The Believers Form a Community
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
I often wonder how others must have viewed these early believers in the Book of Acts. I imagine they were viewed as radical, nuts, even. They were always hanging out together, sharing meals, praying together, and selling all of their belongings to help those in need. People must have thought that they had "drunk the kool-aid".
But what a large and an important mission they had- to spread the good news about Jesus to the ends of the Earth.
I can only imagine some of the obstacles they faced, but ultimately, it had to be such an exciting time! And I would guess that the people who said they were crazy were also intrigued and maybe even a bit envious of their unwavering commitment and passion for their cause.
I remember 4 years ago when I started sharing with friends and family that we were helping start a new church in St. Pete. (I would tell just about anyone who would listen!) Most of them were excited for us and encouraged us along the way. But there was definitely skepticism, and blank looks that said "what does that mean, exactly?". I remember one friend saying "Wow....that sounds like quite the adventure". And much like I imagine the early church, even if we seemed a little crazy, it was a time of such excitement for our family. To build something from scratch. To dream and fellowship with other believers. To be a part of something bigger than myself. To have a clear cause, a mission.
As I write this I think back to some of the (often hilarious) obstacles we have encountered and the lessons we have learned along the way. Or the times, there was more month than money in the church bank account. But I am also reminded of how I have learned to trust God and enjoy the process, though full of challenges.
It has been a joy to watch God at work in and through Radius. To see ideas take shape organically and evolve. To see a group of believers share tangible love in our community. And to see so many people grow in their faith. I am so proud to be a part of it all!
Now as we transition to a new location, new challenges and lessons, and new opportunities to trust God, I can't help but feel that same excitement that I had 4 years ago. At our gathering this past Sunday, we sang one of my favorite songs and the chorus had me in tears.
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here
There is so much more to be done here in St. Pete. We must be BOLD and willing to get out of our comfort zones. We must MOVE OUT and meet people where they are. And we must lead in LOVE. This is how we will be a radius of Jesus in our community.
We are just getting started. Will you join us?