Gateway Blog

Filter By:

Why Church? Why Is Connection So Important?

main image

This morning Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series "Why Church?" by focusing on why Connection is so important, looking at Ephesians 2:13-22.

[First, he did a commercial for an effort we'll be doing this year called "Deeper Higher."  We will be reading through the New Testament together, using a one-page daily devotional along with it.]

Last week, we learned that our character is a community project.  We are concentrating on building connections.

Why is connection so important?  We read Ephesians 2:13-22

Don't Miss This Principle #1:

Our connection to one another is a central part of God's purpose through Christ.

The central idea of Ephesians is unity, connection, community.  We need to be reminded of our need for connection and our calling to connection.

Notice what Paul asserts here:

Bringing unity to relationships is part of what God did through the cross.

This has always been God's purpose -- the cross was the high point.

In Jesus' prayer before his death, given in John 17, Jesus prays for us.  What does he pray for?  For unity.  "That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you."

The most important issue to Jesus was that we would be one.

Don't Miss This Principle #2:

Our connection to one another is fundamental to who we are.

See verses 19-22.  Together, WE are God's temple.

You don't have Christianity if you don't have WE.

We're like an atom -- not like a lone electron spinning around Jesus.

Connection is fundamental to who we are -- especially as followers of Christ.

I'm in Christ.  Because of that, I'm in community.

What if God's main purpose in having me in NoVa isn't my job or home -- but my connections?

Church isn't a building.  It's a network of connections between people who love and follow Christ.

We all have a church.  (Your family is the most important part of your church.)  Is it a God-honoring one?

Because of this, we plead with you:  Step in!

Let Gateway Community Church feel the whole weight of you.  Even your weirdness or hardness or faults.

We're becoming a dwelling in which God lives.  When we get together, God's Spirit is here.

Meandering to Missional: Devoting Ourselves

main image

On Sunday, Pastor Ed Allen continued the sermon series on "Meandering to Missional" by looking at the early church as presented in Acts 2:42-47.

They were not meandering.  They weren't commanded to do all these things.  They needed to excavate space in their lives for God to move.  The result was what's described in Acts 2.

"devoted" -- occupied diligently with

They were devoted to hearing about Jesus, remembering what Jesus did, and to hearing from God, talking to God.

"fellowship" -- association, partnership, close relationship, community

They diligently occupied themselves with community.

The apostles were doing amazing things among them.

"had everything in common" -- and gave to anyone who had need

Sometimes we think the essence of religion is doing good and knowing the Bible.  But that's not the heart of it.

The heart of religion is found in John 13:34-35.  Our religion is about loving one another.

Being connected to others in healthy and beneficial ways that show the world what God is like.

Gateway's mission:

"We exist to be used by God to draw others into authentic Christian community."

Stop meandering and join us in this mission!

If you devote yourself to community, when the crisis comes, you get the payoff.

Ephesians 4:3-6 -- Make every effort!

Two requirements:

1)  We need to be connected to God through Jesus Christ.  He gives the unity of the Spirit.

2)  We participate.  We make every effort and devote ourselves to fellowship.

Homework:

1)  Ask yourself if you're all in.

Are you making every effort to have community?

Are you all in with Gateway?  If yes, we need to feel the weight of you.

2)  Take the next right step.

This will vary for each person.

***

After this message, we celebrated the Lord's Supper together.

Previous12