The South Gate in Lynn gives me goose bumps every time I drive through it. It was there in 2006 I heard God! On my first ever visit to Kings Lynn, God spoke to me “Call it the Gateway, it will be a gateway for the Gospel to goto the nations.” We moved here with a passion to plant a vibrant New Testament Church made up of every nation represented in and around Lynn.
Our new logo looks a bit like the South Gate, made up of multi-coloured blocks. On New Years day we built an 7ft high logo to illustate an important point!
The church is made of up of living stones joined together by the Holy Spirit (Eph2:22 and 1 Peter 2:5). One of the great beauties of New Testament Churches is that we are made up of diverse peoples – of different nations, class, age, background. It’s a breathtaking work of the Spirit to see such different people love one another and be joined together because we love Jesus and He is changing us.
Last Sunday we built our logo during the sermon as a powerful illustration of each one of us being joined together by the Spirit. In an age where we are quick to change gas and electricity supplier, mobile phone company and mortgages, we have become relentless consumers who chop and change at the slightest upset. The church is called to be radically different – a people joined together by the Spirit, who work things through and not walk easily!
Perry Noble wrote a great blog post about nearly walking away from Chick-fil-a after one bad experience in 20 years. He then applied it to church life. Someone could be going to a church for years, but one bad experience…
- Someone didn’t call when they weren’t there for two weeks
- Someone said something hurtful to or about them
- Didn’t like what the preacher said
- Didn’t like what the kids were doing
That one thing trumps everything else and they walk. But, If you are in a church long enough…
- You will see some hypocrisy
- Someone will say something hurtful
- There will be a decision you don’t like
- There will be a sermon that makes you mad!
And then the enemy will want to convince you to walk away and not be joined together as living stones. But if we pull one away, the whole body suffers
So being “joined together” means a number of things – addressed in the “one another” scriptures
- Talk and dialogue over issues – Jesus tells how in Matt 5 and Matt 18
- Forgive one another Eph 4:32; Col 3:13
- Bear with one another Eph 4:2
- Be at peace with one another Mark 9:50
- Love one another – dozens of times
- Live in harmony with one another Rom 12:16
- Stop passing judgement on one another Rom 14:13
- Honour one another Rom 12:10
- Admonish one another Col 3:16
- Don’t grumble against each other James 5:9
- Encourage one another Hebrews 3:13
That’s what being joined together looks like. That is Hard! It is much easier to walk away – but walking away is not God’s way.
That is why Eph2:22 tells us the Spirit is building us together. It is a work of the Spirit in our lives.
What I believe God will be doing in us is strengthening the joins! Work of the Spirit and time – it takes time to build deep relationships and it requires the Spirit to help us die to self, to spiritual pride and say sorry when we need to.
Let’s be joined together by the Spirit and show the world what it means to be a church who radically loves one another!