by Dan Amos
As we seek God’s direction for his church at Elim, the Elder Board has been going through the book of Acts–sort of going back to the basics of church. One thing that struck me was that the explosive growth in the church did not come during Christ’s earthly ministry, but it came when the believers humbled themselves, prayed for the Holy Spirit and he did mighty things through the people.
They became a radically different community. Their neighbors looked at them and saw they were very different from who they used to be and from everyone around them. The believers came together regularly for worship that must have been thrilling. They sang songs and hymns, sat under the Apostles teaching, prayed, ate together and shared what they had, which they believed God had provided.
We can not possibly emulate what happened then except by each one of us, individually and corporately, being transformed by the Holy Spirit and living in community. In Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35 we see the documentation of the living and sharing in community, but in both cases it was preceded by teaching, prayer and being one in heart and mind.
We have long emphasized the need to be in relationships. It was one area of our church-wide REVEAL survey where we were strongest. We have many, many people regularly meeting in community groups, small groups, Bible studies and accountability relationships. These will continue to be a part of who we are.
We will continue to concentrate on living and acting as a community. Martin has often referred to making Elim “a light on the hill.” Our goal is to foster loving, gracious and serving relationships to encourage and support one another as we go out and serve South Hill and beyond. This is how we are called to live and it will be extremely painful if we try to do it on our own. Instead, join us in prayer for the Holy Spirit to radically transform us and prepare to be blessed beyond our imaginations.