Church Definition: A movement of people on mission for God with a message of salvation.
When is the church first mentioned in the Bible?
Peter quotes Joel to identify this new movement – Acts 2:14-21
Joel predicated the Church would be:
- Global – all people
- Intergenerational – young men, old men
- Including both genders – daughters will prophesy
- A place of miraculous power – signs and wonders
Salvation through faith – everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
From the earliest idea, Church is a place where:
- All are welcome
- Anything is possible
- Salvation is through faith
Concord exists to connect all people to Jesus, so they can grow in faith and serve others.
Nuts and Bolts
- Connection (to God through the gospel and worship) – Acts 2:36-40, 47
- Growth (in teaching and fellowship) – Acts 2:42
- Service (working on unity, helping others, and purposeful generosity) – Acts 2:44-46
The New Testament Church possessed an “otherness” focus.
Who is your “other”?
D.R.I.V.E. – Debt Reduction Increases Vision Expansion
Acts 2, Joel 2:28-32
TALK IT OUT
- Read Acts 2:14-21. In this part of his message on the day of Pentecost, Peter quotes the prophet Joel’s foretelling of what the church would be like in days to come. According to this description, what kinds of things should be evident in the church?
- Read Acts 2:38, Mark 1:14-15, Mark 6:12, Luke 24:44-47, Acts 17:29-31, Acts 20:21 and Acts 26:19-20. Jesus, the disciples and Paul all emphasize the importance of repentance, which means to turn away from evil and our own way as we turn in faith to God. How is this different from simply being sorry for or feeling bad about something we have done?
- Read Acts 2:21,39. According to these verses, who qualifies to receive God’s offer of salvation?
- Concord’s mission statement is, “Concord exists to connect all people to Jesus so they can grow in faith and serve others.” In what ways do we see these three concepts – connect, grow, serve – being lived out by the early church in Acts 2:38-47? In what ways do we see these three concepts being lived out here at Concord?
- Read Romans 12:10, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24-25 and 1 Peter 4:9-10. Although our natural tendency is to be self-centered, believers are to reflect the nature of God by being more others-centered as seen in the above verses. Which of these do you find most difficult to live out? Why?
LIVE IT OUT
- In what ways are you currently participating in the Connect-Grow-Serve mission of Concord? How could you do that in a greater way this year?
- Who are the “others” that you encounter most often in your life? What is one thing you could do to be more aware of and loving to them this week?