By Pastor Greg Byman
St Joe Community Church
May 6, 2018
What on earth are you here for? What person are you to marry? Children to raise? Vocation to occupy? Mission to join? Whatever God may have in store for you, that calling will fall within the parameters that his word provides for all believers in Christ.
This week, Pastor Greg Byman takes a look at Acts chapter 2 to consider how the early church practiced membership and fellowship. Pastor Byman delivered “What on Earth Am I Here For? Purpose #2 – Fellowship with Believers” on May 6, 2018 at St. Joe Community Church.
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Thank you worship team for helping us out I told them last week that we. Really had a blessed worship time and then Sunday evening we had two other churches that we are partners with Bible Life community that meets is down at villages of Hanna and divine providence which currently meets out the Macmillan center and they came together with us for those of you that weren't here and worship with us here and it was just a sweet time and it's encouraging time and we kind of had our worship set together and they kind of had their a few worship sets and then they said well let's just bring a few more people up and then Tad jumped into the box and started playing form and it all worked out it just was like Wow Got a course it did but the god was good three preachers preach three messages and we still got out within two hours what's that all about under two hours one hour and a half was a two and a half Oh it went so fast for me I couldn't even tell I didn't even know what was going on so. But it was it was a blessing and we'll try to do that again from time to time at least once a year but I think I'd like to do a little more often than that just bring our church families together and and see what God says to all of us through all of the Body of Christ not just one body and two siloing our ideas but what are we doing together and it seems like God brought out a message from all three of us that was really it resonated as a combined message that everybody needed to hear because you know God is up to he has local expressions we're talking about the fellowship of believers today he has local expressions each church is a local expression of the Body of Christ and we're all under the Lordship of Jesus Christ but there's also that we're connected through other local bodies of churches and so we are the church now just and case just is just a little note here people always want to often want to talk about the big church see you know like the church in the world all of the church in the world and that is a legitimate thing to talk about and we do talk about the Jesus will build His church the big C. Church but. When the New Testament was written and as they began to expand and churches were developed almost every other reference most of the references to the church was what I might say a little See Church local churches and so these letters in the Bible that we have were written to particular churches that were in existence local bodies of fellowship local bodies were given to this in a minute why why we talk about belonging to a particular church not just say well I belong to the Body of Christ the church general in the world and. And while that is true. It was always in the New Testament expressed through a local congregation of believers that knew one another spent time with the other hung out with one another the unit the fellowship the coin any of the coming together of the Body of Christ the congregation and so we're going to talk about that and so we Today's message is I was formed for a family. Our second purpose Last week our purpose we talked about that we are worshippers of one true God of the One True God through faith in Jesus Christ and our purpose in this world is to love God with all your heart soul strength and mind that we are to love God completely and were to put Him first in our lives that he is our prime person to worship we are not to worship our selves or not to worship our kids or not to worship our families we're not to worship our work our money everything fades around us you know I'm right in the throes of of kids right now I've got a seventh grader sophomore senior and then a freshman in college and if there is ever a time to put them first in my life ahead of God This would be a wonderful time to do it because I've got all kinds of things on my schedule for you I told you last week that you can see what you worship based on your checkbook and your calendar right look at my calendar and it's got kids written all over it actually mostly my wife's calendar and she tells me where to go. You're going to be picking up kids a B. And C. Over there at C. D. And F. And then we're going to go over there and then I get a call from caress and she says you missed me again. What's that all about no she's only done that three times I don't know she's being gracious today but but seriously it's just it's all over it but if I were to say that they were my number one priority I would actually be putting them in a spot that is very uncomfortable because I would be expecting their performance to be my satisfaction I'd be expecting their longevity to be my satisfaction and as much as it would pain me to ever see one of them disappear before I disappear mine the goal for me is for them to bury me OK and to be can creditably sad about it because I'll be such a wonderful man in their life but but but but but the reality is that that does happen and if they are number one in my life then who I have to go to for my strength and encouragement when the worst thing in the world happens they aren't there. Or if they stub their toe and they start going wayward in their life heaven forbid but you know what my pimp my hope my dependency my my joy my purpose in life is not dependent on a person they are not my gods. And that's too much pressure for them anyway they don't deserve that kind of pressure in my in their lives for me to think that they are my money is not my God And I like money. I think it's helpful when I buy things to have money right Hanna So OK we like money but it's not my god because if money ran out what happens. God still got to be there for me and if that's my God. I want more of it. And I can have more than I can have more of it though how my satisfaction going to come from comes from God So my number one purpose is to live for God and put him number one in my life but my second purpose but I want to talk about this morning is fellowship that I express my worship and I enjoy worship in a body of people the church my local church St Joe Community Church is my local church and it is that the Fellowship of the believers is an enterable part of me growing and becoming and appreciating the life that God has given me I hear people say all to all I just listened to radio preachers and I always just go I love Charles Stanley and when you get to be as good as Charles Stanley maybe I'll come here you preach don't hold your breath David Jeremiah local guy was here for years and now he's on the radio why you don't even have to transfer a membership you just listen to him on the radio each week you get your fill I was in my first church and I remember I wonder that good of a preacher I would be totally honest maybe you think I'm not today and that's OK But but but I say we're not being fed we're going out somewhere else where we have to listen to other tapes and things back in the day right tapes so that we can be fed because you're not such a good preacher I had someone tell me that it's like man it's like gut check this is my therapy thank you for listening and but I wasn't that good I burned most of my notes and I go back Whoa I preach that while they were kind to me you know and you thought it was two hours I think I meant three hours what a way it was and it wasn't worth talking three hours but I did it anyway and so it was but I remember thinking I'll never be as good as all those radio preachers but it's not about radio preachers because radio preachers don't come and do funerals and weddings they don't counsel people they don't to people in hospitals David Jeremiah probably will not be there some evening I don't not saying that that I that's the super holy guy I'm going to come out through the rest I'm just saying the local church takes care of you not some radio preacher. And a tree that you worship next to a nature out and they really don't talk back when you're in sin. She knows that if you're in sand and you go out in the woods why just worship God in the woods. But if you're dealing with Santa and problem in your life usually those birds don't say you're a sinner you're a sinner you're a center they affirm you in your rightness of all the wicked things that you're doing you need a body of Christ to tell you shape up bucko Come on we've got to do something here about this you messed up you need to fess up we need to move forward. We need a body of fellowship to get ahead of myself but today I was formed for a family we belong we say right here a Christian without a church family is an orphan. We need to put him in foster care for a little bit find him a home get him adopted out you're already adopted into the Body of Christ big time let's find you a local body of Christ to get you into so you can start growing and becoming and serving and sharing and standing and living for God the way God intended for you to live. A believer in Christ is born again born again into Forever Family and born into a spiritual family that locally you know would say someone is born into the world at Saint Hill Hospital and the parents leave no the parents take the baby home. And if they don't we have a mechanism by which we try our hardest to find families that want babies that their parents won't raise them it's that important and it's that important spirit sleep for us as well that we find a place to belong to there's some excuses people have a go through this real quick you probably know them or maybe have been through them maybe you're in the middle of them maybe there's the fear of the unknown you're afraid. Of what you don't know. And that's true of anything and I want to say to you that you've probably overcome your fears and other times and I pray and hope that you will take this step of faith and take your next positive step forward to start experiencing put your toe in the water just sort of feel and taste and see that the Lord is good and see that the Lord is wanting to work through other people in your life and encourage you in your faith maybe you say well I don't want to be up with a bunch of hypocrites all I got to say is that that's your if that's your excuse Welcome to the club because I haven't met someone who wasn't a hypocrite yet in or out of the church have you how many of you met somebody that you did everything they said they were going to do absolutely everything they said they were going to do they never broke or their word ever ever ever so then everybody you've met is a hypocrite. Am I right so. Get in with people that want to get better and get away from being a hypocrite. And be a part of a body of Christ fear of rejection. I get that I'll go to conferences you know I'm a grown man been a ministry know the score and know what's all about but I go to a brand new Worship setting brand new place and I go I want to say hi to me I wonder who will sit next I wonder if I and you EVER YOU EVER conference a place you're going to even at work you do this you're going to convert or you go on no maybe I won't go either OK I and we were grown adults we can handle this but we still get concerned about whether people are going to like like us or not I mean I don't need to be like yeah you do get over it you want to be liked some by somebody OK and sometimes that's a concern and you know what we work on that here I would say try to come back two or three times we will get better the next time you come you know we might blow it the first time I don't know but we're trying to get better at welcoming we say in our covenant we say were warmly welcoming body of Christ and all Hannah's early quiet person I still see her going out into the crowd saying hi to people because she knows that's what we do around here and she don't have to be somebody she's not but to extend a hand to somebody that's what we're trying to do every Sunday and I'm so I see you guys doing that I see our members doing that and I see you being the hands and feet of Jesus walking over to some ice and I don't believe we've met and letting them know that they're welcomed and we appreciate that they're here and we pride we try to do that as best as possible and then the personal privacy thing well they'll know something about me. Well OK Is your family crazy checked. Have you gone crazy a few times checked Have you had some problems in your life check have you had some good things happen your wife checked Have you ever argued if you're married with your spouse check OK So have I missed anything have you ever felt lonely you have felt lonely even in a crowd check OK so you're kind of in the mix of everybody's got the same stuff you know I've discovered is that oftentimes when people actually start hanging out in a small group we call connection groups around here because it's we're trying to connect and we don't connect well and Rosie connect well and circles and that's why we believe in having our worship time now and then we have circles during the week and tonight and in different days of the week and because that's when you connect with people in a smaller group setting and you and I realize when I start listening why I'm not the only proper person with the same problems. And I can pay big money to go to a counselor for to let them hear you know people are listening to counselors and they're listening to everything I say and counselors are important we actually have a counseling. Partnership with cross connections and we refer people to them and there are some specific things that need to be dealt with in our lives that we help people get through and we have counselors in our church here that work with people on a one on one basis but I've discovered that there are many people. Who actually that might be a part of their life but another part of their life is if they just came and got around a few other people and started talking listening to what other people were saying was going on in their lives so well you know what kind of happiness too well that's kind of what happened in our house this week we had that same argument the other day we have the same problem with our kids wow how do you solve it and it's kind of like we go to God's Word we talk about our experiences and we pray together and we work together to find answers that if we live by ourself in our home now. Went to another group of people with out to the woods for worship and we listen to radio preacher we'd never get that. And so personal privacy Yeah we're not saying you got to tell us everything about you while you're here I was saying as the Lord opens you up to trust trust is earned I get it I don't trust anybody I meet the first time I welcomed people into my life I'll trust them the first time I don't know and I'm a pretty trusting optimistic guy. And so we're not saying it trust somebody immediately but you at least open your heart up to listen and maybe God will give you the opportunity if you sense that that group is a safe place for you to unpack a few things and then move forward in your life that's what people have excuses and I and those are some things that we kind of talk about and read in relation to those excuses there are probably some others but I want to move to our passage this morning that I want to kind of highlight as our key for talking about why we believe fellowship is such an interval part of our lives Acts chapter two verse forty one through forty seven is where we're at this morning if you look in your Bible and if you would let's stand one more time and I'm going to read this passage together and we're going to look at this and break it down as to what it means to have fellowship with believers in a local body of Christ a local church and if you don't have a Bible we've got some hardcover red ones and you can take that home with you if ya if you don't have one if if you have a phone with the smartphone you can go to your version on the apps and you can download something there as well I like having a Bible I can hold in my hand and look at but. But let's read this together so those I'll read it for us so those who accepted his message were baptized. And that day about three thousand people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching to fellas up to the breaking of bread and prayers then fear came over everyone and many wonders and signs were being performed to the Apostles now all the believers were together and had everything in common so they sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all as anyone had a need and every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex and broke bread from house to house they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people and every day the lord added to them those who were being saved they got at his blessing for the reading of His word you may be seated so are we saying here God designed us to be in fellowship with other believers in God designed us for fellowship He designed us to have relationships with other followers of Jesus Christ we were designed first of all to confess our faith together it says those who accepted the his message Peter if you read backwards in the passage that Peter had just preached the first sermon ever after the day that the Holy Spirit came down upon the believing followers of Jesus Christ and Jesus had already ascended into heaven he had risen from the dead he had been with his disciples and believers five hundred hundreds of people saw him maybe if you don't if they weren't counting women and children probably over a thousand to fifteen hundred people Sol Jesus alive he rose up into heaven. And he said Pray wait for the Holy Spirit they prayed they went up to the what the upper room they would talk about that as kind of a Christian nice talk but the reality is they were in this upper room and while they were praying at the door shut the Holy Spirit fell on them and God just he poured out His Spirit on them and they were able to have power and strength and then they went out into the crowds and when they went out in the crowds the. However the Holy Spirit went to pawn them and they were speaking in different languages there were people from different nations all over that had come to Jerusalem and now they could hear the good news of Jesus Christ in their own tongue in their own native tongue God did a mere Accu less work in that moment and he showed himself powerful that he was starting a new and mighty work and Peter said and then Peter did say well you know you didn't know any better you guys were there I know you guys sinkers. I know you didn't mean it no he said you guys crucified this Jesus Christ God sent His Son and you rejected him Jews you did you just absolutely blew it and Jesus but you know what God used it any died on the cross for your sins and he came back to life you know these things are true come on and they all like what must we do and he said repent and be baptized get saved follow Christ and three thousand people at that instant put their faith in Jesus Christ. They got convicted they knew they had to follow Christ and so we're down now we're into our passage and they confess their faith openly in baptism that's why we say baptism is the first baby step of our Christian experience it's the baby steps of a brand new Christian and we put them and we have baptism by immersion we throw let them know that their baptism means to be immersed to dip under the water and we put them in this as an open confession that they are followers of Jesus Christ and that's why for centuries past and for centuries to come the baptism of a persons is not making them a Christian it's their declaration that they are Christian it's their confession of faith in Jesus Christ and so we do that and we do that here at our church to help people express themselves a Christian a follower of Jesus Christ and then it says in verse forty two and they devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching to fellowship of the breaking bread of prayers they feel they worship together the Apostles teaching they didn't have the New Testament they just had what God was inspiring the apostles to. No And to do there was prophecy going on they knew what they knew from the Old Testament and they were applying it into the their lives today of what Jesus came to do for them and the fulfillment of prophecy that the church would be born we knew that that was coming but it was all revealed in the Holy Spirit was working the apostles and they devoted themselves to the teaching what do we do on Sundays we have a preaching time what do we do in our connection groups we have a Bible study time we are going after what God has already said in his word there is nothing new that he is right saying and if anything somebody claims is new from God It either squares with God or it's a heresy it's false. And you can just count it that if somebody says Why I have a new word from God as well that's wonderful but doesn't match what he already said because if it doesn't you're a liar and I won't listen to you anymore it's real simple and so they devoted themselves to the central teaching of what God wanted them to know and to and to fellowship. And the breaking of bread now breaking of bread could have meant the Lord's Supper it was a euphemism for practicing the Lord's Supper which was instituted by Jesus himself on the Thursday night before he was betrayed and put to death on the cross could have also meant that they were breaking bread and having fellowship meals together we love doing that don't we. How many hamburgers that we give away the other day. Like five or six of three or four or five hundred of treasure in those five hundred Yeah and hotdogs I don't count that's not real meat but anyway it was that's filler. And they don't they know they have. That Anyway fellowship breaking of bread and prayers and last night we had a circle here and here we had our monthly prayer meeting that we had right here and we we had prayer walks in the neighborhood we came together as a body of Christ and prayed before the cookout that we had and and if you weren't here and some of you didn't know or some of you had been here the Sunday after we met but we had over six hundred people come and partake with us and how they have a party with us to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary I was just I was just blown away by that is this was a awesome experience and what I really enjoyed the most was not the six hundred people because you know you can build a crowd. But we're not here to build crowds we're here to build a congregation and Jesus is building it not us by the way but we're here to see a congregation grow not a crowd start flash mobs are hard they are hard to make they're not that hard. To develop you can do that but a crowd doesn't measure spirituality what measure spirituality is congregation and what I really appreciated most was how so many of our members were just taking the time to talk to people individually stopping and not just flipping a burger but actually hanging out and visiting with people who Cain I'm so glad you're here how's this and this and the other and every time a by the time I got to somebody who was brand new they'd already been spoken to oftentimes by somebody else who was on the property one of our church members had already kind of filled them in they'd already said Well that's the pastor over there is a weirdo over there he's the pastor so but but you know I talk to him and talk to me first and they kind of prepared him for me but but that's they you guys were just the body of Christ. And you expressed yourself and I just so that was what got and all. Week I was involved in something I couldn't do much of anything that week to prepare and I've told all my pastor friends this I've got to tell you this I've been talking a hundred back I didn't do a whole lot so fire me now I didn't do a whole lot you did it. Praise God the Body of Christ rose up and did what they did the team was the team you know and Cathy she was leading the team Denise was helping lead the team and Kathy she had like. All kinds of things happen all at once now raising some grandkids and and some stuff go on in her life and and suddenly she was out of the mix. What is that all about let's praise God for what he did he did it he did it. And you all oh and the ministry in the name of the Lord you took ownership of what God made you responsible for and God worked through you in a mighty and powerful way I'm telling you I was so impressed I was so pleased I was humbled to be a part of such a great family of God A couple weeks ago when we were celebrating our fifteenth anniversary together. You see we function together and we did those prayer walks we were praying that God would pour out His Spirit and give us favor among our star our neighbors and that God would work in the neighbor's lives and whatever we saw that said We'll pray for that home I'd only thing by that that all there's a dog gap in the in the in the window but we just pray that God You just bless that home and help them the know and follow Christ and if they came out on the porch to say hi to them and just visit with them for a minute and just welcome them God was up to something in our lives and because we have and we do this week we are worshipping together we're coming together we're spending our time together as even as and before we go out we share experience or experiences fear reverence fear was was on everybody that in other words there was a reverence God was up to something signs and wonders what is that all about everybody in this room has a story to share about how Jesus changed your life everybody you have a story I have a story story of overcovered from addiction some of you some of you a story from addiction and from from tragedy in your life story of recovering in your marriage story of restoration God is in the miracle making business today of changing lives one life at a time. And we experience that together and we rejoice together in the body of Christ together we share these spiritual experiences together and we talk about it and we praise God together for it and we give each other a spiritual high five or real high five and we say Go get it awesome God is good and we do that together and then we meet each other's needs and said in verses forty three or four through forty five and now all the believers were together and had everything in common so they sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all as anyone had a need We're not talking about socialism we're just going to even the playing field. It's just saying as people had needs they met them you know some people are probably losing their jobs because they were Jews that followed Christ and the Jewish nation as a whole was still rejecting Jesus and so they lost their jobs what do you do you take care of them there wasn't any kind of food stamps back then there wasn't any kind of opportunity to you or if you were out you were out and the body of Christ took care of the Body of Christ and I've seen that happen in our church where a need privately is shared and suddenly resources are available for that person and God does that in the church as we come together in the fellowship of the Body of Christ and then finally they hang out together it says they went from temp to the temple complex and they broke bread from house to house they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people. They were coming together they were gathering there were scattering but they were also meeting in a large group and they were meeting in small group temple complex home to home home couldn't handle everybody three thousand people there was no home in Jerusalem to handle three thousand people temple complex did say there they found some places to hang out for a great big worship time there and then they met in homes in small groups so they could form the bond of fellowship and friendship in those groups together. So this is what found family is all about is that we come together in the fellowship together as believers of Jesus Christ. Now why is it that St Joe still practices formal membership Why do we still do that and some people say we is it really biblical to be a member of a church is that meant biblical Well I would say is not necessarily to put a roll call and to have the name sent to there is actually among Baptist churches a member growing up that we would have people come forward in a church service and they'd say Joe and Sue They are. They are coming from First Baptist Church of such and such Alabama I was a Southern Baptist church and everybody was from the south but us and so they were coming and they found a Southern Baptist church in town and they said and they're coming here and they are trying coming on to promise of a letter and what that meant was that the church clerk and our church would then write the church clerk and first Burke Papist Alabama and say are they really members of your church today were they really Christians or are they really bad. Ties into the fellowship of the Body of Christ and that church would write back and say absolutely they were and they'd have us Pastor signatures clerk signature and they're actually centers they've been voted on this they'd say we vote to release them to another church it was just a common practice that they did and there was membership and so other churches in town we have members that have gone to churches and we never get a request for a letter we just they just say they've joined our church and they let us know that they used to go to your church there are not any more ideas something like I don't know and it's polite but it's like oh OK that's interesting so everybody has a different way of doing things. And we never usually end up getting a response from anybody but if they're not one of our Southern Baptist churches but they at least have this opportunity to say that they were they were it was a testimony of their life that they were followers of Christ that they had been baptized by immersion after their fall after they became a Christian and that they pretty much are kind of in line with kind of the church you are in we're kind of all in this together and it kind of it was a witness of a testimony of their life now we do that as people ASK FOR PEOPLE COME BY statement of faith they say well I'm going to I have been baptized and I'm a follower of Christ I agree with your doctrinal statement I understand where you're going I want to join you and what you're doing in the world I've got is calling me to you and we receive people that way and then we receive people by baptism people who have never put their faith in Christ public put their faith publicly in baptism we receive people that way as well but we do receive people and to a formal roll call of membership so why do we do that well again there is no clerk in the Bible there was no roll call in the Bible but there were members of a church because we see here you are members every time there's that that word is in there quite a few times but the early church knew who belonged to the church if you read through the first all the letters of Paul he was writing to individua. In churches he's writing to individuals about the situation in their churches and in particular on the negative side of things he would say there was a there was a discipline problem there was actually a sexually immoral situation going on in the church in Corinth and I won't go into details but it was just it was about is about as bad as a Jerry Springer you could get OK I mean it was very very not good and the church really wasn't doing anything about all we're just going to level the record of same thing at all Paul said No you can't let that happen you need to expel them from the fellowship of the church now the words they there was a clear cut fellowship that was defined and the definition of you those guys until they get right they've got to get out of that you can't hang out with them you can't let them hang out with you they knew who they were and then in the letter second letter that he wrote to them he said you know what God was gracious and those two guys got their act together and stop being so hard on him invite him back and let him know that God's forgiveness in the Love of The Fellowship of the Body of Christ. And there was a church so in other words there was an end in and out of a membership of the church by Fellowship of the church not their salvation wasn't lost and they were going to hell at that point is that they said you know what we can't do that. And I remember having to talk with the individual years and years and years ago about they were just absolutely far off doing some things that was totally against what their family totally against their spouse and I just said man you gotta stop doing this this is crazy and why don't want to stop doing it so well you know it's wrong and by the church knew it was wrong we said you know what until that changes you've got to figure this out but as soon as that changes come back but we got we can't you're disrupting everybody and you're destroying the whole thing your family's a mess and they kind of were able to worship and find strength and safety and you're not safe right now. And you know when that person got right with God and they came back and I said you know you're right I was wrong and we received him back in and loved on him and encouraged him. And they were back a part of the fellowship of the Body of Christ because there's a definition between your and you're out. Because you just that's what happened in the old and the New Testament church and it's what we do here as well. Going to see that happen often no but but it did happen in the New Testament and as one of the one of the key evidence is that they did know who belonged and who didn't belong. You know it's risen really different kind of crowd or congregation are you part of the crowd on Sunday morning are you part of the congregation within the crown on Sunday morning are you part of us or are you not. It creates relationship trust when I say I belong to this church it means that I'm I'm in I've agreed with the covenant of our church and I'm agreeing to abide by that covenant. I'm agreeing to live up to the standards that we've all set for ourselves as a body of Christ as a family you know we do that in our homes we have a standard of living in our home of accountability I'm there and I've told you this several times growing up my dad would say by means don't do that that family may do that but we don't do that. I don't happen at our table. That will not happen you ever have their own person wrong house that happens and family is say we don't do that I know what that nonsense you learn from from your kids at school but your friends at school but they're not. Going to happen and it was a good thing it would negative it was a saying we were on a track we're moving forward we have a positive way of living we have a way of living that we've all agreed in this house is this how it is and let's just do that together and a membership in a church we kind of say that we have a covenant we have a church covenant our church membership has its own line by the way all the doctrines and the beliefs in our covenants online you can look at that on our website but we have a relationship trust with one another because we're all agreeing. That we're going in the same direction so early church knew who belong the crowd versus the congregation and it creates radiations of trust and then finally commitment grows character you know the difference between being in the crowd to being in the congregation is just commitment. So that I'm committed to doing this I'm in. And in a day in age when commitment is absolutely an all time low when when people don't want to commit to anything. You know that gymnasiums gym. Fitness centers know that if you put your name down or an e-mail or you'll start getting into a program where you kind of have to log what you're doing with your physical fitness. You actually get better at it. Some of you know that if if you try to quit a habit like smoking or dipping or something like that that if you have other people in your life and you have to kind of like be accountable and be committed to changing by in a crowd of other people you're generally more successful at doing that. And it's true spiritual life you can say you're committed to growing spiritually but until you commit to someone else to help you grow spiritually you probably won't so much. I know there's always outliers but I'm telling you God uses the congregation he uses the fellowship of believers to grow our character when we're committed to that local church so this morning I want to close out with this what is it the god's asking him to do in the fellowship where is it at maybe maybe this morning you're ready to say I want to confess my faith in Jesus Christ I'm ready get baptized to tell the world I'm a Christian Maybe this morning a few of you are saying you know what I'm I'm not ready to be a I'm not ready to do that. I just need to keep coming and others say you know what I'm ready to take that one hundred one class I'm ready to belong to the church and I need to know when the next connection class is and and there's a there's a at the bottom of the back of your connection card in action the middle parts as I mentioned in church membership please enroll me in the next connect Now membership study and you can do that and we're going to we have some names already gathered and we will be announcing when we choose the A three hour session and we do that together and that way you can kind of know all about our church I teach it so that you can ask any question you want and we try to get to let you know who the leaders are in our church and you get to know us a little bit better have some background of who we are where we came from where we're going what God's been doing in our lives up to this point.
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