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The Attractive Church
Archdeaconry Formation DaySunday 01 February 2009
ARCHDEACONRY FORMATION DAYS 2009
PEOPLE, BUILDINGS AND WORSHIP:
MODELLING THE WELCOME OF GOD
Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians 5: 25)
I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matt 16:18)
Has such a church ever existed, and if so what were the qualities that made it attractive?
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The Apostles’ teaching
The breaking of bread
Serving the community
Teaching that enabled transformation
The scriptures are a primary source of the church’s life
The message is unchanging but how we communicate it needs to change
Small groups of various kinds can be places of growth in all dimensions
In the NT fellowship is a dynamic/active word
Warm. Loving, caring and very importantly – open
First Christian community didn’t get it all right
Practical demonstration of fellowship
Meeting together in temple/breaking bread in homes
Established as a priority for the first Christian community, with the celebration of the Eucharist as its focal point
‘The mistake we often make as a church is to take the new Christian and make them work, without teaching them first to worship and celebrate. To do this is to rob them of the joy that will provide the right incentive for their life and ministry. It is to set them to the task, without giving them the resources to enable them to fulfil it.’
Freedom in a framework
Worship planning groups
HAPPY PASSOVER TO OUR JEWISH FRIENDS
TO OUR ATHEIST FRIENDS – GOOD LUCK!
They devoted themselves to prayer
Prayer is the wellspring from which everything else flowed
Prayerlessness in a church leads to situations where we accomplish only what we can do by ourselves
Prayer together can take many forms
Later this year Diocesan weekend of prayer?
Prayer must be the foundation
> next: Welcoming