Evangelism: Community

“Community”

A series on evangelism

Alec Wallis

25 September 2016

Acts 2:42-47


Question: What does it mean to be a part of a community?

1)     Understanding communities

In this passage we see the first church or community of believers created

We are also introduced to the word Koinonia, translated in English as fellowship, which appears first here in the Bible

Koinōnía – properly, what is shared in common as the basis of fellowship (partnership, community)

Appears later in Paul’s writings too

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have FELLOWSHIP with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

We therefore have fellowship with each other and with Christ

The Bible emphasises the importance of community

Let us not give up meeting together

Hebrews 10:25

We are called to be in fellowship with one another in the community of the church

Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people.

Charles Spurgeon

Community is the context in which we connect with each other

There are additional communities we find ourselves in

Biblical community is first of all the sharing of a common life in Christ.

Jerry Bridges

Other ways of defining community are:
– geographic e.g. Hurstville, Sydney, Australia
– cultural e.g. family, ethnic, national
– social e.g. friends, school, sports team, work, church

2)     Hurstville community

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

This is how we should truly see people in our community

Paul was saying that there was unity for all who have Christ

This means that those who do not have Christ and those who do should be how we distinguish each other when it comes to evangelism.

Demographics of Hurstville

Based on figures from the last census, 52.5 per cent of Hurstville’s population reported their heritage as Chinese. Other suburbs came close – Burwood (41 per cent), Eastwood (36.5 per cent) and Haymarket (36 per cent) – but none tipped the scales past halfway.

Sydney Morning Herald

With more than half of its residents reporting Chinese ancestry, it is the only suburb across all of NSW where one community of non-English migrants outnumbers everyone else combined.

Sydney Morning Herald

While we should see people not by their ethnic background but if they are saved or not – how was share the gospel must be cultural relevant e.g. in the heart language.

A NZ church surrounded by Taiwanese migrants who did not see the need for a Chinese speaking congregation or even an English class. They thought that people could learn English by attending a service

Partnership with GCCC

3)     Our church community

Coming back to the passage in Acts

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved

This passage is a great checklist for what we should have in our church

Teaching

Fellowship

Communion

Prayer

Holy Spirit

Generosity

Meeting together

Eating together

Joy

Praise

+

God adds to them

It is not the fact that we are united in common goals or purposes that makes us a community. Rather, it is the fact that we share a common life in Christ.

Jerry Bridges

Our role as a church is to invite people into our community

The spring fair was a great occasion for our church to connect with members of the Hurstville community

Challenge: To continue in fellowship with our church community and invite others to join us