Acts 2:42-47 & 4:32-35 is where my mind goes when I think of an ideal church. These verses describe the first church and the intimate fellowship maintained by the first Christians. I remember about 7 years ago sitting with a small group of high school seniors discussing these very same verses. During our discussion we talked about how wonderful it would be to be a part of a church like that, but also what sort of sacrifice would be involved as well.
One young man by the name of Carter said to the group, “I think we have all experienced this before…” The rest of the group looked at him puzzled, because they did not feel the state of the church to which they all currently belonged looked like that at all. Another student asked Carter, “How so?”
Carter began to describe the week long mission trip we took that past summer to Pine Bluff, Arkansas and how we all lived together, ate together, worked together and made great sacrifices together.
“Sacrifices?”, I asked.
The sacrifice that Carter mentioned was that of comfort, convenience, and time. On that trip the students gave up their cell phones, their regular routines, their beds at home, and pretty much everything else to be there. They worshipped together, ate together, and did pretty much everything together.
Carter concluded by saying, “I would gladly sacrifice everything, to live in a church like that.” The rest of our conversation was spent discussing how we could turn our church into a church like that of Acts 2 & 4, they had some great ideas but unfortunately we realized that the culture we lived in was not conducive for a church like that. Was or is that true? Can we no longer be a church like that seen in Acts 2 & 4? Or maybe it wasn’t the culture, maybe it was our unwillingness to sacrifice.
This Sunday we are kicking off our new series called “Renovate”. Renovate means to restore something old back to a good state of repair. The Christian church, including Cornerstone, has come along was since the first church of Acts 2 & 4, however it has lost its fervor. What can the church do? What can Cornerstone do to restore what was once so beautiful about the first Christian church? Join us this Sunday at 9:30 AM for small group discussion and at 10:30 AM for worship as we talk about this and more.
In God’s grip,
Pastor Chuck Church
Lead Pastor, Cornerstone UMC