In Acts 2, we see an early glimpse of the christian community.
 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV) Acts 2:42–47
These followers of Jesus were committed to the teaching of God’s Word, prayer, they had an awe for God, a generous spirit, and a love for each other. This section is often appropriately titled “The Fellowship of the Believers”. They devoted themselves to God’s Word and to each other.
The word “fellowship” refers to friendly association over common interests. In this case, the common interest they had is what Jesus had done in their lives. The gospel brought them together, just like it brings us together on Sunday morning to open God’s Word and worship God together.
This coming Sunday evening, we’re coming together as a family so we can continue to get to know one another and develop deeper relationships outside of our normal Sunday morning gathering. We’re going to enjoy eating together, getting to know one another, having fun together, and hopefully meet people outside of our family who need to hear the love of Jesus. It’s just a small part of what a Christian community looks like. And Christian community is vital to the life of the Christian.Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says,
“It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren”.
We need each other as we all grow in our relationship with Jesus. We want to provide opportunities for you to get to know other people within our church. Often, there is not enough time to build meaningful relationships with people on a typical Sunday morning. The Acts 2 church understood Christian Fellowship to be more than a Sunday morning gathering. We want to see relationships that exists outside of Sunday morning. Because of the Gospel, we can connect with other people in our community.
So here is why we have Family Dinners:
It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.
Family Dinner is designed to be a casual atmosphere that allows for easy conversation. If you see someone eating that you don’t know, sit down and eat with them. If you see someone off to themselves, strike up a conversation with them. Introduce yourself. Don’t wait for them to come to you; take the initiative. It may be the start of a new friendship.
It’s an opportunity to bring someone with you.
Many people won’t come to church, but they will come to the park with a friend. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend. Not only will you get to spend time with them, but they’ll also get to meet people from our church. Reach out to a few friends over the next few days and invite them out to Family Dinner. (Don’t forget to mention the free dinner!)
It’s an opportunity to encourage someone to join your LifeGroup.
Community isn’t a one time event; it’s an ongoing relationship. Our LifeGroups are designed so you can connect to other people while you grow in God’s Word. Not everyone attends a LifeGroup, so if you know someone that doesn’t attend your group, invite to join you! The Fall semester of LifeGroups begins on August 22nd. Maybe what someone needs is to be personally invited to a LifeGroup; to know they are welcome to attend.
It’s an opportunity to meet someone that isn’t a part of our church.
While we are at the park, there will be many people enjoying an evening at the park with their family. You’ll cross their path, but don’t ignore them. Say hi, invite them over for free hotdogs and drinks, ask how you can pray for them, invite them to church, and more importantly, share the good news of the Gospel with them. We may have the opportunity to welcome people into our family. A family made up of broken people redeemed by Jesus Christ.
So come Sunday at 10am and then come out this Sunday night at 5pm to Ronnie Van Zant Park and enjoy free dinner and a time with other families from Grace Life. I hope to see you there!
By His Grace,