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40 Days of Community

INTRODUCTION

Have you longed to belong? The truth is, everybody wants to be loved and wants to belong.  That’s what 40 Days of Community was all about.  Helping us to become a community of people who genuinely love each other and care for each other.  Through 40 Days of Community, we deepened our sense of community within our church, then reached out to the community around our church.  We are discovered the answer to the question, “What on earth are WE here for?”  





Audio Recordings

You can listen to the sermons for each Sunday in 40 Days of Community below:

Launch Sunday

Intro to 40 Days of Community, Excerpts from 40 Days of Community Launch DVD, Excerpts from 40 Days of Community Launch DVD #2


1 Better Together

Interview with Jasmine from Selsdon Community Contact, Message - Better Together


2 Reaching out Together

Message - Better Together - To Reach out and Share the Love of God


3 Fellowship Together

Message - Build Strong Fellowship


4 Growing Together - Mission Fair at Addington Road

Message - Better together - To Grow in Faith


5 Serving Together - Mission Fair at Greenvale Message - Better When We Serve Together

6 Worshipping Together

Message

7 Final Celebration followed by lunch

Song, Reports on 40 days - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Weekly Summary

Launch Sunday

On April 19th "40 Days" was launched at Selsdon Baptist. After a brief introduction by Mike Elcome, we watched part of Rick Warren's launch DVD.

Rick answered the question "What on earth are we here for?" with" Together we are the body of Christ". He emphasised that 'community' is the outworking of Love in the church. We need community because

We have better fellowship together

We worship better together

We Grow better together

We reach out better together

We serve better together

As he closed he emphasised that Jesus always sided with the underdog, and God expects us to do the same.

He suggested that we should not be a church where the hands and feet of the body have been amputated and only the mouth remains - it is time for that to change.

Week 1 - Better Together

Mike reminded us that on every page the Bible talks about community. We need each other to e Christians. We need love in God's family. Life is about learning to love. We are better together:

1. So we can journey together with each other

2. So we can work with one another

3. So that we can watch out for each other

4. So that we can share with each other


Mike summed it by "Love helps us do better together".

We were also treated to a puppet show - watch part of the show here.

Week 2 - Better Together - To Reach Out and Share the Love of God

Mike introduced this week's theme. We can reach out and share God's love so much better if we do it together.  As Philippians 1:27 says, we should be standing side by side for the faith.. In what ways should we do this:

1. We should support each other in prayer. Prayer is a catalyst that changes people. We can pray for anyone, inside the church or out, family, friends colleagues.

2. We should support each other in fellowship. We should make friends with people because God loves them. We must not be isolated in church, cut off from the world. We may be the closest our friends ever get to Jesus. We need to be salt and light for the world.

3. We support each other in love. People sometimes think Christians are judgemental and know us by what we're against. We need to be known by the way we love each other.

4. We should support each other in telling. Giving your testimony is just 'retelling your story'. We are witnesses, not barristers, policemen, judges - we can tell the facts that we know without and let others come to their conclusions. And we should be ready to ask others to come and hear the gospel in other ways, such as Christian Aide events, gospel concerts, Summer Fun Days etc.


Our  motto for the week should be "God Use Me"

If you want to see the second puppet show, click here

Week 3 - Better Together - To Build Strong Fellowship

Mike told us that we need strong fellowship so that we can reach out to the community together. In a church we have connections with each other, and we need to focus on our relationships. There were four things that undermined fellowship, and four actions to take to overcome them:

1. Avoid Self Centeredness. We think of ourselves first. We have to work against our western culture of 'me first'. Selfishness destroys relationships and causes trouble. We must learn Unselfishness - how to get along with others who are different, and learn to listen to one another

2. Avoid Pride. Takes the form of criticism, stubbornness, shallowness, having the last word. We must learn Humility, we must take advice, we must live in harmony.

3. Insecurity. We fear human opinion, we worry what others think. We fear being rejected. We must learn Confidence - Perfect love drives out all fear.

4. Unforgiveness. Where we are hurt by others mistakes and attacks, we often hold a grudge and carry resentment. It's not easy, but, We must learn Forgiveness. Don't pretend it didn't happen, but take the attitude, "It did hurt, but it's in the past". Let God help us with forgiveness

As Romans 12:5b says - "We are one Body"

We also had instalment number 3 of the Alex and Sally puppet show - you can see it here

Week 4 - Better Together - To Grow in Faith

Mike told us we can only bear fruit in fellowship with other Christians. He used the example of the pear tree, which needs other pear trees or the fruit will not be pollinated. The bible says we should " encourage each other and build each other up". There are four ways to do this

1. By acceptance and affirmation. Don't be negative, choose to lift people up. Put some effort into saying positive things to people.

2. By time and appreciation. Put time into growth for others, Avoid things that compete for our time - e.g. television. Make friends, don't watch it! Think of someone you might overlook, stop and appreciate them and thank them.

3. By Prayer and Faith. Paul says "Epaphras always prays fervently."  We should make a point of praying for our friends.

4. By new beginnings. God wants us to start again. God never gives up on us. He will give us a 2nd, 3rd, 50th, 100th chance. He will use others to inspire you.

Mike ended with the analogy of the redwood tree, the largest trees on the planet. They need to grow together, because their roots are intertwined to give the strength to hold up the enormous tree. In the same way, as Christians, together our faith grows strong.

We also had instalment number 4 of the Alex and Sally puppet show - you can see it here.

Week 6 - Worship Together - To Grow in Faith

Diane Watts told us that worship expresses our relationship with God, and looked at several aspects of this.

1 Worship is all about God's story. We are retelling God's story, and is part of our encounter with God, where we become part of his story. In worship we tell each other the story of God in our lives.

2. Worship is responding to God. Just as football fans respond when their team has won an important match, so we respond to the things God has done for us.

3. Worship is Listening to God. Sometimes we need to be quiet and listen. We need to listen to God's Word, to listen in prayer, and listen to each other.

4 Worship is what we do. This may be through singing, prayer, or action

Celebration Sunday

We all shared together what we had gained from 40 Days of Community. Brian Reeves shared the blessings of prayer walking around the neighbourhood. Thomas Amokwandoh shared how prayers requested on our prayer tree had been answered in the reconciliation of his cousins after 10 years of discord. Jane White from our Greenvale congregation shared their vision to hold a "Live Better for Less Community Day" on the Greenvale field. Our Sunday Club children presented us with a 'thank you' card!

All in all we have been energised to continue the service to the community we are already doing, and to look for new opportunities for mission and ministry.


Puppet Shows

Our worship over the series was enhanced by the "Alex and Sally Puppet Shows". You can watch all these on You Tube by clicking the following links:

Alex and Sally show why its "Better together"

Alex and Sally decide reaching out for Christian Aid is 'Better Together'


Alex and Sally Football


Puppets Alex and Sally - Better Together - Growing Together


Alex and Sally Worship Together


Alex and Sally 40 Days Celebration


Audio Sunday Summaries Puppet Videos