Summary: The barriers to becoming a community...
Becoming a Community: Barriers
This morning we’re going to wrap up our look at becoming a community. We’ve been looking at the early church found in the book of Acts as a model for the kind of community that God would have us to become here in this place.
READ Acts 2:42-47
Before we move on, I want to look back for a moment at what we’ve already covered. These Truths are so essential for this ministry that I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page before we move forward. 2 Weeks ago, we started with a look at the benefits that becoming a community offers. If we are going to stress the importance of community, I wanted you to get a good look at some of the needs that being a part of a community will meet. Community gives us: 1) A Sense of belonging, 2) A Sense of Support, and 3) A Sense of Wholeness. All of these are basic needs that everyone has in their lives and that everyone will seek to fill. The church, a relationship with God and with His children, is the only place to find perfect fulfillment for each of these needs. Last week we talked about the building blocks of community. For us to see the benefits, we have to follow the model of Acts 2:44. First, we have to spend time together. Community does not happen on its own or by mistake. It is a choice that we make and it begins with togetherness. We need to experience togetherness in our church, at those times where we all come together to celebrate and worship. But, in a setting with this many people, there is a limit to the kind of real connections that we’ll make. What built that group of people in Acts into a community was that they took togetherness outside of the physical walls of the church. They hung out together. They ate together. They opened their homes to one another. That is where the relationships will begin to deepen, that’s where the intimacy and accountability and support will begin to grow. And when we see that happen, when we have togetherness in the other aspects of our lives, not just in that compartment that we set aside for church, these times (when we all come together) will be even sweeter and the Spirit will be able to move and work with greater freedom, and our worship together will grow to new heights. It starts with togetherness. Secondly, we have to have common ground. We need to recognize and understand those things that we have in common, those things that bind us together. When we understand our common ground and our ministry flows from that, many of the conflicts and differences that seem to plague the majority of churches today will no longer be an issue because we are focusing on what we share instead of what could divide us. Christ is our common ground and through Him, we all share a common story. We are all sinners saved by grace, all of us, without exception. We all share a common calling. Each of us is called to know Christ more and to make Him known to others. We may have different thoughts and ideas on how that should take place but we have the common ground of God’s calling in these areas of our lives. And we all have a common goal. We desire to grow spiritually and we desire to introduce others to Christ because we share the goal of seeing God’s Kingdom grow on Earth. What a privilege to have a part to play in that! When we have our eyes on this goal then it won’t matter what our personal tastes or preferences are, all that will matter is seeing that Kingdom grow and expand. We have the same goal. Christ gives us all these things in common.
So, we’ve looked at the benefits and we’ve looked at the building blocks and I think that everyone in here would share a deep desire to see community happen in this place. Today we are going to look at those things that will keep us from becoming the kind of church that we were created to be. We’re going to look at the barriers to becoming a community.
People often e-mail me jokes and other things that they find funny. Most of these have to do with pastors or the church. I get a lot that start with a pastor, a priest, and a rabbi were… A while back I received a list of bulletin blunders from someone. These are actual announcements that were printed in church bulletins. Each one has a misspelling or an awkward phrase that completely changes the intended meaning.