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Step 6: Church

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Next Steps are designed to help us grow as Christians in two categories: God's Mission and God's Word. 

←Mission→ Look out to the world; look in at our lives. 


Mission Training:  Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23 "And he told them many things in parables, saying: 'A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. … Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’"

What can we learn about making disciples from this parable?
-Like the farmer did not choose where to plant his seeds, we should not only pick those who look like "good soil", but we should share the gospel with everyone.
-There are different types of responses to the gospel and not all responses will be positive. Don't be surprised that not everyone accepts the gospel. We are not responsible for how people respond but only to keep sharing the gospel.
-The gospel will take root and grow in the some peoples' hearts, so the more people we share with the more people will choose to put their faith in Jesus.

Share with everyone. Keep sharing. Share a lot.


Accountability:  Last time we set a goal to share our testimony with one or more persons from our prayer list. How did that go? Celebrate any victories and encourage one another to keep striving to share Christ's love and gospel with those around you! 


Goals & Prayer: Looking at your prayer list, choose at least one person. How will you share Christ with them in the next two weeks (examples: share your testimony, share the gospel, invite them to church, study First Steps, etc.)? Share the name of the person you choose and the goal you’ve set. Pray for these goals and for one another.


↑Word↓ Look up to God's Word; look down to our lives. 


Gather Together Around God’s Word: Next Steps 6 - Church

When we become Christians God adopts us into his family, called the church.

What is the church?

1. A family with a common identity.

Ephesians 2:19-22 [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

As a Christian you may feel isolated from the society around you that does not yet understand your faith and love for God. But we are citizens of a new kingdom and member of a family that stretches throughout time and around the world.

2. The people of God, for God.

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10 [4] As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, [5] you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ... [9] But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [10] Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The church is not a building, but we are built together like a building, each member like brick that together builds a community in which God is glorified.

No matter what our past is, we are now God's people. He chose us, he saved us, and he made us his own.

We exist for God--he saved us in order to worship and enjoy him forever.

What does the church do?

3. The church gathers for worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and loving one another.

Acts 2:42, 44, 46 [42] And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. ... [44] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. ... [46] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.

Christians gather together to love God (worship, prayer, learning from the Bible, etc.) and to love one another (fellowship, encouragement, meeting one another's needs, prayer, confession, etc.). Jesus gave the new command to love one another, that is other Christians, in John 13:34. Because we cannot “love one another” outside of church community it is crucial for Christians to gather together in order to obey the command of Jesus.

Christians gather in large groups ("attending the temple together") and in small groups ("breaking bread in their homes"). 

4. The church scatters for the mission.

Acts 8:4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.

In Acts 8 the Christians were scattered due to harsh persecution that broke out in Jerusalem. An important principle can be observed from their example: wherever they went they shared the good news of Jesus Christ!

As Christians, we live on mission for Jesus throughout the week, sharing the gospel, loving those around us, and being a light in the darkness. We gather together to re-charge through learning more about God and gaining encouragement from one another.


Hebrews 10:24-25 [24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 


Fellowship:  How is everyone doing? What was the most significant event in the past two weeks? Is there something heavy upon your heart? Does anyone need prayer?