In our ministry we come across a lot of people who crave church to be intimate, stirring and supernatural. They have long given up hope that they could experience anything like what they find in the pages of scripture. Oh maybe in the underground church of China or in the mission field of Africa, maybe there church is experienced in biblical proportions.
But the truth is, God is not bound by geography, eras or nationalities. God is the same yesterday today and forever, everywhere. God can be experienced through his body, the church today if we only invite him to. Our churches will soar if we just grow them God’s way.
1. Eat Together
They shared their meals with great joy and generosity. Acts 2:46
Whether it is the whole church having a potluck, showing hospitality in your home or eating a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, eat together often. There is a reason that God puts this detail in the record of the early church. It is significant that only a few days after the inception of his church, and God wants us to know they were eating together.
There is something spiritual that happens through sharing meals together.
During meal time we talk, we bond and we grow together. We share our stories at the kitchen table and we bear our hearts over a cup of coffee.
So if you want to grow a church God’s way, eat together.
2. Talk To Each Other
Paul continued talking to them until dawn. Acts 20:11
Talk about the word of God together. Talk about your day. Talk about your week. Talk about your life.
Ask other people to share their story with you. Then give your attention and be ready to listen.
3. Don’t Judge
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 1 Tim. 1:15
These two men have an infectious zeal. One of them can quote whole chapters of scripture word for word. One can’t order a cup of coffee without sharing the gospel with the cashier and the people in line. Both are devoted to prayer and leading others to a deeper fellowship with God. Both are recovering addicts and convicted felons.
4. Bear Burdens
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2
When we share life, we will be called to share burdens. We have to pick up the pieces of someone else’s troubles. That requires self-sacrifice. That requires heart. That requires prayer.
If one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Cor. 12:26
From births to graduations, celebrate. Whether it is retirement, days of sobriety or beating cancer, always celebrate your victories together.
6. Confess Sin
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Jm. 5:16
This doesn’t have to be to the whole church. In fact there are some confessions that require discretion. This doesn’t have to be to a priest, pastor or preacher. It is often more meaningful when it is brother to brother and sister to sister. And it always, always requires confidence and trust.
7. Work Together
Equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Eph. 4:2
Be busy serving others. Overseas, inner city or backyard, there are opportunities to minster to other people through genuine acts of service.
8. Be Friends
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith. Jude 20
Be friends. Do what friends to together and have fun doing it.
9. Make It about Jesus
All of it should point back to him. It is all about Jesus.
May I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. 6:14
These photos are courtesy of my home church, the people I call my family, THE CHURCH IN CHILLICOTHE.