This part of Acts 2 is my favorite picture of the church, of the fellowship of the people of God. It is something that we try to emulate in our lives and our ministry here at UALR. This fellowship has a wide variety of people from different places and backgrounds who love to break bread together, but there is an aspect of Leon’s sermon that I feel challenged to work on regarding this fellowship.
Leon talked about this fellowship as a partnership, even with people who are different from us. That is where it gets hard. Occasionally I avoid going too deep in conversation with some people because eventually we will find something we disagree on and things will get difficult. Leon challenged me to lean into this kind of a conversation rather than avoid it.
We are working to partner with other ministries here at Genesis, and many of our students come from different backgrounds, different denominations, and even different religions altogether. I have been challenged to study Scripture with these people, as well as leaders of other ministries on campus, to get together with them to pour over Scripture as partners in the Gospel. As we seek God together, the goal is not to change their minds so that they will think like me, but that the Holy Spirit would speak to us and enrich our view of Him as we study together, as we hear perspectives that are not our own.
I want to study with other ministers on campus, but with my students as well. We have Bible studies where I do most of the talking, of course, but I want to be more intentional about having small group studies where we fellowship and praise God together by studying his Word together. I want to hear their voices and their perspectives on the Word of God.
He also talked about the importance of time praying with one another. This is something we already do every week, but there are so many more opportunities for us to come together and pray for things. I want to encourage this as a part of our everyday lives together, not just a weekly event. And personally, I want to see more of this in my own home, that my wife and I would study together and pray together as partners in the Gospel as well as partners in raising our little boy together. I pray that God will help us all to see the many opportunities to participate with one another in the fullness and reality of the family of God through the Gospel.