.
Question: What can you do to solve a problem at your local church?
2. Serve Continually – If we are to follow Jesus and he came to serve and not to be served, than we MUST serve every chance we get. In our small groups, bringing meals to each other when in distress, visiting each other in the hospital, celebrating milestones with each other. Our 217church ownership covenant sums it up nicely. This is the 4 step covenant we ask each person to agree to when they make our church their local congregation: Here it is: #1 Protect the unity by acting in love, #2 Share the responsibility by loving in small group community, #3 Share the ministry by serving on a weekend team, and #4 Support the testimony of the church by giving generously.
Question: Are you ready to covenant with the body of Christ?
3. Learn Diligently – One of the best ways to learn is from each other. We must learn to depend on the gifts of teaching in group community. In our groups, one of our roles is to be a learner. If we are to disciple, we must be fully committed to be taught on a continual basis. A group that learns together will be a group that grows in ability to disciple. Just because you know something, doesn’t mean you have mastered the concept. Learning means putting the principles you study into action.
Question: Are you a learner, What are you most excited about to learn?
4. Invite Constantly – One of the best things your group can do is invite people to do life together. Now here is the secret. This shouldn’t take much more time, just be human and participate in building relationships where you already find yourself. You should be someone who is approachable, amicable and even admired for your character in your community. Throw a party, coach a team, build relationships naturally, walk your dog, be someone who is inviting people into your life. Your church should be easy to connect with and there should be very few barriers authentic community.
Question: Who is one person you can invite to your group?
5. Eat Joyously – Does this really need explanation? Where the church is there should be food, enough said.
Question: Who can you share a meal with this week in your church family?
My prayer is we will grow strong as a church and discover His blueprint for being a disciple maker as a church community. #BeADisciple #MakeADisciple
This Sunday at 217church
March 22- The Church Family – Part 2 of being a “Restored family sent on mission to make disciples.”
Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00. Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.