During January 2022, our vicar, Steve Nichols will begin a new teaching series - Life Together. We will be exploring what kind of church Jesus calls his people to be as we focus in on Acts 2:42 - "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."
Life Together (1) - 9th January
Sermon: A Learning Church (11.15am)
Passage: Acts 2:42-47 & Acts 17:10-15
Acts 2:42 – ‘They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching…’
How does devotion to the Apostles’ teaching work out in practice for us today now the Apostles are no longer around?
James warns not merely to hear/read/study the word, but to put it into practice also (James 1:22). How can your Connect Group be a place of encouragement to do this? Are there questions or practices you can build into your times together that help you grow in this?
Are you in the habit of reading the Bible regularly personally? If you are, can you share with the group how you do this? If you aren’t, how might you begin?
What encouragement have you had in reading God’s word recently that you can share with your group?
In 2 Corinthians 10:5 the Apostle Paul tell us to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. Can you think of an example of how you have had to change your thinking on some area of life because God’s word has challenged and corrected you?
Prayer – Pray that the Lord would give us a greater appetite for His word; a greater desire to put it into practice; a faithfulness to Him even when it is countercultural. Pray for the Hope Explored course starting this week.
Life Together (2) - 16th January
Sermon: A Caring Church (11.15am)
Passage: Acts 2:42 & Acts 4:32-35
Acts 2:42 – ‘They devoted themselves to the fellowship…’
Read Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37
When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the New Testament Church the believers devoted themselves to fellowship. What is fellowship? What did it look like in those early days? Have you experienced anything like it today?
1 John 1:3, 6-7. What do these verses teach us about fellowship?
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always lived a life of perfect love and fellowship. As part of His Bride (the Church) we are united to Jesus and brought into this fellowship with God. What differences does it make that Church isn’t something we DO. It’s something that we ARE? How can we be better at caring for one another, not just on Sundays, but throughout the week?
Who from All Saints haven’t you seen for a while/since before Covid? What can you do to encourage them?
‘It takes a church to raise a Christian’. Do you agree? Why/why not?
Read Malachi 3:16. What encouragement have you had in reading God’s word, in answered prayers or in witnessing recently that you can share with your group?
Prayer - Pray that we would be even more welcoming as a church, growing together in Christ and growing in our love for one another. Pray too for our enquirers’ group, Hope Explored meeting on Thursday evening. Thank God for a good start last week. Pray that people will come back, get to know one another and have good discussions. Pray that the Lord would open people’s hearts to the Lord Jesus.
Life Together (3) - 23rd January
Sermon: A Worshipping Church (11.15am)
Read Luke 22:14-27
Passage: Acts 2:42 & 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Acts 2:42 – ‘They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread…’
As you begin… Have you had an encouragement or challenge from your own Bible reading during the week that you can share with the group? Prayers answered? A good conversation about the Lord with someone?
Why did Jesus choose the Passover meal as the occasion to institute what we know now as the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion? The clues are all in the passage. Don’t miss out on the word ‘covenant’. Look up 1 Corinthians 5:7 as a key verse.
Discuss the power of ‘remembrance’ (verse 19) for a believer. What difference would it make to the Church if there was no such event as the Lord’s Supper?
Is it surprising that in history wrangles and controversies have arisen over the Lord’s Supper? What evidence is there of wrong attitudes, even on this founding night? How does 1 Corinthians 10:17 speak to this?
Prayer - Pray that as a Church we would be anchored to the Cross – that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins would be at the centre of all we are, say and do as a fellowship.
Pray again for our enquirers’ group, Hope Explored meeting on Thursday evening. Thank God for those who’ve been coming along. Pray that the Lord would open people’s hearts to the Lord Jesus. Pray that people would sign up for the online Christianity Explored course (led by Lewis and Naa) and investigate further.
NB If you are housebound and would like to receive communion, please contact Stephanie Tuddenham.
Life Together (4) - 30th January
Sermon: A Praying Church (11.15am)
Passage: Acts 2:42 & Acts 4:23-31
Acts 2:42 – ‘They devoted themselves to prayer…’
As you begin… Have you had an encouragement or challenge from your own Bible reading during the week that you can share with the group? A good conversation about the Lord with someone? Prayers answered?
Read Acts 4:1-31
Read Acts 1:14; 2:42; 4:23-24; 12:5; 13:1-3, etc. - Why was united prayer so important in the New Testament church? Is it any different from praying individually/in our small groups?
What lessons and encouragements can we take from the prayer meeting in Acts 4:23-31?
How can we help one another to be devoted to prayer as a church?
Will you block out in your diary the fourth Wednesday of the month (8-9 pm) to come and pray together? It really is the powerhouse of the church!
What challenge or encouragement has particularly struck you from this passage or from the short series as a whole? Take a moment to pray about it.
Prayer - Pray that the church prayer meeting would grow - that as a church we would love to meet together to pray. Pray for the online Christianity Explored course (led by Lewis and Naa Mayne) starting on Thursday 3rd February. Pray for people to come, for relationships to grow, for the technology to work… and most of all for the Lord to open hearts to Him.