Be Christ’s Body. Alive! Not just some well-meaning, well-oiled organization.
Read: Acts 2:42-47
Man, these Acts 2 Christfollowers weren’t just “going to church,” they’d found a new way to live! The Bible describes them with “life” terms like: sense of awe, sharing with all, one mind, and sincerity of heart. There was no organizational chart, growth goal, or catchy marketing. They were Christ’s Hands, His Heart, His Voice, His Compassion in their circles of influence. That’s contagious!
A Facebook post had the best “living” definition of what a church should be: “Loving God, Loving People, Making Disciples.”
I nurture the church I shepherd toward living-out 5 healthy rhythms of churchlife together. Here are my suggestions. (How does God’s Spirit impress you to reshape these for your group?)
- Be really good friends.
Each week encourage the group to tell (1) what God is doing in their lives, or (2) what the world is dumping on them each week. Guide them in praying for each other. Be an example of meeting with 1 or 2 during the week for mutual encouragement.
- Worship God in some sincere way.
Find natural ways for them to experience and talk about God’s greatness, power, or love every time you gather. Could they look at a picture of a mountain, or the ocean and see the hand of God there? Is there a Bible verse about God that would remind them of His great love for their lives? Does someone have a worship song/video they want to show on their laptop?
- Learn & Grow in living the truths Jesus taught.
Pick a Bible verse (or verses) each week, about Jesus, that you want to discuss as a group. Ask, “What does this say to you about life, God, others, or self... and how do you intend to live this week because of what this verse says?” You guide the discussion to keep it on track but let each person answer and talk openly.
- Help others.
How could the group regularly help struggling people in some way? Do a project for kids, sick, or hurting persons. Volunteer together at a “Helping Event or Ministry Site” in the area? Help them see how they can be a Good Samaritan to someone?
- Share Christ’s Love & Good News with others.
Ask a participant ahead of time to share their own journey-to-Christ. At every gathering ask God to continue arranging encounters between current participants, and others in whom He has created a heart hunger for the person of Christ. Always be authentic, never false, in caring for another person. Be sensitive to their needs. Never manipulate. Include and value each one.
Focus on Christ-centered relationships
Always challenge participants to be passionate servants of Christ rather than turning to events and attractions to keep them interested. They will follow Him!
These 5 rhythms recur over and over in the life of the New Testament Christfollowers, and they can be meaningfully expressed by any micro-culture or group in a community.