Recently we (The Bridge Church) just finished up a sermon series called “ReLearn: Lessons from the Early Church”. This series was taken mainly from the book of Acts and was designed to help us refocus on the true characteristics of the church, (the church being God’s church not a flavor of religion or style), and try to start incorporating those characteristics into the vision, DNA, and mission of not only the Bridge Church, but into the life of each and every believer. I learned so much from this series. It is not that any one topic was so revolutionary or fresh or new, it was that we were taking old principles and discovering that the goal of the church isn’t really to be fresh, cool, trendy, or contemporary, but to literally relearn how to organize, function, and operate as Christians. Obviously you need to be fresh, cool, and contemporary because Christ called us to be all things to all men and our focus is to reach those far from God or who have never known God, but being trendy isn’t the main focus.
This past Sunday pastor talked about the “All Inclusive God” and how if Peter would’ve had his way (Peter representing the religious and the elite), the conversion of Cornelius would never have happened and the hunger and passion that burned inside Cornelius would never have been realized. How many times have we disregarded someone who was passionate about God and hungry for God because they didn’t measure up to the standards or beliefs or sacred cows that we hold so dear to? There is nothing unclean if God calls it clean. He is for people, so you better be about your Father’s business, the people business. The Bridge church will be all inclusive. It doesn’t matter what your race, ethnicity, financial status, educational status, religious background, or career choice is, there is a place for you. As we enter into our Grand Opening season, the ReLearn Series was an important compass with which to get direction from. We will not turn the world upside down if we don’t relearn how to be a Christian.
Christianity isn’t about a building. So many people are locked into the thinking that church is a building. This makes me absolutely crazy! I know that I can get a witness from all church planters out there who are nomads meeting in high school gyms, masonic halls, golf courses, country clubs, libraries, homes, and pretty much any place that is the right price and also has indoor plumbing. We do have some standards: toilets (nonnegotiable) although, we do know the early church wouldn’t have even cared about that. When are we going to get out of our comfort zones? I read a statistic that 33% of the world currently calls itself Christian and that in 1900 33% of the world called itself Christian. Why aren’t those numbers growing? Where is the fervor that says, “I want to be one of those that turns the world upside down”?
We need to learn to not just live on the emotion of passion where we only act on the great commission and we only sacrifice like the early church when we’re pumped and primed and feel like it, but we need to find the passion that fuels us in the down times and in the apathetic times and in the times where we really just don’t care anymore. We need the same passion that Christ had. He didn’t want to drink the bitter cup of death. He fought it. He prayed about it. He sweated drops of blood over it. However, He did it. He took on our sin and endured the cross. We need to cry out for that same passion. We need the passion of Paul, the passion of Timothy, and the spunk of Peter. You need to ReLearn how to do church and how to be a Christian.
I am thankful for a Pastor that is willing to do a 2 month sermon series on the Early Church. The multiplication of the gospel will only happen when we quit being satisfied adding slowly to our church and expecting people to come to us. I want an Early Church church. I want a church that is added to daily, that gives generously, and that loves unconditionally. Do we have a ways to go? Sure we do. We technically haven’t even had our grand opening yet, however, what happens during the gestational period is what determines the health of a birth. If we can grasp the concepts we’ve been taught and the passion and vision that Pastor is unveiling, the birth of the Bridge church and the future growth of the Bridge Church will be supernatural. Let’s be devoted to fellowship, to prayer, to unity, to outreach, and to rejoicing. Acts 2:47 “The Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.”