Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Emmaus City Group Videos | How We Enjoy Life with Jesus in the City

Emmaus City Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Network of Missional Communities

What does a City Group – a community of various people learning about Jesus, and considering how to follow His words, works, and way  look like in Worcester, Mass.?

Solid question. I think one answer would be to find a Bible and take a look at the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel of John with someone, checking out how Jesus lived among others. Listen to what He said, and wonder about who He is. Then connect with some people who believe in Him and tend to look like Him from time-to-time in how they live. See how their faith in Him shapes how they rest, work, and play the every day stuff of life with their neighbors and friends.

Another step might be to connect with us as we seek to do this with Emmaus City Church. You are always most welcome. Check out the Emmaus City calendar, and spend some time with us in some different Sabbath services of worship and with our City Groups. Whether you are skeptical, seeking, or stirring up some belief, we want to hear your story and share some of ours.

In the meantime, for some more information about how Jesus lived His day-to-day life, we see in the Bible that He lived a full life. He was faithful to attend synagogue and go to the temple, and He was faithful to spend time in the homes of others who wanted to learn more about God (Matthew 9:35; Matthew 8:14). He served others, while also spending time where people were most comfortable (Mark 10:45; Luke 10:38-42). And He thanked God for all of the above, whether He was seeing something new in the life of His followers (Luke 10:17-24), feeding a crowd full of hungry people (John 6:10-12), or was about to comfort many by raising His friend, Lazarus, from the dead (John 11:38-44). And in everything, He stayed in communion and step with God in prayer, word, and action so He would know where to spend His time next and what He was supposed to do with the people whose paths He would cross (Luke 5:15-16)Because of this, Jesus lived a full, life-giving life – with God, His friends, people in towns and cities, and people who needed Him and received Him like Zaccheus and his family, or the entire town He was introduced to by the Samaritan woman at the well (Luke 19:1-10; John 4:1-35).

So how can this look similar for us today in and around Worcester? Renovation in Atlanta, Georgia, Austin Stone in Austin, Texas, and Soma in Tacoma, Washington also follow Jesus' words, works, and way in similar ways in their cities. Check out some of the videos and quotes below for more of a feel of what you might encounter with Emmaus City.

Video Link 1 of 3: Renovation Church – Missional Community Life in the City

"We hold Sunday mornings ... to come together, to celebrate God, to hear the preached Word, to sing His praises, and at the same time know that's not it. That's not the end goal. That's not the end game. The end game is living sent lives together in community moving towards Jesus' kingdom reign." 
"Our mission is to glorify Jesus in renovating the city holistically through the gospel. That can't just happen with a Sunday morning service. If we just wanted to plant a service, we could do that, but the city would stay exactly the way that it is." 
"For us, City Groups are frontlines for cultural, social, missional and spiritual engagement. ... We have a heart for (our city), but the mission of God goes beyond (our city). It goes beyond (our neighborhood). ... (The Gospel) is for others and not just for ourselves. So my prayer is that the Christ that I know, the One who saved me, I can introduce others to Him on a consistent basis."

Video Link 2 of 3: Austin Stone Community Church  Missional Community Life in Apartments and Suburbs

"This neighborhood is the people we feel like God has put us in front of and said, 'This is where you're supposed to be.' ... the people around us, literally living two doors down, are the people we are supposed to be spending time investing in. And ultimately, we want to see those people get to experience what it's like to see love, to see relationship, to see service.
"I think of what better way, as far as my perspective, to go through life, to be surrounded by other people that really love you and care about you, and also love Jesus, as well as to invite other people in to experience what that family, what that love, that relationship looks like. To hear it declared and to see it demonstrated are two incredible ways for people to see what Jesus did for us, ultimately."

Video Link 3 of 3: Soma Church  What Does Missional Community Life Look Like in the Daily Rhythms of Life? 

"We looked at what it would be like to live life ... not just life on Sunday for a couple hours, but looking at what it would mean to be God's people wherever we're at. ... For us, this picture of 'What would it look like to be Jesus' body filling the city, filling every place that we're in with His presence?' That's really what we saw. That's what we believe the church to be." 
"Every year, all of our (City Groups) sit down and identify, 'Who is it we believe God's sent us to, what place has He sent us to, and how are we going to radically reorient our lives for the sake of reaching those people?' Our day-to-day, our week is shaped by that ... The goal is to see it in the flow of life. ... what I'm really hoping for every person in a (City Group) is that ... they would get to experience what it means to be the people of God all week." 
"This isn't just an event. This has taste and flavor to when Christ first broke into my heart. ... I'm pursuing them very much corresponding to how God pursued me, and reached out to me, and chased after me. There is a reorientation that needs to happen and I also see that this reorientation is the gospel. This is what belief is about."  

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