We all find community in different places. Maybe you belong to a garden club, a hunting club, or a drama club. Maybe you have an online group where you play games or share cooking tips. Or maybe you just have a close group of friends that you have known your whole life. We can have all sorts of communities that we participate in, but what makes a community Christian?

As you might imagine, the Bible has a lot to say about Christian community! We could probably look at a different aspect of Christian community every week of the year and still not finish by 2018. But sometimes looking at something in its most basic form helps to bring clarity about what it really is. In Acts 2:42–47, we are given a snapshot of the earliest Christian community in Jerusalem. In these short six verses, we zero in on the daily practices that led this small band of believers to turn the whole world upside down: Bible study, sharing life together, breaking bread together, praying, and reaching out. The depiction of community in Acts 2:42–47 is not only descriptive; it is prescriptive. It prescribes specific practices for all Christian communities. It gives us a vision of what Christian community has been and what it might be today.

As we begin 2017, I want us to lay the foundation for what we are called to do and be as a Christian community in Thomasville. Over the next six weeks, we will be exploring five essential marks of Christian community. What does the Bible have to tell us about how we can be a Christian community for the city of Thomasville? We will begin this preaching series on January 15th by casting a vision for an Ancient/Future community. What I mean by that is a community that is rooted in what the Church has always been AND has a clear vision for what the Church might become. Sometimes the best way to look forward is by looking back. As Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The challenges of our present age and culture are nothing new. We need to recover the practices of the early Church for the mission of today.

I am providing all of the topics and Scripture readings for the preaching series so that you can start reading these passage of Scripture and thinking about each of these five marks of Christian community. How would 2017 be different for Trinity Anglican Church if we all shared the same vision for Christian community? What could God do through us for Thomasville?

Preaching Series: Five Marks of Christian Community

  Topic O.T. Psalm N.T. Gospel
January 15: An Ancient /Future Community Exodus 6: 1-7 Psalm 119:
33-40
Act 2:42-47 Matthew 18:15-20
January 22: Scripture
in Community
 

2 Kings 22:10-20

 

Psalm 119:105-122

 

 

2 Timothy
3:10-17

 

Luke 4:14-30

January 29: Fellowship
in Community
Deuteronomy 15:1-18 Psalm 30 Acts 4:32-37 Mark 3:31-35
February 5: Breaking of Bread
in Community
Isaiah 25:1-9 Psalm 23 1 Corinthians 10:15-22 Matthew 26:26-30
February 12:  Prayer
in Community
2 Kings 19:14-19 Psalm 61 James 4:1-8a Matthew 6:5-15
February 19:  Reaching out
in Community
Isaiah 49:1-6 Psalm 1 Acts 1:4-8 Matthew 28:16-20