Embrace the Gospel
Remember this line: "I think it's time we take our relationship to the next level"? We're going there! We asking you to consider if it's time to move from the crowd to the committed. To be a partner of FREE Church. We use the word partner rather than member because
our idea of membership is shaped by the gym or country club, where we pay fees to use the facilities, and it drives a consumer ethos.
partnership speaks of active participation, ownership, commitment and responsibility - words which might trigger a little phobia, but which are integral to what Jesus calls us to.
Paul uses the word partnership in Philippians 1:5 "because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." This word really means fellowship. While he does use the word "member" too, it is always the context of body parts - members of one body.
FREE Dinner is the moment where we share what it means to be a partner. So, if you joined us at the last FREE Dinner, please, please get those partnership questionnaires back to us! Here's why: on 22 May 22, we want to take a moment to make this official, pray you in as partners of FREE Church! The next FREE Dinner is coming up on 15 June 22, and you can book your place here
We believe that committing to a local church is absolutely key to following Jesus!
Church attendance is infected with a malaise of conditional loyalty which has produced an army of ecclesiastical hitchhikers....The entire Christian life is about commitment — first and above all to Christ, but also to the Church, to family, to marriage, to friendship, to ministry. None of these will ever flourish apart from commitment. R. Kent Hughes
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Paul explains that God has given (entrusted to) us M&M's - the ministry and message and reconciliation. Ministry means to "carry of the commands of". Reconciliation means "restoration to divine favor". "Us" means those who follow Jesus, i.e. the Church. Another way to say this is that God has charged those of us who follow Jesus to be His representatives here on earth, to release life, bring hope, stand against injustice - to actively participate in sharing the good news of the Gospel and be a co-worker in the advance of his Kingdom. In essence, to set things right. And we do it together, in the context of the Church - the body of Christ.
Paul gave his life to and for this purpose. He boldly declared the Gospel no matter what opposition he faced. There was one moment in particular that he wrote about, where he and his co-workers were accused of turning the world upside down.
1 Thessalonians 2:2
2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. Ref Acts 17:1-9
This accusation was levelled against them, not because they caused a riot, but because they were rebels against the prevailing world system - the Roman Empire. The declared a king greater that Caesar, a peace greater than Rome could delivered, and called people to turn from worshipping idols and follow Jesus. They were setting things right!
To turn the world upside down is not to start a riot, but to set things right.
The Gospel, the M&M of reconciliation has the power to set things right. It empowers us to overcome the desires of the flesh, to transform the way we think instead of conforming to the ways of the world, and to push back the kingdom of darkness.
Many of us would like to see change, but to actually make it happen, experience #REALCHANGE, even when things are difficult, dangerous and uncomfortable, we must be prepared to:
Embrace the Gospel
That means, like Paul, deciding to commit, to understand the Gospel in a greater way, to accept the message and ministry of reconciliation, and to lead courageously, even in the face of difficultly, danger and discomfort!
You can find the full video and audio message here