The Challenges in a Changing Environment
Before I get to the exciting ways in which Gospel Change has shaped Village Church to this point, I want to explore how the Gospel speaks into the difficult question of change.
Apart from the unfortunate incident with Ananias and Sapphira, and a few pieces of brutal persecution from the outside world, the early church community is often pictured as idyllic. Rapid growth, open acceptance, a communal lifestyle evidenced by dynamic Gospel focused times of gatherings.
Over the past couple of years Village Church has changed. It still has the same biblical mandate and focus that existed when we first started – to grow followers of Jesus in inner city Brisbane – and the same DNA that shapes how and why we do things. But Village has changed in size, in make–up, in what we run, who we run it for, how you might be engaged with it and probably a hundred other little ways only you might notice. Some of these changes you might rejoice in. Others you might not. But as with any question we face as Christians, the question worth considering is:
As Christians and a Christian community, how do we grapple with and understand change?
Having done the first half of Acts this year, I want to explore this question from Acts 10–11. What we’ll see is the challenges we’re experiencing, while hard, are nothing new. But the ultimate challenge (as seen in the early church) is working out how the Gospel transforms how we view and react to these changes.
There’s three parts to this discussion.
The first part was already published as a PDF, but if you haven’t read it, you can see it here.