- It's why I'm not an engineer today
- It's why I walked away from my career 14 years ago
- It's why I love going to work
- It's why I love where our church is headed
- It's our vision — our sense that, from the day Grace was born 14 years ago, God was/is calling us to become a modern-day "church of Antioch"
We talked about 6 characteristics of what it means to be an "Antiochian" church:
- Why Antioch? — The book of Acts is divided into two parts.
- The FIRST half is about the impact of the church in Jerusalem, where Peter is the key figure, and discipleship/fellowship is their strength. The only problem? They wouldn't WILLINGLY go out to reach the world. So God allowed trials to come and people ran.
- The SECOND half is about the impact of the church in Antioch, where Paul is the key figure, and missions is added as a strength. Do quick read of Acts 11-14 for the key passages.
- Where's Antioch? — Antioch was the 3rd largest city in the Roman Empire, like the Chicago of the Roman world. It's located in modern-day, south-central Turkey.
- What's "Antiochian"? — Grace's one-line summary on what it means to be an Antiochian church came from our world missions team a couple years ago: "We exist to establish life-transforming and reproducing communities of Christ-followers among all peoples."
- What's "Non-Antiochian"? — I gave everyone the 6 characteristics of an Antiochian church. Here's the OPPOSITE of being an Antiochian church:
- A church who is INWARD-focused and plays it SAFE instead of taking risks to reach people
- A church who see FEW receive Christ, and doesn't disciple the people they HAVE
- A church who embraces MONARCHICAL or OLIGARCHICAL leadership, rooted in CORPORATE leadership principles
- A church who, at best, feels EMPATHY toward suffering, but doens't lift a FINGER about it
- A church who is SATISFIED just being a church, and is BARREN spiritually
- A church who finds its value in buildings, or cool ministries, or attendance numbers, or giving numbers…and not in Christ
- Baptism Stories — I thought the stories we heard from people getting baptized were AMAZING!
- 1 talked about her recovery from addiction
- 1 talked about her conversion from Hinduism
- 3 talked about their commitment to Christ as brothers in a family
- Another Hindu Story — I met another sweet lady named Grace who grew up in Latin America to an Indian family who was Hindu, but her father met Jesus in a POWERFUL, life-changing way. Her Dad became a pastor and she was raised as a PK (preacher's kid). She was checking out Grace because she's moving 2-minutes away. And she visited on the very day that another lady with Hindu background declared her faith to Christ!
Read James 1:1-8 for next weekend. I'm kicking off a 9-week series through James called "How Faith Works." Sunday's topic? "How Faith Works in Trials."
Do whatever it takes to get your friends there next week.
Drag them if you have to.
Bribe them with donuts or breakfast.
Just get 'em there!
You won't regret it.