Do You Ever Need To Be Reminded Why We Live In Community?
Here's a passage of Scripture that I've turned to before as a simple reminder of "why" we live as a family of missionary servants, making disciples in City Groups. Why we do normal life, learning to follow Jesus in life-giving relationships.
It's found in Acts 20:20... That should be easy to remember. And it powerfully relates to the mission & ministry of City Groups!
Here it is with context, lots of great take-aways for us, (Acts 20:17-24):
"From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."
Five Things I notice:
1) "How I Lived" - Paul lived a missionary lifestyle, and so do we in City Groups. This is "how we live".
2) House to House - The NT rhythm is on display here...gathered & scattered. Publicly (Gatherings) and house to house (City Groups). We gather weekly in our homes.
3) Hardships Included - It's not easy or convenient. It's a form of spiritual war. War against our flesh. War against the powers of darkness. It's a rescue mission. It's a full-scale Kingdom of God ground war invasion. We aren't playing patty cake. This isn't about "ease". This is about eternity.
4) Keep Running the Race - Paul's aim was to run to the finish, living out the mission of Jesus... Sure we'll take breaks, catch our breath... but our aim is the same as Paul's... to run the race, the whole race, leaning forward into the harvest field of mission... and no one who runs that way regrets it.
5) God's Grace - It's all because of and all for the good news of God's grace... that more people might meet, love and follow Jesus! Never forget how sweet His grace is... do you need to taste it again? Once you do, your mind, heart & body are quick to offer it to others. It's a real mission, a real task, from our risen King... and it's GOOD.
I'm looking forward to running with you in 2020,