On a high level we have two movements as a community: we come together as the church, and we go out into our various spheres of influence as the church. Another way of saying this is that, as a church, we gather and we scatter.
Gather. When we gather together, while the activities may differ, we want to see two things occurring.
- Behold. We must be looking to God – we behold Him. And, as we do, there is so much good occurs. For example, our souls are satisfied, we are changed, we are given strength to endure. It’s important for us to look to God, behold Him, at all of our gatherings. (Ps. 16:11, 2 Cor. 3:18, Heb. 12:1-3)
- Build up. We gather to build up one another in the faith. Each of us needs other people in our lives regularly if we are to persevere in the Christian life. It’s not too hard to see how a church could personally benefit ourselves. However, in our consumer oriented culture, it can be easy to miss our place in serving others. As we gather we should consider, “How can I be a part of building up other believers at this gathering?”. In doing so, we all experience God’s ongoing renewal through one another, and God prepares us to move outward to scatter into the world as His representatives. (Heb. 10:24-25)
Scatter. As we scatter to our own areas of influence, there are also two things that should occur.
- Display. We display what a life redeemed by God looks like – in the home, the neighborhood, at work, and at places we frequent. As we rightly handle the joys and sorrows of life in this world, our lives should be a visible testimony that our hope is active and attractive, whether engaged in acts of service, hobbies, or rest. (Matt. 5:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:12; 3:15-16; 1 Cor. 7:29-31)
- Declare. We declare the hope of God’s redemption. In doing so, at times we will have the joy of seeing others around us experience God’s redemption. At other times, we will be met with discouragements and opposition. But, no matter what we face, we know we have our church family to gather with us to rejoice together and work through discouragements together as we behold God and build each other up. What a privilege to walk together in this cycle – doing it all for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Pet. 2:9; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; Acts 14:22; John 15:20)
- What is one way your presence could help others behold Jesus at a CrossWay gathering? What is one obstacle that might keep yourself from beholding Jesus at a CrossWay gathering?
- What two people from CrossWay can you build up this week, and how will you do it?
- What is one area of your life that you would like to better display a redeemed life? What is one intentional step you could make toward that this week, and who can you tell about this plan?
- Who is one person that you can pray for throughout the month, asking that God would give you opportunities to declare the good news of Jesus to them, and that they would be given ears to hear?