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[1 Thess] Chapter 1 & Joyfest Report

(To listen to the podcast of this talk please click here)

1 Thessalonians

Chapter 1 & Joyfest Feedback

Today we started a new series looking through the book of 1 Thessalonians, starting today with chapter 1.

We also heard a bit of feedback from Joyfest.

OWNERSHIP

1 Thessalonians 1:2 – “We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.”

Dave’s first point was about how Paul ‘owned’ the mission God had given him. It wasn’t just a job he’d been asked to do… it was his job!

We’ve been thinking a lot recently about owning the mission God is calling us to. We’ve been challenged to pray from Matthew 9:38.

We’ve also thought about being a light, placed on a stand; that God has put us into situations – homes, workplaces, neighbourhoods, groups, clubs – where we have a calling to shine, that is to bring out God-colours.

This has been really evident in Joyfest as people connected with their friends and strangers in the city around them, often sacrificially in terms of time, energy and money.

  • How much ownership do you feel you have of a calling to people around you?
  • Who are these people? If you’re not sure, who might it be?
  • Is your sense of awareness and responsibility growing?
  • How could you foster this? Especially how might you use prayer to connect God’s heart for these people to your heart?

 

CULTURAL CONNECTION

1 Thessalonians 1:1 – “This letter is from Paul, Silas*, and Timothy.”
*Greek Silvanus, the Greek form of the name

Dave’s second point was about how Paul thought it was important to connect to people so he could communicate to them in a way they understood.  So here he opens his letter to this Greek church using the Greek from of Silas’ name.

One of the aims of Joyfest was to connect the church to the city in a ‘language’ that people, who perhaps had never had a connection with a church, could understand.  And the language was joy – making people smile and brightening their day.

  • The idea of cultural connection is an interesting one. How do we know where to draw the line? When are we culturally connecting and when are we just being the same as the world?
  • What principles, guidelines or markers could we have to help us navigate this?
  • How are you able to connect with the people around you? What’s a simple thing you could you do over the next couple of weeks to push into this?

 

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Posted on 24th June 2018
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