Message: “ACTS: Decisions, Decisions!” from Grant Myles-Era


Grant Myles-Era - August 5, 2018

Belonging, Believing and Behaving


According to missiologist George Hunter, St. Patrick, missionary to the Irish, was alone successful in bringing the gospel to that society because he abandoned the “way things have always been done.” The Roman church required right belief and behavior before people could belong to the community of faith. Patrick enabled members of the community to experience belonging prior to correct belief or behavior. In this way Hunter says, “Christianity was more caught than taught.” The gospel accounts in the New Testament seem to indicate that the first followers of Jesus were similarly invited to belong even though they did not often believe or behave correctly. At what point are people able to belong here at NewSong? What does “All In” mean in terms of belief, behavior and belonging? In a culture where hunger for the spiritual life seems to be as strong as ever, yet where church attendance is generally in decline, might answering these questions provide wisdom and direction as we seek to let Jesus be known in our communities?

From Series: "ALL In"

In the song Eleanor Rigby, the Beatles asked, “...all the lonely people, where do they all belong?” Their lyrics portray the “church” as providing no real solutions to the isolation and loneliness that so many people experience in the modern world. They may have a point. Some of the loneliest people sit in church pews week after week without ever finding the sense of belonging that they long for. How can this be, when the Christian faith calls human beings into the deepest experiences of community living? This summer at NewSong we'll be exploring the rich tradition of community life that is at the very heart of faith in Jesus. We'll also be hearing from some leaders from various types of community in our neighborhoods. Even more importantly we'll be spending time together, and seeking to ensure that there is no one left in isolation within our sphere of influence. From the beginning... Genesis 2:18, "Then the Lord God said, 'It’s not good that the human is alone…’ to the new beginning… ” Rev. 7:9 "After this I looked, and there was a great crowd that no one could number. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language.” All in!

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