In the very beginning, there were only a few “church planters” so, you would expect the churches to look similar. Oh no! Divisions are part of our sinful human nature and we can see them in the disciples, before Jesus was even crucified. Paul is very clear in his letter to Colossae that because we are IN Christ, we are no longer divided but all part of one body. How ridiculous would you look if your left big toe picked a fight with your right ear?
As an individual believer, you are walking with Jesus and learning how to be like Him, but this is not on our own - we are all doing this together. The Bible has much to say about strength in numbers (Ecclesiastes 4:12) and even more to say about being “God’s people”. The commandments are all about our relationships -with God and with each other. Jesus’ ministry time was spent either with God the Father in prayer, or with people. So how will you grow in Christ without other people? We need to be committed to staying and growing together as a church because that’s how we become more like Jesus.
We need people at all stages of their journey with God so that we never get stagnant and forget the joy of receiving Christ, of helping another find Christ and of building lives centred on Him over months, years and decades. Let us be filled with awe and wonder of how God can transform a person’s life.
Paul gives us clear instructions and lists in Colossians 3 on how to take our next step in growing together:
- Clothe ourselves in God qualities. This is a conscious choice -your jeans do not magically appear on your legs, you must choose to put them on! No baby is born with these qualities either, they grow with practice.
- Compassionate hearts
- Meekness (“quiet strength” MSG)
- Bearing with another
- Forgiving each other. God has forgiven us for every single sin, so that we can have a relationship with Him and so, we must forgive others and restore our relationships. This is also a choice and sometimes we need to make it again and again. Are you feeling angry with someone else in the church? Choose to forgive them and never stop praying that God will show you when you need to forgive. Forgiveness sets us apart from the world and extending it to others helps us grow.
- Put on LOVE. Do you need to rekindle your love for God? For His word? For His people? The love Jesus showed us is not a Hallmark-card sentiment but a choice, to act for us when we needed Him.
- We are called in ONE BODY. Is this the year that you join a connect group, a course at the Bible college or try a serving team? C3 SYD is a big church and it can take some time to grow roots like trust. You might be in a new season of life and need something different. Don’t give up! Just like we move our pot plants around or put them in a bigger pot to keep them growing, stay in God’s community - you might be the person someone else needs to help them grow.
Here's a helpful resource on how we can Walk In Purpose:
Connect Group Discussion Questions:
- We are all still growing! What has God’s Word been saying to you that can encourage the group?
- How has your involvement within the church evolved over the years? Have you served on different teams or been in different connect groups -you’re allowed to have more than one!
- Put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness/quiet strength, patience, forgiveness, love, peace and thankfulness (3:12-15) in our families, workplaces and church (3:15-4:1). Is there one quality or area of life that you struggle with? How can you work on it?
- Do you need to “repot” yourself this year to keep on growing? Maybe you’re in a new season and need to find a “sunnier spot”. How will you go about it?
- We know that kind acts reach out to people with God’s love, but how can we set our speech apart to be gracious and kind? Or thankful and full of peace?
- Has the pandemic changed your spheres of influence? Are there any new people you are trying to reach? Pray for them.