The early church had a message, it was a message of new life, a message of renewal. They were resurrection people, living in the light of the resurrection of Jesus. The future had broken into the present, Heaven was touching earth. In this talk, Nick concludes this series by looking at Rev 21:1-5 and how our picture of the future shapes the way we live in the present. An Irresistible Church is where we get a glimpse (a preview) of Heaven, God’s Kingdom Here and Now.
We are surrounded by people who are harassed and helpless. There is such need in our community, where do we start? Our desire is to transform the city of Coventry, to make a difference, but how do we do that? The answer is Compassion. Compassion is both empathy and action. In this talk Nick asks; What stops us from being compassionate? How do we become a people of courageous compassion?
WARNING: This talk may mess up your safe and comfortable life!
Every person longs for a place to belong. We all need other people in order to thrive. Where do you belong? In this talk Nick challenges us to be a people who take Jesus’ command to “love one another” seriously. The early church was a community that were devoted to one another. Why? Where did they learn this? How can we create an irresistible church that draws people into a counter-cultural community?
An irresistible church is a growing church. The early church experienced dramatic growth that could not be resisted despite opposition from religious and political groups. In one day “about 3000 were added to their number!” What do we mean by growing? In this talk Nick looks at how we grow personally and as a church.
What are ‘Christians’ known for? Rarely are churches known for the grace they show others. Which is ridiculous, as grace lies at the heart of God and is the foundation of the gospel. Grace makes a church Irresistible. In this talk Nick looks at fives ways we can demonstrate Grace to one another and those who don’t ‘get’ church or who want nothing to do with church.
The Holy Spirit is the star of the book of Acts. He takes the lead role. He makes a church irresistible. An irresistible Church is a Powerful Church. People notice something different about the people who make up that kind of church. A powerful Church should make a difference in the community in which it is placed and to whom it serves. This is a church that makes a difference. In this talk Nick looks at how the power of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference.
Do we hunger for His Presence? Is Coventry Vineyard a place where God can be found? Are we even aware of His presence here? Is it making a difference? Are you being changed? Are you finding that you are becoming just a little bit more like Jesus?
Over Sunday lunch we rate how the Sunday Morning Gathering was. We rate the worship. We maybe rate the talk. The things you didn’t like, the things you did like.
We rarely sit in shocked awe that we just met with The Living God.
Maybe we are happy to know about God rather than actually know him. My hope and prayer is that as a community we would each experience and hunger for God’s Presence.
Recently I’ve felt God challenge me by asking,
“Are you more interested in the presence of people here on a Sunday than the presence of My Holy Spirit!?”
Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from his fruit, and no effective witness without his power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the Spirit is dead. – John Stott, The message of Acts.
“There is an unseen Deity present, a knowing, feeling Personality, and He is indivisible from the Father and the Son, so that if you were to be suddenly transferred to heaven itself you wouldn’t be any closer to God than you are now, for God is already here. Changing your geographical location would not bring you any nearer to God nor God any nearer to you, because the indivisible Trinity is present, and all that the Son is the Holy Ghost is, and all that the Father is the Holy Ghost is, and the Holy Ghost is in His Church.” -A. W. Tozer
“We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God….Shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?” – Francis Chan
Paul writes: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16) and “… in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19)
The Spirit is God’s own personal presence in our lives and in our midst. For Paul, to be saved means to become part of the people of God, It means to be born into God’s family and therefore joined to one another as one body, to be formed into God’s temple.
God is creating a people for His Name, among whom God dwells and who in their life together will reproduce God’s life and character in all its unity and diversity.
The presence of God, should be the very thing that distinguishes us from all the other people on the face of this earth. It is what makes the church “The church”—remember it was the outpouring of the Presence in the form of the Spirit that created the church in the first place!