'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

By all means….

The hook for my post today is to placard the newly refurbed website at CCK. It’s cutting edge in my view, and launches this coming term where we are expecting to draw hundreds on a Sunday to introduce them to Jesus.

In the words of lead elder Joel Virgo…

The church of Jesus Christ in Brighton is to be a redeemed version of Brighton – a showcase of what the city would be with the reign of Jesus brought to bear.

We are building an alternative city within the city for the sake of the city.  We are in Brighton, for Brighton…

At CCK we are on a mission in the City.  When the apostle Paul went into Athens, he went with a missional poise.  He saw the City, and he was provoked within him.  Ever feel provoked?  In Athens at that time it was said that it was easier to meet an idol than a man.  Our City is just like that!  People all around us, giving themselves in worship to different things.

Having been rightly provoked, what did Paul do?  He went straight into the Agora (or marketplace) to meet the influential people of the day to preach Jesus and the resurrection.

If we look closely at Acts 17, Paul cleverly finds some truth in what sees, and then he connects with them, and weaves in the gospel truth.  We can learn this missional behaviour for ourselves, and we are…

Here are some brief observations from Acts 17 of a missional nature :

  1. Mission is birthed by gospel first taking root in us.  Paul was provoked, deeply stirred.  Has the same heart as God.  A complex love (deep concern with great hatred for sin, yet still pursuing).  The gospel says ‘I love you, but lost you, but will chase you down to bring you home.’  When the gospel grips you, it becomes your motivation.  You find grace for mission, and have a pure motivation.
  2. Deal with Jesus and the resurrection before dinosaurs!  God has given us assurance by raising Jesus from the dead.  Paul is highly Jesus-focussed.  What’s your focus?  Everything rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus.
  3. Don’t ignore the city, engage it!  Paul could have just taken a little bed and breakfast whilst waiting for his mates turn up but no, he went to the places of influence.  Where are those places for us?  School gate, neighbourhood groups?  He was strategic.  So must we be.
  4. Find gospel bridges in to others lives.  Sin has marred what God originally made good.  So not all around us is bad; there are aspects of truth at every turn.  Take these truths and weave in the gospel, the real truth.  What aspects of the gospel do folk need to hear?  Think that through.  ie. interlect (books), affirmation (helping with self-esteem), grace (unconditional love).  What do those in your life need to see, hear, experience?
  5. Talk to people and build relationships.  Just be natural.  Surprisingly, people are more willing to talk about Jesus than we realise.  They really respond when they truly know your motivation. In the park, the office, coffee shop; how can you be better engaging?  Remember, the gospel changes you and empowers you to engage!
  6. Be prepared for opportunities.  It’s the blessing of the gospel, co-labouring, and being used.  Opportunities that we grasp will also change us, leading to character transformation.
  7. Paint a big picture of our big God.  Our view of God is too small. In Athens Paul found folk  worshipping an unknown god!  Let’s paint a different picture!  People don’t often reject faith on intellectual grounds, but more often because they just think it’s trivial.  People want to believe in some thing that makes sense of all their worldly experience.  We can all too easily put forward a view of God that is too small, so paint him big!
  8. Leave the results to God.  Be faithful.  Paul was.  That’s all you are called to do and to be.  Some mocked, some rejected, some wanted to hear more.  Its not about us.  It’s about the sovereign work of God in folks lives.

It’s all about Jesus…  check out the site

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