Culture of We- Us- Biblical Community
- Us- Team, we, together, for each other, every person has a place, a role and responsibility
- We were planning on speaking to our core group
Acts 2:42 NIV 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Joseph Hellerman, When the church was a family
“The idea of salvation cannot be reduced to a personal relationship with Jesus. God’s plan is much more encompassing. God intends for salvation to be a community-creating event.”
What kind of church- relational- when I first got saved, church became family
Transaction or Relationship driven culture
Transaction- action of conducting business
- Church, family, friends
Relationship- the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.Connection is powerful and is essential. Connection in its essence is relationship- first with God and then each other.
Us must be relationship driven
Koinonia means fellowship
Koinonia is the definition of “US”
- It appears about 20 times in the NT
- Partnership. Participation, communion, fellowship, commitment- this is God’s design
Everyone talks about community
Biblical community or fellowship:
Real koinonia/fellowship/community is enticing and intimidating- we want the benefits without the demands
If we think of fellowship, small groups or community, I want us to think in terms of koinonia
It is the biblical idea of us- connection through something deeper
I have not always let people in
- It is why we get frustrated when God feels distant or we feel disconnected from others
- Not transactional but relational
- Young people want to be a part of something; older people want to give their life to something
Koinonia as fellowship
There are different ways to define Koinonia in English
Ist time in NT- Acts 2:42–47“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship(koinonia), to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Here are some other elements in a biblical community
43-47 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Koinonia is about commitment level to God and each other
Other aspects of Koinonia
Koinonia as generosity-
2 Cor 9:13 NKJV13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing (contribution) with them and all men,
Romans 15:26-27 NLT26 For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia[m] have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.
Story of P. Rice
Suffering Phil 3:10 NKJV that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
- Denial of flesh, stand for what is right, may lose popularity, may lose your job
What Fellowship Really Means
Biblical Community: Koinonia- Fellowship-US
Partaker or active participant in
- Whenever we are together- Interactive, interdependent ,fellowship, giving- material wealth but also anything that you may have another needs, sharing in suffering and or celebrate the blessing together, but in and through it all it is always about Jesus
What we are talking about involves a deeper level of fellowship than just getting together. Jesus the is the center and is the “all things in common” part and we are expected to participate, partake together. Not just be in attendance. It is life on life.
What I was going to share at the multisite: This message is much more difficult to make happen now
I want everyone to lay down any presuppositions of what you think the multisite should be. We will give our lives for what God wants to do, we will look at scripture and apply it to who we are and where we are today in Omaha, Nebraska.
- I am a team guy. I love “WE”- in this together, for each other, helping each person grow in Christ. All of the roles in our church will have this mindset.
- We are looking for contributors. We are looking for people who will give and share their lives for the Gospel every day. 1 Thes. 2:8 NKJV 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
- Us means being Authentic, real, honest, sacrificial- the only way this really works is if we are ok with friction and tension. It will be MESSY! We will disagree on things. We may not like each other at times. I will get on your nerves and you on mine. But we are family
- The people in this room have to make it happen. The success of this campus and the movement God wants to happen will be because of the relationships and commitment built in this room.
- The only way true community happens is when people take it personally.
- The health of any organization will always be determined when it can get past the question, “What about me?” To the question “What about us?”
- We are not going to be perfect. We cannot reproduce Eden. It may never be the perfect ideal of Acts 2:42-47 but…we can work toward it
- I don’t want to just do church. I want to work hard at being the church
This core group has responsibility in creating culture
I received this email after the message two weeks ago: How Can I help?
You guys are starting to talk to people about getting in the mess with people, and I guessing you are going to start getting some emails with messy stories. How can I help? What do you need from me? God didn’t walk me through all that for me to not help others walk out of it.
I make my own schedule, so I am open to anything.
Let me know how I can help advise, walk with, or anything else!
Love the direction you’re going, but as you said it’s going to get messy. I am willing to get my hands dirty.
2 Cor. 1:3-4 NLT 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Transactional Christianity vs Koinonia- relational
We have to begin on our staff. The to our teams.
We have to ask whether or not we have taught well and created the foundation for this
We have to ask if we are willing to live in biblical community- at home and with others
Are we willing to go deeper than surface level?
Are we willing to be generous with your life?
Are we willing to suffer for the cause of Christ?
Are we willing to be inconvenienced? Are you willing to be honest?
Are we willing to fight for the connection even when we disagree?
Are we willingness to submit our hearts to Holy Spirit?