Inspirational Influence

August 10, 2022 | Monty Waldron

I can’t think about a vision for the Church without a very early moment in church history coming to mind. The city of Thessalonica was in an uproar. Paul and Silas provided the fuel. 

They came to town and began engaging anyone who would talk with them in the local synagogue. Some in the crowd were persuaded by what they heard and believed what the two disciples had to say about Jesus. You would think this would be a cause for celebration. For some it was, but others in the Jewish community flew into a jealous rage.  

A raucous mob rounded up the men who were hosting the two missionaries and brought them before the city authorities. At the heart of their complaint, the ringleaders accused Paul and Silas of “turning the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6, ESV)  

I’m not sure how much world flipping had actually taken place at that point (remember, it was the accusation of the rabble attempting to stir up the authorities). I also doubt that cultural revolution was the thing Paul and Silas were after. They simply wanted the world to know Jesus, and everywhere they went, the gospel found fertile soil, and the fruit of the Spirit began to appear in the lives of those who believed. 

I’m inspired by a vision of Church that involves ever-expanding gospel influence. I’m challenged by those earliest missionaries who embraced the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) as their personal mission everywhere they went. I’m encouraged by their graceful resilience in the face of fierce opposition. 

That kind of church is never an accident. Churches—and the people who fill them—never drift into authentic community, spiritual maturity and missional fidelity. The unmistakable attributes of healthy churches are the fruit of humble intentionality; a way of life that has been conformed by grace through faith to the heart of our Savior. 

That’s a great way to think about what we’re after on Vision Sunday (8/14/22). We want to be a healthy church known for authentic community, spiritual maturity and missional fidelity. We want all that we are and all that we do to be conformed to the heart of our Savior.  

So, we intentionally devote a Worship Gathering every year to celebrating where God took us over the last twelve months, and dedicating ourselves to the direction He is leading us in the months ahead. I’m confident you will be greatly encouraged by all that God has done in, through and for Fellowship Bible Church since this time last year. I’m equally confident you’ll be fired up by the initiatives and opportunities we’re going after by God’s grace in our next ministry year. 

Noticing what God has done provides great fuel for our faith in what He can and will do. Paul was greatly encouraged by the fruit of his brief time in Thessalonica. Shortly after his departure, he wrote to them, “… you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere …” (1 Thessalonians 1:7–8, ESV)  

Fellowship, our faith is growing and our field is expanding! God is doing a beautiful work in our community of faith. Join us Vision Sunday to celebrate His goodness and dedicate ourselves to all He has in store for us in the days ahead.