Friday, October 14 | What’s Next?
Read Acts 2:42-47
“…having favor with all the people.”
This passage tells us two really important things about how the early church worked!
First- we notice that after describing the way the early church worshipped, practiced community, and served (our three strategies), the early church had favor with all the people (v. 47) and they were continuously growing in number! What they were doing was a part of why more people started to see the Kingdom of God and wanted in.
Second, and most importantly, notice WHO is adding people to their community - the Lord. The early church wasn’t adding to their number. God was. GOD was and still is calling people to His Kingdom.
The church worshipped, practiced community, and served - and GOD brought people into their community. This mission we are on with God is a partnership with God. We have a part to play, and God has a part to play. We cannot make people’s hearts be open to the Spirit of God. We are dependent on God drawing people in.
That’s the whole paradox of the life on mission: God has invited us to participate in something we CANNOT make happen.
So we can’t make people join the Kingdom of God. But we can live fully in worship, we can love deeply in community, and we can give freely in service. And in the book of Acts, while the church focused on those three things, God’s Spirit worked on the hearts of those who were watching.
The early church was so attractive, people wanted to find out about it! People saw this community made up of rich, poor, high status, low status, Jews, Gentiles, men, women; they were all together, aligned around a common goal - and people had to know more!
When we, as a community, align our lives around the mission of God, it is attractive! When we bring SHALOM with us, it is magnetic! God’s Spirit moves in people’s hearts and invites them into this community to taste it for themselves!
Harbor - that’s what we’re called to be about too! We have been invited to join God in His mission to restore shalom. To help others know Him. To help all of creation flourish. The early church shows us the most important three things we can do to participate in God’s mission: Worship, Community, and Service.
As we wrap up this season, I want to ask you to commit to these things with us! Commit to worship, commit to the community at Harbor, commit to service. Commit your life and your family life to align primarily around the mission of God, consciously rejecting other things that might be tempting you to take its place at the center of your life.
As we dive into what has surfaced for us in these past 5 weeks, I’m excited to see the ways our practices of worship, community, and service will change! And I want you, YOU to be a part of this!
Throughout this devotional, you’ve been invited to share your thoughts about our mission, and our strategies of worship, community, and service. If you haven’t yet, would you please share your observations and ideas with me and the elders? We want to hear from you about what you’ve been thinking as we’ve talked about our mission, our focus, and our strategies these past five weeks. Sunday will be a great time to talk about this too, as we cheer on the runners in the Bay State Marathon!
Join us, and let’s chase God’s mission together!