I love to get the chance to brag about our little church family! Our group has taken it to heart that Jesus’s example of coming to “seek and save the lost” was an example for everyone to follow. It hasn’t taken special programs and nagging sermons, but a people of God’s word who can see the need for others to be a part of this special group that was bought with the most precious blood. Evangelism, in this group, can be seen in how they are continually studying and growing, how they live their lives outside of regular meetings with the church, and how they love their brethren.
Luke 6:45 says, “”The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” It is easy to see that this group of people fills their hearts with what is good-God’s word. They are such good examples of always being in God’s word. They come to classes with questions from their studies throughout the week. They’ve read and studied and prepared themselves for the Bible classes, and they’ve striven to change their lives to conform to God’s word. According to God, when people fill their hearts up with what is good, it will overflow out of their mouths. This is the foundation of being able to reach others for Christ.
Sometimes I think it would be great if we could just read and study God’s word all day, fellowship with the church, and not ever have to venture outside of our safe little bubbles. Reality is, though, that we have other things going on in our lives as well, like jobs, families, neighbors, grocery shopping, school, etc. This is where I’ve seen our little group shine. They are hardworking people out in the world, doing their best to live for Jesus. They are the ones who are taking cookies to their neighbors and volunteering at the hospital and praying for their coworkers. They are the ones who don’t give up on their non-Christian relatives and friends. They are the ones who make friends with the waitress in the restaurant or the cashier at the store and invite them to church. They are the ones who sit by their ailing loved one’s side, reading them the bible and teaching them about Jesus. Because of that great foundation they have laid each day in study, they can’t help but let it overflow in their lives outside of the church.
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When a whole group of people lives their lives to please Jesus, they look like the body of Christ that is described in Scripture. I love the end of Acts 2, verses 46-47 that describes the church in the first century. “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” I love that I get to witness this in our congregation. The church here loves to be together! The bible classes are deep and soul searching at times, and cause us to laugh and have fun at others. The church checks in on one another throughout the week. When someone is sick or hurting, people reach out to help. A full worship service has been brought to shut-ins weekly. The church here eats lunch together every Sunday, and it makes it easy to invite visitors to stay and fellowship. A recent visitor described this group as “happy.” Like the Hebrew writer says in 10:24-25, the church really does stimulate one another to love and good deeds…and encourage one another. The church’s love for one another helps to keep the group heaven bound.
By many standards, this church doesn’t look like much. It’s a small group that meets in a small town, but the impact this group has on the world is powerful. They are a light in the community. In the past few years, members have taught family members in other towns who have taught others. Members have taught people on their deathbeds, reached out and taught their coworkers. Members who were on their deathbeds were still influencing others to become Christians. Because of these examples and others, our little congregation is growing. Why? They are imitating that first century church, “…continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” Acts 2:42. People are just being Christians, just like they were in the Bible.
by Heidi Sprouse
Heidi Sprouse is proud to be married to Steven, the preacher for the Rocky Ford church of Christ, Rocky Ford, CO. They have two teenagers, Hannah and Caleb. Heidi can’t wait to see all that her children will do for the Lord.