THE LOST ARE FOUND / THE FOUND ARE FREED / THE FREED ARE CONNECTED / THE CONNECTED ARE COMMISSIONED
24th May // Commissioned – Day 24 // Our Church’s Mission
Reading – They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer. Acts 2:42
The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Acts 11:26
“Deep and wide, deep and wide there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” I am sure we all spent hours singing and doing actions to this classic children’s song. The song is based around the unfathomable depths of God’s love for us, which are really beyond any human measurement. Recently many churches and church leaders have been using the title from that song ‘Deep and Wide’ to help bring revelation to another biblical principle, the principle that the Church is to be both deep and wide. The early church entered into a time when there was great depth of relationship with God. They loved the presence of God and their faith withstood persecution and set back proving that these believers had depth and substance to their walk with God. Also the early believers seemed to have a depth of relationship with each other meeting in each other’s houses, eating and worshipping together and being generous by giving up what they had to meet the needs of others in the community. These early Christians were not spiritually shallow by any means.
But the first believers were not only deep; they also had a reach and an influence that was wide. By their lives and walk with God they influenced every level of society locally. And then by their sending and the leading of the Spirit they influenced the world globally. During the early church’s persecution the authorities came to arrest Paul and Silas and possibly other church leaders and they said, “Where are these people who turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6) They turned the world upside down by simply trying to be both deep and wide.
We as a church today in 2017 in Portadown are trying to get back to where the early church started off. Our church can’t look exactly like the early church but the principles they built upon are just as effective now as they were then. As we have sought to find and implement the principles they built on we have worked hard to craft language that captures the heart of the early church and the church in the 21st century. The four statements that follow are what we as a church are going to prioritise.
- The lost are found.
- The found are freed.
- The freed are connected.
- The connected are commissioned.
Individually and collectively let’s commit to making sure our walk with God and each other is both deep and wide.
By Ross McBride