Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.46So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
I. THE COMMUNITY OF THE FIRST CHURCH
A. Whatever the early church did, they did it together, in the context of community.
B. Their practice of community came out of necessity since their first converts had nowhere else to go.
C. The apostles led the church to open their homes & make disciples of these converts while they lived their lives together.
II. THE CORE VALUE OF COMMUNITY
A. Core values are things we hope to practice naturally as just an outflow of Jesus conforming us into His image.
B. We believe community is learning and living life on mission with Jesus together.
III. LIVING AND LEARNING
A. Community has a learning component. We teach others and learn from others as we live life together. (Proverbs 1:20-21).
B. Learning happens as we live together, not just as we study together. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
IV. LEARNING AND LIVING TOGETHER
A. Learning & living together must go beyond groups every other week. It must spill over into shared lives with a few others. (Mark 6:7-13)
B. Journey Groups are only one more step in seeing people make disciples together, which is when community forms.
V. ON MISSION
A. On mission together means living with Gospel intentionality, doing everyday stuff with Gospel & disciple making intentions.
B. Whatever you like to do, do that with others, sowing seeds of the Gospel and the love of Christ as you do it.
VI. WITH JESUS…NOT FOR JESUS
A. Making disciples is not something we do for Jesus because we owe Him for our salvation.
B. Making disciples is something we do with Jesus. Jesus is still at work drawing people to Himself and all we do is join Him in what He is already doing. (Acts 1:4-5)
VII. THE GOSPEL AS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR COMMUNITY
A. A community is only as strong as what it is formed around. A community built on something shallow will eventually crumble.
B. Even noble things and pursuits are shallow and less than in forming a community when compared to the Gospel.
C. The Gospel is the strongest foundation for community because it will never disappear and by its nature invites people in and includes all.
1. Lead your kids to form Gospel centered community and not just convenient friendships.
2. To live in community we have to deal with selfishness. Selfishness is the greatest threat to community. (Philippians 2:1-8)
3. The question should not be if we will live in community, but rather with whom and to whom we will live in community.