1 Corinthians 1:4 says, “We always thank God for you”. And having been away I’m always thankful for the people of Holland Road as we come back. I am praying that as we come into a new Autumn term, we will continue to grow as people who follow Jesus, reach out and who are an extended family that does everything in love. People who are free to live not for themselves, but for God and for others.
These things are not isolated objectives but intricately linked and need to be held together. The best way we have found for doing this is through communities.
Laura and I are seeking to lead such a community in our area called the Robin Hood Community. It’s a community where we expect and anticipate that new people will often be there. We try to together deepen our upward connection with Christ, our inward connection with one another, and our outward connection with those who don’t yet know Christ. (I use a simple UP/IN/OUT triangle to help me remember this). All three parts are important for real living in communities and all three need to be held together. In 1 Corinthians 1:4-10 each of these aspects can be found.
Part of what helps us hold them together is engaging with the scriptures in a way that is accessible to those seeking to know more about the Christian faith. So as part of our community we have a Bible study every few weeks – that we try to make accessible to all who want to come.
I believe the Word of God helps us both connect with Christ and grow closer together, as well as being one of the main means God uses to help those who don’t know Christ come to know Him.
Recognising that all the different communities reach out in different ways, we are looking this Autumn to bring a sense of togetherness in our diversity by all studying the book of 1 Corinthians. This will tie in to a sermon series beginning on September 22nd (also on the book of 1 Corinthians) called “Real Living”.
Strengthening Sundays & communities
The studies will be flexible for use in the diversity of communities that there are. They will also be helpful for people who don’t come to the morning service on Sunday, but will compliment it well for those that do. This could even be an opportunity to strengthen the connections between communities and Sundays: both by things learnt on Sundays being passed and shared to others in communities, and in a natural opportunity to talk to people in communities about what is happening on Sundays.
I do pray that God will use this Autumn to help us grow in our following of Jesus, our reaching out and our being an extended family that does everything in love, particularly in our communities. I pray that we would grow in our sense of togetherness with one another and with Christ in mission.
Yours together in Christ,