Current Worship Series

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“EKKLESIA” – August 9th – September 6th

Theme: What does being a community of faith look like?

Ekklesia is the Greek word for a gathering of people; an assembled group of individuals who are stronger together than they are apart.  We are not called to live out our faith in an individualistic or isolated fashion. God has wired us to be in relationship.  This is core to who we are as followers of Christ.  What does it mean to be a community of faith?  How do we live out these core principles on our faith journey?  Let’s look to the story of Paul’s experiences with Barnabas, Timothy, Silas and the Apostles for what it means to truly be an ekklesia.
 

August 9th – “One Community”

Acts 4:32-37 – Theme: Being one community means committing to one another as much as we do to God.

We are meant to be in community and to share our lives with each other, but does this mean we are only meant to do that based on skin color,  zip code, who we love, or even our preferred style of music?  Our human tendency is to gravitate towards people who think like us, who talk like us, who look like us.  But ekklesia is about a gathering of people who believe in one another, share encouragement and learn from each other, and ultimately reflect and live out the love, grace, and hope of Christ together.  This requires a commitment not only to God, but to the community of faith itself.
 

August 16th – “Belief In One Another”

Acts 9:19b-30 – Theme: Belief in others requires acceptance, listening and trust.

Who are those who have had a significant impact on your life? They probably displayed definitive belief in you. So where would you be in your life right now if they had never invested in you?  This is an essential part of being an ekklesia.  One short sentence in the middle of a grand story about the struggles of Saul illustrates to us the need for someone like Barnabas.  Barnabas extended acceptance, listening and trust to Saul at a time when Saul was still viewed with skepticism by others.  So where do we need to extend belief in others?  Let’s find someone that we can be a ‘Barnabas’ to as well.
 

August 23rd – “Shared Learning”

Acts 13:1-4 – Theme: True relationships mean sharing experiences, gifts and learning together.

The best kind of learning happens in a shared environment where both parties are involved, not a one-way exchange. With ekklesia, what we see is that the best kind of community is one where sharing occurs among those with various backgrounds, experiences, and gifts. Barnabas and Paul did not have the same skill set.  What made their initial missionary efforts so successful was how they shared these gifts. In the end, the experiences are more alive and impactful because everyone was involved and learning together.
 

August 30th – “When Conflict Arises”

Acts 15:36-40 – Theme: Cooperation and forgiveness lead to restored relationships. 

Unity in any ekklesia is what we hope for and desire; however, it is rarely ever fully achieved.  Whenever a group of people are brought together, conflict is bound to arise.  In fact, we can count on there being conflict. Even Paul and Barnabas experienced differences of opinion, to the point that they went their separate ways. So, what do we do about conflict in a community of faith?  Paul strongly suggests we deal with it.  The first step in finding unity anywhere is through cooperation and forgiveness, as we move towards restored relationships.
 
September 6th – “Accountability”

Acts 18:1-8 – Theme: Collective accountability brings about spiritual freedom.

Within any ekklesia, collective accountability is of upmost importance, but this doesn’t take place by accident.  We must be honest with one another, becoming truth-tellers in a way that leads to a collective sense of freedom from all the hurdles that keep us from thriving as a community of faith.  While there are times where the truth can hurt, people who love one another will share things that others may not want to hear, but need to hear.  But this isn’t about hurting others feelings, for what makes this ‘collective accountability’ happen is that ‘truth-telling’ occurs among everyone, as together we find spiritual freedom and become a stronger ekklesia.