Sunday October 4, 2020 | Teaching Notes | TMH Waterloo
Week 1: The MAKING of the Church
Week 2: The MEETINGS of the Church
Week 3: The MINISTRY of the Church
Week 4: The MISSION of the Church
Week 5: The MESSAGE of the Church
Week 6: The MULTIPLICATION of the Church
Song for kids: Knock, Knock, Knock
Knock, knock, knock!
I hear Jesus knocking.
Tug, tug, tug,
Tugging at my heart strings.
Thump, thump, thump,
My heart started thumping, when I heard him knocking.
Jesus stood outside my door,
Asking to come in.
But he would not step inside,
Until I asked him.
(Thump, thump, thump)
POSTURE PRAYER: FOR KIDS (… and adults too)
Surrender, Generosity, Mission | Link for pdf
- HOLD FISTS TIGHTLY
“God, sometimes I’m worried, nervous, or angry.”
OPEN HANDS AND RELAX: SURRENDER
“God, I trust you with everything.”
- CROSS OUR ARMS
“God, sometimes I don’t want to share and say: ‘No, that’s mine!’”
PUT OUR HANDS OUT: GENEROSITY
“God, I want to share everything I have.”
- HANDS AT SIDES
“God, Sometimes I don’t care about others or their feelings.”
EXTEND ARMS OUT: BEING ON MISSION
“God, I want to think about others!”
Week 4: The MISSION of the Church
What challenges did the early church face as they grew, matured, and expanded?
Welcome to week four of our six-week series about the making, meetings, and methods of the early church. We are drawing inspiration from the first-century church for the decisions and direction of our church today.
This week we look at the MISSION of the early church, with a focus on the challenges they faced as they grew, matured, and expanded. As the church is sent at the beginning of the book of Acts we read…
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Later in Acts, the Church has grown but so has opposition. Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” is stoned. A Pharisee, Saul, also known as Paul, stands in approval of this killing…
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. … Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Acts 8:1, 4)
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
APPETIZER: The Great Commission in two-parts
The Great Commission as missio Dei (mission of God)
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (v. 18)
- His rule and power are now over the whole cosmos.
- The whole world has now become the arena of God’s mission, beyond Israel and the church.
The Great Commission as Incarnation
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (v. 20)
- Jesus goes with his disciples into the world.
- We live, teach, disciple, and baptize under his authority.
- God’s work isn’t “generic” but concrete as the Spirit extends Christ’s presence visibly through the church into the world.
Our Purpose at The Meeting House
We exist to grow loving communities of Jesus-followers who live and share his irreligious message.
Or, in one word: discipleship.
Our Vision at The Meeting House
To introduce spiritually curious people to the Jesus-centred life, through a movement of Jesus-centred churches.
Or, in one word: evangelism.
(In a fully enfleshed and grace-filled, not “yell-y street-preacher sort of way)
DINE IN: The Church Scattered and The Church in Lukewarm Water
Acts 1:1–8 & 7:54–8:4
- It’s important to follow Jesus’ instructions! Remember that disciples are baptised with the Holy Spirit and in power.
- Don’t get confused with that the power actually is.
- Our key characteristic here is witnesses (see more, Rev. 3 below)
- The Church under persecution becomes scattered: “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” (8:4)
Luke-warmness in Laodicea
- Jesus is the faithful and true witness (Heb 1:1-3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being”).
- Jesus knows us and our deeds, whether hot or cold, whether rich and proud.
- Submission to Jesus is necessary; mutual submission to one another too.
- Jesus rebukes and disciplines those he loves.
- Jesus stands and knocks at your door, he’ll come in if we open the door.
TAKE OUT: Scattered and Still on Mission – Even in a Pandemic
If our mission is to participate with Jesus in his work — making disciples, being witnesses — what does that look like right now?
Remember who we are:
Baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Given Power (but not earthly, Acts 1:6).
Not Alone, but Together (with Jesus and one another) in the Spirit.
In your hospital room alone,
In the pain of your difficult marriage,
In the loneliness of living on your own,
In the busy and messy home with kids, and overwhelmed,
In the confusion, depression, and struggles with mental health
In the concerns of joblessness or financial struggle
In the concerns of running a business and responsibility over other’s employment.
In the persecution or martyrdom (of Stephen, Acts 8:55-56)
A Witness Tells a Story
A real and true story. Tell each other stories about God’s faithfulness.
E.g., When has God been present? When have you felt close and known that Jesus is with you? When have you felt the Spirit and power? When has the church made Jesus’ presence present?
Embracing the Now
“Make the most of every opportunity.” Col. 4:5
Except “the now” might be paralysis. What kind of paralysis are you feeling? Fear or comfort? Longing for the past? Share this with others; open up; make space for honest and real conversation. Take action, if you’re able. Be ready to give this be ready to hear encouragement or challenge.
Lukewarmness – What does this look like?
Story | Golf in itself is not fulfilling. Life over zoom is not good. Wired for getting in there and getting honest. Once we helped someone move, we got closer, people shared about their mental health, a shift in the group.
Knowing our brokenness and leaning on Christ and the Church is core.
From there, Grow and Give and Go all meet at “Together”:
“At that point in life where your talent meets the needs of the world, that is where God wants you to be.”Marcus Bach, often attributed to others.
We can come “together” but it’s hard. It’s a new culture and new place, it’s sometimes uncomfortable, with new custom and a new language (Jeremiah 29:4-10 – “Build houses and settle down”). And for those who literally can’t, let’s do church like it’s 1950.
Not everything is online!
Get in a huddle. Go for walks with others. Home Churches might meet in-person. Apple picking or farm visits with others? Outdoor skating? Let’s make it a party (of an appropriate size) and have fun.
Don’t do the “Nortel Nod”
Don’t listen to what you hear, nod in agreement, and then go off and what you were doing before or your own thing.
Have you Tried the Lord’s Supper Lately? Try it today at lunch.
I put together a simple communion prayer here
Reminder from Week 2: A FALL 2020 NEXT STEPS STARTER PACK
- Got questions? Ask your parish pastor.
- Inquire about baptism.
- Establish a (new) Sunday routine.
- Sign up for a Home Church when possible.
- Attend Home Church online and in person to grow and to give.
- Engage with your parish’s Compassion partners: MCRS and A4C!
- Contribute financially, if and when you can.
- Have fun!
Use these questions like a menu, not a checklist. This is not mandated material you have to cover, but options to help guide your discussion.
HANGOUT [Warming Up to the Topic – in one Large Group]
- What ideas stood out to you from this week’s teaching? Review the notes and discuss.
- How do you feel about our response at The Meeting House to this new season of pandemic distancing?
HEAR [Listening to God through Scripture – in Discussion Groups]
Read Acts 1:1–8 & 7:54–8:4.
- What verse or idea stands out to you? Why?
- What is the mission of the church? What does it mean to be a witness?
- Read Acts 1:8 and 8:1. What are the differences? What is relevant for us, the church today? How do we need to think about being the church in this moment?
- We’re obviously not actively persecuted by Covid-19, but we are “scattered” – we can’t be gathered in large collective settings. What can we do right now and how can we care for one another? What can we (huddles, Home Church, Hub, kidmax, youth, compassion) do to prepare for the day when we don’t have restrictions?
Read Revelation 3:14-22.
- What verse or idea stands out to you? Why?
- What are the criticisms of the Church in Laodicea? In what ways are they appropriate to the Church in Waterloo? In what ways are they appropriate to you/us?
- What is a rebuke or discipline Jesus is telling you in love?
- When does Jesus knock at the door? Give an example.
HUDDLE [Making it Personal and Praying Together – in Huddles]
- Tell one another stories of God’s faithfulness.
- What has God been saying to you this week? What encouragement or conviction have you sensed from this discussion? Talk about it and pray for one another.