“Church exists for the benefit of it’s non members” wrote William Temple, but how will those outside church know? In this talk, Vicki Sutton challenges us to be invitational and to overcome our fear of inviting friends, neighbours and colleagues to encounter Jesus and to invite Coventry to Alpha.
Our God is an extravagant giver. If we are to follow in His footsteps, then generosity is one of the key ways the Church should stand out from society. In this final part, Nathan challenges us to step out out of our comfort zones and be prepared to give not just willingly, but hilariously generously.
Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” What did he mean? In this talk Nick asks, Why is church so important and how do we join with Jesus as he continues to build his church here in Coventry?
All the lonely people, Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, Where do they all belong?
All of us experience loneliness from time to time, but for many loneliness has become a chronic problem. How do we as the church, bring hope and friendship to those who are isolated in our own midst? How do we belong to one another?
There’s a lot in the Bible about how life is ‘better together’ and what that looks and feels like. What real life with real people should be like. In fact Paul and others, who were helping the first churches to be communities that belonged to each other, wrote a whole load of statements and commands that these young churches were to live out. These are not things you can simply talk about, these are actions and expectations of those who follow Jesus:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
So, Coventry Vineyard, how are you doing on these? Are you creating somewhere for the lonely to belong? Who will you call or meet up with this week and ask, “How are you doing, really?”
People’s most basic need in life is relationship. People connected to other people thrive and grow, and those not connected wither and die. It is a medical fact, for example, that from infancy to old age, health depends on the amount of social connection people have… At the emotional level, connection is the sustaining factor for the psyche, the heart, and the spirit. Virtually every emotional and psychological problem, from addictions to depression, has alienation or emotional isolation at its core or close to it. Recovery from these problems always involves helping people to get more connected to each other at deeper and healthier levels than they are.
-Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Church has been described as “a collection of people who belong to one another”. At Coventry Vineyard we are starting a new series, looking at what “belonging’ really looks and feels like. How life is “Better Together”.
Click on the link to hear the talk from our Sunday Morning Gathering on 1st September 2013