19. Being Part of The Way
This conversation is another very practical one. The point of it is to get your disciple thinking about how they can practically contribute to the life of the fellowship and the community. By now, they are ready to start finding meaningful ways to give into the life that they are getting so much from. Encourage them to identify those things during this conversation.
You are also going to brooch the issue of giving. You don't have to cover it in depth in this conversation. We have a whole conversation coming up devoted to the subject. But introduce it here.
Finally you are going to touch on the idea of receiving correction and discipline - how do they feel about that?
Being a part of the Way is not like joining a club. It is a spiritual community and family who's existence has been made by God. The Way is a local expression of God's family and Jesus' Body.
The Church is the Body of Christ
The Church is Jesus’ own body on the earth. The Bible says,
"God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself."
Question: What does that mean?
Think of your own body. Your head tells the rest of your body what to do. If you want your arm to pick something up, it does it. If you want to step on something, your foot obeys the command. It is the same with the Church. We are the representatives of who Jesus is and what He wants done in the world. That means, when people ask the question, “Who is Jesus?”, they can look to the Church and find their answers.
"... all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved."
"After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness."
The Church Needs You
This is a wonderful responsibility. Being Jesus’ body means we act like He acts and tell others about Him. The Bible asks this question,
"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
This is the main goal of the Church—to tell others about Jesus that they too may be saved and added to God’s family. You have an important role to play your part. Maybe God gave you the gift of singing so that you can sing about Him to others. Or maybe He made you to be a teacher and teach people about Jesus. Whatever role God has made you to play is a very crucial one, and His body cannot function at its best without you.
"The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all."
Question: How does it help you to think of the church as Jesus' body? When others observe The Way, do they see Jesus?
What does this look like practically?
For everyone who considers themselves part of The Way family, there are some basic expectations of relational behaviour.
A committed relationship with a House Church
The house church is the primary expression of relational commitment in The Way
Regular engagement here is how we measure those who are "part of the family"
A "committed" relationship looks like this - if you are not there, you are expecting that you will be missed, left a "hole" and others in the group will be asking after you. You would feel you need to explain to others your non attendance.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."
An active way you serve the community
Like any community, contributing from your time and effort into the life of the community is important in The Way as well. Although we are not a traditional church structure (we don't have rosters and programs like many other churches do) there are many ways you can contribute:
- Find a way to contribute in your house church
- Offer to organise communion or tea and coffee each week
- Offer to pick up people who may not have transport
- Offer to host the house church at your place
- Come early to help the host prepare
- Contribute into our larger meetings like without walls
- Help those who setup the equipment
- Take an interest in learning how to drive some of the technical equipment
- Offer to help with communion, taking up offering or greeting people at the front door.
- Get involved in the daily life of community
- Help out with our food bank, packing or delivering boxes of food
- Take an interest in someone who you think might be a bit lonely and offer to take them out for a coffee - make a new friend
- Ask someone to be your prayer partner and meet once a week for prayer
- Go to more than one meeting a week - the more the better!
- Find a way to serve (our very busy!) leaders or a member of the community in some practical way
... offer to mow their lawn or do their garden or cook a meal
Question: Have you found a way to contribute into the life of The Way yet? is there anything that you think you would like to do?
There is a lot to cover on this subject so it will be covered later, but as believers and followers of Christ, we give to God out of gratefulness and thanks and to see the Kingdom expand.
Question: How do you feel about giving money to God?
Regular Attendance of our Large Gatherings
A secondary expression of a healthy Christian life is the gathering together with your broader family - this also needs to be a priority in your life. Just as you take time to get together with your house church - the gathering together of the The Way at meetings like Without Walls should be a priority.
A submitted and teachable attitude
Correction, direction and discipline are all going to come the way of someone who decides to be a disciple of Jesus.
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