Posted tagged ‘Doctrine’

The Missing “The”

March 31, 2008

Sunday morning we talked about the fact that in Acts 2:42, there are four activities which the early church participated in when the met at the temple.  Each one, in the original language, starts with the definite article–the.  There is THE Apostles teaching, THE fellowship, THE breaking of THE bread and THE Prayer.  I mentioned how strange it is that today, in many churches, the liturgy includes the THE in several elements of the service.  For example, many bulletins refer to THE Pastoral Prayer, THE Lord’s Supper, THE Preaching of the Word (or THE Sermon).  What you don’t find is, THE Fellowship.

Interestingly, THE fellowship is not only missing from our services today, so is the “gladness and singleness of heart” which is mentioned in the following verses.  We will talk more about this on Wed. evening at our “outing.”

I also asked the question, where in the Bible do you find the mission of the church?  Most people believe it is in the Great Commission.  Wed. evening we will talk about why the Great Commission is more a method to fulfill the mission that it is the mission itself.  Check out Ephesians 3 for a better statement of the mission.

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Be an Aca-Prac

January 26, 2008

This week at worship planning we coined a new word–aca-prac. It came out of our discussion of the dynamic of teaching and doing, or putting into practice. I remarked that many churches “major” on either teaching for teaching sake, or going out and “loving” and “serving,” for loving and serving sake. Paul says that both are required. We have to know what we believe to keep from being tossed to and fro. Being tossed around either stops our serving, or gives us a wrong attitude towards it. Likewise, it is wrong to just learn, learn, learn, without putting our gifts into service.

It seems to me that many of us begin our faith in one of the two types of churches mentioned above. Then, when we find out that there is more to the faith than just learning or serving, we switch to a church where the part of our spiritual life that was missing is focused on. This also leaves us with a bad taste for those who haven’t yet been enlightened.

Along comes a church that stresses both, and we tend to see it as dangerously calling us back to whatever we have seen as incomplete. For example, if we left a teaching church for a doing church, if we get to a church that stresses both, we will be on guard that it is not just another teaching church. Likewise, if we left a serving church for a teaching church, we will suspect that a balanced church is really unbalanced towards service. Do you see how it works?

So, our goal at Connections is to take “academics” and introduce them to the outlets for their learning. The same way, we want those who are eager to serve to first learn. What we want are Aca-Pracs. We’ll talk more about this on Sunday.