JOIN US FOR WORSHIP
Worship isn’t about performance; it’s about participation. This Worship Guide serves as a weekly resource as we join in singing, praying, and celebrating the work God is doing in our community. Whether you’re at the Lyric Theatre or tuning into our live stream, we’re so glad you are joining us!
Let’s jump in.
Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are… “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
Acts 15:1-11,19 NIV
HOME CHURCH: GROWING TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY
Start your time together by having a few people share where they’ve seen God at work in their lives throughout the week.
God is not contained to a service or a building. We want to live with the expectation that God is present and at work in the everyday stuff of our lives. We listen, join him in his work, and share stories of how he’s moving!
Studying The Scriptures Together
Each week, we approach the Scriptures with 4 primary questions:
1. What does this tell us about God?
2. What does this tell us about ourselves?
3. How does this help us love
4. How can we put this into practice?
These questions help guide our conversation around the Scripture each week, and encourage us to move beyond knowledge and into action together.
1. The Pharisees and Jewish Christians’ message to the Gentile believers was this: If you want to be Christian, you have to believe/live/act like us. What are some of the cultural, religious, or political barriers that you’ve seen hinder people from coming to Christ? How can we recognize our own cultural tendencies that might stand in the way?
2. Ephesians 5:21 calls us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” What would a family of believers look like that continuously and communally brings their cultural baggage to the cross? How do we find unity without uniformity?
How You Can Pray:
Philippians 2:1-4 tells us: “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Because we see in part, pray for humility and clarity – that God would open your eyes to the ways your cultural background might be a hindrance to others meeting Jesus. Pray for others in your community who think, act, or vote differently from you.
NEXT STEPS AND RESOURCES
I read/listen to everything Mark Sayers writes. He’s one of the most godly and astute cultural minds in the Christian community. He’s a pastor from Australia who I lean on a great deal in helping me understand the cultural currents of our day. This is a great and encouraging word from him!