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Growing Pains (Part 3 of 4)

If you’ve read the past two posts on the challenges of growing at Village (Don’t feel like you have to know everyone and Village is bigger, but that’s not bad(der))…thanks! Here’s the third request:

Don’t give up on Sundays

As our community grows, it’s easy to think you won’t be missed, or you’re not that important, to our Sunday meetings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Two reasons.

First, getting together is important for us.

Let’s be honest (and I can say this as the guy who gives most of the talks) off the top of my head I can give you a dozen podcasts of preachers that give better, more insightful, more engaging talks than I do on Sundays.

So my primary reason for saying it’s important for you (& me!) to come on Sunday night isn’t because you’ll hear the greatest bible talk in the world, but because we’ll hear it together. And we’ll sing about it together. And we’ll bring our needs, and the needs of the world, before God together. And we’ll talk about it and discuss it afterwards together.

There’s that great verse in Hebrews 10:24-25 that says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

You might be able to hear God’s Word at home by yourself. But you can’t encourage others, they can’t encourage you, we can’t hear God’s Word together and talk about it’s implications for our lives, and the lives of God’s people at Village Church, and the implications for our city – and spur each other on toward love & good deeds.

Getting together is important for us – you, me, the person you sit next to on Sunday night, the person you catch up with during the week for coffee – because it allows us to sit under God’s Word together, be shaped and shape each other.

Second, getting together is important for others.

“But” some would say “I could do all that just with my growth group, or my friends.” True. But here’s what would be missing. The demonstration to this world that Christianity isn’t just about us, those we like, those like us, and those we feel comfortable with. What would be missing is the demonstration that God is creating one people – from all different types – through the Gospel, in Jesus.

In Ephesians, just after describing how we are saved (by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ), Paul describes what’s happened between the Jew & Gentile Christians. That what used to separate them no longer does. He puts it like this – “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.”

What he’s saying is that their unity (which he’ll unpack Ephesians 4) is a demonstration of the Gospel. Different people, who normally wouldn’t be seen dead together, coming together to give thanks to the same God who saved them, to love & encourage one another, to spur one another on.

This is the second reason. Gathering together on Sundays, as one people, from all different backgrounds & situations & countries & age & stage, is a declaration to our city of Brisbane, that there’s something greater than ourselves. There’s the one who saved us and made us his children.