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Showing posts from March, 2023

Forty Days of Purpose: Outreach

  Sanderson Jones, a former stand-up comedian who leads the Sunday Assembly – also known as the ‘atheist church’ – spent a Sunday attending three churches in London, England, and tweeting about his experience.   Jones said, “I think churches should recognise that they are already doing so much right,” referring to the idea of having greeters welcoming guests at the front door, and the idea of having coffee after church. Jones went on to say, “I went to the American Humanist Association and they had a special lecture on why it’s important to be welcoming. It’s just the most basic things which you’ll take for granted in Churchland, which are in fact really powerful.” [1]   What’s the takeaway for me in all of this? I think it can be summed up in one word: “welcome”. The church needs to be a welcoming place for all people. Being a welcoming church is, I believe, essential to fulfilling the fifth of the five purposes of the church that we are going to look at today from Acts 2:42-47. Hear

Forty Days of Purpose: Service

  In his book,  The Invisible Caring Hand: American Congregations and the Provision of Welfare , published by the New York University Press in 2002, Ram A. Cnaan, wrote,   If the average North American congregation were to bill its community for the social services it provides, the tab would be about $184,000 per year. [1]   I believe that statistic reveals just the tip of the iceberg of good that Christianity has offered to society over the past two thousand years. If you think about it, the Church has been responsible for beginning and continuing to operate the vast majority of hospitals and schools around the world, not to mention the positive influence that the Church has had on art, literature, and so much else. All of this started with the service mentality of the first group of Christians in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Let us read once again Luke’s wonderful description of that group from Acts 2:42-47….   They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the

Forty Days of Purpose: Worship

We are right in the middle of our series entitled “40 Days of Purpose”. We have been looking at the five-fold purpose of the Church which also gives us grounding and direction for our own personal lives.     There was a survey conducted several years ago that revealed what people are looking for in a church. The survey revealed that 89% of church shoppers choose a church based upon teaching, 80% on Worship style, 76% on care for the community (that’s service and outreach), and 73% choose a church based upon the opportunity to build relationships, that’s fellowship. [1]   I find those statistics fascinating because they tie into the fivefold purpose of the church that we see in Acts 2:42-47. Over the past two Sundays we looked at the first two purposes: Teaching and Fellowship. This Sunday, we are going to examine Worship. Listen for God’s word to you from Acts 2:42-47…   They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyo