I had the opportunity to do some consulting work with a church recently. I spent a day with some of their team and much of the conversation was about how they can be more intentional in reaching people who do not already consider themselves a Christian or have a connection with Jesus. I shared some of the things I’ve been learning through my experiences with Communion Wine Co and The Forest and the Trees podcast.
One of the worship leaders asked me an interesting question. Do we ever have worship at our Communion events? I said we hadn’t, but it was something we’d considered. Since then, I’ve found myself thinking about that question and wondering about the essential elements of church or christian community.
It takes me back to the book of Acts. While I’m not one who thinks we need to recreate some first-century model of church, I do think it’s worth learning from.
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”Acts 2:42
The four elements they focused on were:
- sharing meals
That’s a pretty basic formula, especially as ‘fellowship’ is a broad concept. What’s notably missing on this list is singing. I actually think the singing part of a worship service has the chance to ignite someone’s imagination and emotions toward God.
We have examples of Jesus singing (Mt. 26:30; Mk. 14:26). But we don’t really have any examples of Jesus asking us to sing to Him. The closest we get is the Apostle Paul who sang (Acts 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:15) and instructed believers to do so too (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 14:26). James encourages it as well (Ja. 5:13).
I’ll have to keep processing the singing part, but I’m intrigued by what kind of new experiences we can create involving teaching, fellowship, sharing meals, and prayer. It’s time to use our imaginations for the church and start creating new things.
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