We don't all believe the same things. Some of us were raised in the church, others in temples. Some of us follow Islam, others don't believe in anything. And some of us just like to call ourselves spiritual. But if the message of Jesus is true, does it have something to say to us even if we don't call ourselves Christians? And how do we share the way of Jesus with people who don't agree with us?
There’s a Polish proverb that says: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” It’s a way of saying, “Don’t drag me into your drama and your issues—I’m not getting involved.” Sometimes people try to drag us into things we were never meant to be part of. In the early church, some people were trying to drag new believers into a way of believing that was never meant for them, and it only made people want to leave the church. But Jesus' brother had a better idea for the way forward.
As the early church was being persecuted and scattered, a young man named Saul seeks to destroy the church. Through the story though, we see how irresistible God's will can be and how and He can reach out, even, to the most hardened hearts and cause massive change.
The church prayed for boldness and the results were not exactly what they expected. The church was scattered, the apostles went in opposite directions geographically, and yet they were still united. Join us as we study why and apply it to our context.
Social status is something really important in our world. As Christians, we can't avoid the perception others have about us. However, our perception of the world around us changes drastically as Jesus enters our lives. The early church faced these social dynamics as well, not only in the way they were being seen by others but also the way they saw others.
In the early days of the church, Christians weren't called Christians. They were called followers of the way. This term was used because they were striving to follow the way of Jesus. So what did that look like? What was noticeable about them that people used that term to describe them? Together we will explore the simple way in which the early followers followed the way.
Words may be the most powerful thing we each have. With Words we can tear people down or build them up. With words we can cause division or bring unity. And sometimes, when we don't understand the words that are being used, we are just left confused. But God has a plan for our words, and it is not for us to be confused. In the strangest of occurrences, God took our words in a mass of confusion and made it so they could be understood, for a purpose. And He still desires for our words to be used for that purpose today.
We wait in lines. We wait in traffic. We wait for movies to come out. We wait for our doctor to call us back. So much of life feels like waiting for something. Sometimes the waiting is joyful, sometimes fearful. For the early followers of Jesus they were waiting to know what to do next, in many ways just like us. Sometimes we get so consumed with anticipating what is next, we miss what is right here.