Imagine you find yourself stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a copy of the Bible. You have no experience with Christianity whatsoever, and all you know about the Church will come from your reading of the Bible. How would you imagine a church to function? Seriously. Close your eyes for two minutes and try to picture “Church” as you would know it. ~ Pastor Francis Chan
Now think about your current church experience. Is it even close? If not, can you live with that? ~ Pastor Francis Chan
To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand—the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands: ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. ~ Revelation 2:1-3
But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place—that is, if you do not repent. ~ Revelation 2:4-5
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) ~ Romans 5:6-7
But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost. ~ Matthew 18: 12-14
HOW DID WE START AS THE BODY OF CHRIST? (33AD)
They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved. ~ Acts 2:42-47
Can I count on you to hit the RESET button on this part of your life and on this part of our corporate church life? Will you join an aloha group?
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) Are there any areas in your personal life you would like to RESET in 2019? Which ones? Why? Do you have any kind of accountability and encouragement relationships structure in your life to help you achieve those RESET goals? Why or why not?
2) When you closed your eyes for two minutes during Pastor G’s message and tried to imagine what CHURCH would look like if all you had to go on was the Bible what kind of image did you come up with? How did you feel about that church? How close was it to how you do church at your home church? How do you feel about that?
3) Would you prefer to keep doing church the way you are doing it or would you prefer to do it the way Jesus designed the first church? Why?
READ: Acts 2:42-47
1) Does this resemble your current church life? If so, in what ways? What ways does it not resemble your current church life?
2) Do you think the modern American church can function this way? Why or why not? Do you want to experience church life the way it is described in this passage? Why or why not?
3) Currently, “the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved” does not describe our church. Why do you think that is? What can we do to change that?
4) Do you want to be known as a church where daily the Lord is adding to our number those who are being saved? Why or why not? How committed are you to helping make that happen?