By Scott Stake
As we’ve been walking through the book of Acts, one of the things that continues to strike me is the importance and blessing of community . . . of togetherness. We see the church gathering together for worship and teaching, serving widows together, pooling resources together to meet the needs of the poor, praying for one another and the lost together, and sending and being sent out together to plant churches. In other words, the gospel transforms a people broken by sin living in isolation to a joy-filled people empowered by grace living in community.
Sinclair Ferguson puts it this way: “The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history. On the contrary, the church is God’s new community. His purpose, conceived in a past eternity, being worked out in history, and to be perfected in a future eternity, is not just to save isolated individuals and so perpetuate our loneliness but rather to build His church, that is, to call out of the world a people for His own glory.” (Grow in Grace, p. 67)
What a beautiful description of the church! At Four Oaks “Community” Church, I am so grateful for the ways I’ve seen community expressed in our local body recently. Here are a few examples:
- Over 20 people recently committed to become members of Four Oaks.
- We have 32 fellowship groups representing hundreds of people committed to discipleship, care, and mission together.
- Another 45 people have joined 3 new connect groups at Killearn and Midtown to pursue community with one another.
- Over 120 men are registered for the men’s retreat, a great place to foster community! By the way, it’s not too late to register (see details below)!
- Over 100 women are participating in this spring’s eight weekly Bible studies, and about 70 men are plugged into five weekly Bible studies.
- Over 100 students and 40 volunteers participate in 4Oaks Students Wednesday Night large group each week, where they gather together for worship, teaching, and small groups.
- Another 250 children are cared for and taught God’s Word by the amazing 4Oaks Kids team of volunteers on Sunday mornings.
Wow! Isn’t that encouraging! As we continue to move forward as a church, may we each press in to greater community and live out our identity as a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for his own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness and into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
With joy in our Triune God who lives in perfect community,