Why We Are a Church Devoted to Gospel Community?
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
(Acts 2:41-42, ESV)
The true evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in a church is not spectacular gifts – that’s what the Corinthians thought. The true evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in a church is a church’s love for one another – that’s what Paul told the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13).
In our study of Acts, we learned that after receiving the word that Peter preached about Jesus, three thousand repentant souls were added to the church in Jerusalem, and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42). Clearly, their primary commitment was to the apostolic teaching – viewing all of Scripture through the lens of who Jesus is. But notice how an Acts 2 church is not just devoted to the gospel foundation; it is also devoted to gospel community. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching AND the fellowship.”
At High Pointe, we long to be an Acts 2 church, a church devoted to a common apostolic faith and also to a common life together in gospel community. The world encourages community as well. But the world's community is rooted in our likenesses: like age, like generation, like ethnicity, like preferences. Gospel community is different. Regardless of how old we are, what our ethnicity is, and what we personally prefer, true community is rooted in the gospel – the fact that we share in common our faith in Christ (Acts 2:44).
One of the joys of being a part of High Pointe is the joy of being a diverse congregation that is united by our love for Jesus! Still, we have to work hard at cultivating gospel community because as God's children, we are to reflect God's love, because as God's children, we are to obey our Father, and because we are God's children, we are to glorify Him as we live together as a church. When we look back at how Jesus loved us, willingly sacrificing Himself to reconcile us to the Father, we are reminded how we are to love one another. And it's not as if we are unable. As Christians, we have a new heart with new desires to love God and one another. And we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, empowering us to love. Therefore, let us devote ourselves to gospel community at High Pointe. How? Here are just some ways:
Lord’s Day Gathering
When we gather together on the Lord’s Day, we are reminded that we are not alone in our Christian walk. And at High Pointe, we are blessed to witness the diversity of the body of Christ. Let’s devote ourselves to gospel community by working to get to know one another. Out of conviction, the elders are committed to only having Lord's Day gatherings that the entire church can attend together. So, we only have one morning service for all of High Pointe; then, we all come together again in the evening to end the Lord’s Day together. That means that whenever you gather with High Pointe, the whole church is there. You don't have to worry about missing someone because they attend "the other" service. Our two Lord's Day gatherings are designed for us to meet together, beginning and ending our Sundays together as a church.
So, come early and/or stay late. Get to know the brothers and sisters at High Pointe. Invite members to join you for a meal after one of the services. Use your church directory to get to know members that you have not yet met. Lord’s Day gatherings are a wonderful, safe time to stay and chat and get to know the members of High Pointe. If you only come every once in a while to our Sunday morning gathering, let me challenge you to join us regularly. That will help you get to know other members. But if you only come on Sunday mornings, let me encourage you to join us on Sunday evenings as well. Our Sunday night gatherings are a sweet family time that we spend praying together and encouraging one another. We also hear God's word preached from the opposite testament to the morning service. So, join us!
At High Pointe, Life Groups are the main structure by which we seek to cultivate gospel community. In our Life Groups, we are gathering with other High Pointe members who live close to us; we are praying for one another; and we are applying God’s word from the Sunday sermon to one another. Life Groups are an important way for you to be connected at High Pointe Baptist Church. If you’re a member of High Pointe and would like to join a Life Group, contact Scott Cope via email (email@example.com) or call the church office (512-837-7725).
One to One or Small Group Fellowships
The elders understand how hard it can be to connect with other members at High Pointe. Busyness and distance, stages of life and work schedules often hinder our ability to cultivate true gospel community. Because of these difficulties, we try to do as much as possible to provide venues where you can just show up and get to know High Pointe members without too much trouble. Our annual Memorial Day picnic is a fun time to get together and share in a church-wide meal.
Of course, there are other organized times through the women’s ministry or the men’s ministry. But let me also encourage you to organize times where you gather a group of High Pointe members in your home. You may want to organize a game night or host a meal. You may go out for a fun activity like bowling or Top Golf, or you may go out on a group day trip. However you do it and whatever you do, let us be diligent and creative to gather one another for mutual encouragement and edification.
The Christian life is not meant to be lived in isolation. And the elders are concerned for those members at High Pointe who are not connected. Let us devote ourselves to gospel community, for the glory of God, for the sake of our souls; and for the witness of the church.
More in Straight to the Heart
February 11, 2020Why We Are a Church Devoted to Gospel Community?
February 3, 2020Why We Are a Church Devoted to the Apostles’ Teaching
January 27, 2020Who’s Your One?