CCCNZMark GraceAmbassador's BlogChildren and Family MinistriesJesusPrayerChurchCOVID-19GodLeadershipCCCNZ YouthYouth leadershipYouth ministryYouthWhat Comes Next?BibleChristmasFaithAucklandCoachingMurray BrownChildrenChildren's MinistryChristianCommunityJackie MillarJulie McKinnonLeadersMissionMulticultural ministryCampingCOVID-19 Protection FrameworkDiscipleshipFamilyRongopai2 Timothy 2ChristChristian CampingCommunity MinistryConnectionEaster CampEldersFIRST TrainingLui PonifasioMinistryNZOnslow Community ChurchRallyStudent ministrySupportWorshipWorship leadingYoung peopleAdministrationAdventAne PonifasioAustralian BushfiresBible in a yearBible readingBirkenhead Community ChurchCamp ministryCCCNZ AucklandCCCNZ PastorLinkChapel Hill Community ChurchChristchurch Mosque AttacksChurch PlantingChurchesCity Bible ChurchClark Road ChapelDanielle DiproseEldershipGC3GospelHukanui Bible ChurchIntergenerational ministryJeremy SuistedJesus ChristKerry RickardLifeChurch ManurewaLoveManawaru Bible ChapelMassey Community ChurchMāoriNZ RallyOrewa Community ChurchOutreachPacific CommunityPastorLinkPastorsPathways School of Worship LeadingRefugee MinistryRestRetreatRichard DavisRichard FountainRosedale Bible ChapelScriptureStudentsTasman ChurchTāmaki Community ChurchTeapot Valley Christian CampTheologyTogether Works BetterTrainingTSCFVolunteerWord of LifeYouth Reachout RoadtripYouth Summit1 Corinthians 15:141 Corinthians 15:3-51 Corinthians 15:3-81 Corinthians 15:8-111 Corinthians 1:18-311 Peter 11 Timothy 6:11-211-2-1 Bible Reading2 Corinthians 1:8-92 Peter 12 Timothy 2:1-132 Timothy 2:2201924-7 YouthWork60 years75 JubileeAbortion Legislation BillActs 27:23–26Acts 8Amatakiloa Bible ChurchAmos 5:8Annual Report 2020-21Aotearoa, NZAPAAppealAuckland Bible ChurchAuthenticityBad GuysBaptismBitternessBoardBoysBushfiresCalledCambell ForlongCampusCanterburyCareCarolsCCCAustCCCNZ Children and Family MinistriesCCCNZ PrayerCCNZChrist-centredChristchurchChristian Camping NZChristian CoachingChristian radioChristianityChristmas CarolChristmas messageChurch LeadersChurch on VogelChurch response to coronavirusChurch response to COVID-19Church Street ChapelCitizens Advice BureauColombiaComfort ZoneCommitmentCommunity CentreCompassionConflictConnectionsCoronavirusCreativityCross-culturalCrossroads ChurchCultural diversityDargaville Gospel ChurchDarrell BockDevotionsDr Merv CoatesEasterEducationEmily TylerEncouragementEngagingEphesians 1Ephesians 2EvangelismEventsExtraordinary GodEzra 3Ezra-NehemiahFaithfulFaithfulnessFinanceFireFreshFriendshipGalatians 2:10Gap YearGeoff StarkGiftsGirlsGlobalisationGlow in the ParkGod StoriesGod's faithfulnessGraceGrowthHadfieldHaggaiHarvestHeadspaceHealingHealthy youth ministryHeavy ladenHillcrest ChapelHoliday CampHope Community ChurchHorizon of HopeHospitalityIan ElliottIdeasImmigrationInconvenienceIndianInternationalInternational StudentsInternshipsIsolationJames 1:2-4James 1:26-27Jeewan DhaaraJosephKaipara Bible ChapelKiwiLakeland Park Christian CampLamentationsLast SupperLaunchpadLawson ScottLeanne BrownLearningLeaving HomeLeslie ScottLifewalkLightsLiving GodLyricsMark 10:45Marsden Bay Christian CampMaryMatarikiMaungarei Christian Community TrustMillenialsMt Wellington Community ChurchMusicNancy Jean Forbes Training CentreNational CCCNZ Youth TeamNelsonNew Year's HonoursNorthcross ChurchO Holy NightO Holy Night LyricsO WeekOrdinary ChristianOrosiusPaengaroa Bible ChapelPalmerston NorthPandemicParentsPartnershipPasifikaPathwaysPaulPākehāPeacePhilippiansPlanningPrayer GatheringPrayingPreach the WordPreparationPsalm 146Psalm 23Psalm 24:1-2Psalm 31PsalmsQSMQueen Elizabeth IIQueen's Service MedalRebekah ReeveRegionalRegional ConnectionsRegional EnablersRespiteResponseResurrectionRevelation 2-4Riccarton Community ChurchRiverbend Bible ChurchRob MortonRobert MitchellRutland Street ChurchSaviourSchoolSecond windSophia McCrindleSouthlandSOWLSpiritSpiritual formationStudent LifeStudent ministry at OtagoSuccessionSummer SchoolSummitSupport MinistriesSwedish MethodTauwhare Gospel ChapelTe Ao NgākauTeenagersTeensThe cross-shaped lifeThe gospelThe Greatest SaviourThe House Next DoorThe Mark DramaThe Orchard Church Te PukeThe Riverside ClubThessaloniansTimaruTitus 3:1-2Tongan TsunamiTop of the SouthTraumaTreatyTreaty of WaitangiUkraineUnityUniversity of OtagoWaikatoWaitangi Day 2019Waitangi Day 2022WearyWellingtonWestChurchWhat's Next?Whitiora Bible ChurchWoodend Christian CampWorking TogetherWorship EnablerWoven TogetherYoung AdultsYoung leadersYvonne Heng
TAGS

Are we being scattered?

By CCCNZ Ambassador Mark Grace


Delta Level 2 is seeing more of us meeting together outside our facilities than in them.

It’s plausible that there are new Covid variants coming. It’s possible intermittent lockdowns and level changes will continue.

Is this our new normal? Are we being scattered?

In Acts 8 God scatters his Church. What can we learn? 

God is at the centre

In Acts 1:8 Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit and states “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”.

His words walk themselves into history in Acts 8. The Church is scattered from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria. The chapter ends with an Ethiopian “from the ends of the earth” receiving the good news of Jesus.

God is at the centre of the scattering in the first century and he’s at the centre of the scattering of the Church in this century.

God works through ordinary Christians

Look at Acts chapter 8, verse 4.

Thousands of ordinary Christians are scattered across Judea and Samaria proclaiming the word as they go.

It’s these people Luke identifies first. It’s these people the living God entrusts with the good news of Jesus. God is still working through ordinary Christians.

God’s word works

We’ve all become used to the letters www. In Acts 8 they could stand for: the word, the word, the word.

In verses 4, 5 and 25 it is the dynamic and powerful word of Jesus working that Luke highlights.

Acts 8 is a powerful reminder to trust ordinary people with God’s extraordinary word. I need to keep reminding myself that God’s primary way of working in the world is not my structures or strategies, but through his incredible word.

God’s Holy Spirit is wonderfully active. In Acts 8 he confirms the gospel through healing and deliverance, he enters new Christians, and he leads Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch.

God’s Spirit is still wonderfully active today in drawing people to Christ and opening their eyes and hearts to the gospel.

God sends

God sends his people into Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The Apostles send Simon and Peter. In sending his people God physically de-centres the Church from its base in Jerusalem.  

Is God inviting your church to send? 

God’s mission sometimes looks messy 

Acts 8 looks messy to us: people are dying, thousands are fleeing, people are responding to the gospel in mis-guided ways. The chapter screams “child’s painting” more than “Mona Lisa”. It is... messy!

Are we being scattered? I don’t know.

What I do know is God is at the centre of history. That God's word is powerfully at work, that he continues to use ordinary Christians, that the Holy Spirit is wonderfully active, that he is still sending us into Aotearoa, New Zealand, and that living and speaking the gospel is as messy as ever.

What I do know is that working together as churches, campsites, and support ministries to point people to Jesus, through the gospel from the Scriptures is as important as ever.



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT