About 18 months ago now you took a significant, courageous, faith-filled step. It was at that time that First Church began investing time, energy, and commitment to what we now call the Acts Network.
I say it was an act of faith because we did not know fully what it would look like. We did not know exactly how it would work. We did not see many other churches doing it to follow their model. But not content to simply wait for people to come to us on Sunday mornings (in a world that increasingly does not “just come” to church) you took a leap of faith by investing in a way of life and ministry in which we have been learning how to meet people on their turf as well as in our own worship experiences. So over the last 18 months we have seen fresh expressions of new types of community and worshipping groups meeting. Some of these locations have been in people’s homes, in a gym, over a meal, outdoors, and around a specific interest (such as hiking or sewing).
All the while we have continued to meet in larger, more corporate worship gatherings every Sunday morning.
I want to thank you for being the type of church that is willing to take such steps of faith. To me it more accurately reflects living as the Bible shares it in the book of Acts. Through all the settings I have just mentioned we have really started to experience the movement of God’s Holy Spirit in significant ways—whether through baptism, deeper Bible study, or consideration of faith in new and significant ways. In short we really are seeing lives transformed in Jesus Christ!
I bring all of this up now because when we began this endeavor of the Acts Network I was not aware of hardly any other churches doing such a thing. But God has been greatly affirming this step of faith we have taken. God is stirring. In recent months I have been having more and more divinely appointed conversations with church leaders from around the country about what fresh expressions of faith such as the Acts Network could look like in their setting. I am both learning from others that we are not alone in this endeavor and that First Church is increasingly becoming a resource for other churches who are considering taking such a step.
What all of this tells me is that God is on the move in our world. God is stirring. I believe God is again creating a holy movement in our world. God is raising up churches of faith for a new day to share the Gospel in ways to meet the challenges of our times. And WE First Church get to be a part of it! Thank you for being such a church. It is such a privilege to serve with you in these exciting times.
If you want to learn more about what this type of movement looks like in our context or if God is stirring your heart on how to take a more direct role in our Acts Network, please be in touch with Mitch Marcello! Most of all I would ask for your prayers that we remain fully in step with whatever God is stirring among us.