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When Jesus instructed those who follow Him to ‘Go and make disciples’ and then declared to his disciples that they/we would be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, He had good news in mind: the news about Him. Sometimes though, even the best news seems to be hard to break. This series is all about sharing your faith – the good news about Jesus and what he has done for us.
Through August and into the first week of September, we’re talking about sharing Jesus with others: why, what, how and where.
Many of us have been around and in churches for so long that we settle on an idea of its definition and purpose that is of our own making. We may not have been that intentional about the idea of church that we’ve end up with but, somehow or other, we’ve landed there. Most likely, somewhere we’re either comfortable or resigned to. Caused by our joy, our ambivalence or our scars.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus turns to His disciple, Peter, and declares to the frail Peter that he is a rock and on that rock, He will build His church…and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That is to say that nothing will stand in the way of the vision that God has for his people on earth who are in Jesus.
What sort of church did Jesus mean? What sort of church withstands the gates of hell? What is the church as Jesus sees it?
We want to be a part of building that church alongside Jesus because unless He builds it, we labour in vain. And we want to be part of building the church knowing that THE church is bigger than THIS church, yet this church is an expression of Jesus’ body.
This series considers the characteristics of a church patterned after Jesus’ vision; The Big Table as a flawed but glorifying expression of that vision; the mission of a church after Jesus’ vision; and the fruit of a Church after Jesus’ vision.
One thing seems sure: the Church that Jesus died for is far broader, far more embracing, far more loving, and far more redemptive than those of which we have often been a part. This isn’t a despairing thought, but it should be unsettling…and it should leave us both desiring to represent Jesus: despite the shame it may bring, despite the squirmish-ness it may bring inside and outside the broader church, and despite the fact that it may be inconvenient and uncomfortable. These are poor measures of Kingdom-effectiveness!
What are we hoping to achieve in this series? I think a perfect picture of Jesus’ bride is impossible when we’re looking into a mirror dimly, but I pray that we emerge with a clear understanding of our purpose, our mission and our role as salt, light and love for those within the body of Christ and those who so desperately need to hear the good news about Jesus.
We’re spending four weeks talking about Jesus’ Church and we’d love you to join us at The Big Table – 9:30am, each Sunday (5pm on the First Sunday!)
On May 9 (into May 10), we’re setting aside 24 hours to pray into all that’s going on within and around us at The Big Table.
From 10am on May 9, we’re creating blocks of one hour that you can sign up to – feel no restraint to limit yourself to one hour!
We’re trusting that there’ll by more than one person praying in the room at any one time but, even if it’s just you, that’s ok!
We’re also planning to have some information and leadership to give direction to that prayer as well as times of worship punctuated throughout the 24 hours.
We’d love you to sign on for as many ‘prayer chunks’ as you’re able and are trusting that God is going to use this time to work in and through us, tell us stuff, and use those times for us to listen to Him. And because prayer is powerful. In Jesus’ name, prayer changes things.
To find out more, just ask around on a Sunday morning or, if you’re on thebigtable.onthecity.org, sign on there.
Beginning July 13, we’re spending 7 weeks in the book of Nehemiah. A book about worship, vision, exile, leadership, waiting and action….and a book about building something good. Within Nehemiah’s story is ours too – a story that has been completed in Jesus.
We’d love you to join us – 9:30am, each Sunday through the months of July & August.
Through June, we’re walking through a series on the things that matter most at The Big Table (you can take a look at them on this website). Over four weeks, we’ll cover 2-3 core values each week. It’s a different sort of series for us at The Big Table but one we’re praying intentionally positions us on the same page together as a community on mission for the glory of God.
We’d love you to join us – 9:30am, each Sunday through the month of June.
This Sunday at The Big Table (9:30am, May 4), Jessamy Perriam joins Simon Elliott to talk Facebook, self, image crafting, identity and following Jesus.
Jess gained an MA in Digital Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2012/13 focussing on thinking critically about technology’s impact on ourselves, others and society.
In 2012 we introduced the Band of Sisters…and then the Band of Brothers – in over six different ‘intakes’ through through 2012 and 2013, around 100 sisters and brothers signed up to see each other through to the goal of running 5km…in one hit. It’s back again: #BOS7 – the first Bands of 2014!
Click here for more.
The program combines walking and running intervals in a group setting. It doesn’t assume any level of fitness greater than perhaps an ability to run to the bus in desperation! The sessions will combine the physical workout alongside practical help on stretching, form/technique, pacing, gear selection and nutrition (and any other questions you ask along the way).
If you’re Facebook but not part of the BT RunClub group on Facebook, join up so you can get more information about the sessions and share the journey with those who have signed up for it!