Starting 2019 Part 3: The Year of 59

 

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By: Matt Evans

{This is part 3 in a series of posts about how we want to start 2019 at Rock Bridge.}

There are 59 “one another” commands in the New Testament! Practically, that means there are 59 instances where the Bible tells us how to treat and relate to one another. It also means that you cannot be a fully devoted Christ-follower without His church!! Finally, the sheer number of these commands tells us that is a correlation between our relationship with God and how we are “one anothering” one another.

We want 2019 to be the Year of 59.

  • A year where we grow as a community of Christ-followers who share His life and His love with one another.
  • A year where we “watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” [Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB].
  • A year where the watching worlds knows that we are disciples of Jesus because we “love one another” [John 13:35, CSB].

However, before we can move forward into this vision, confession and repentance are needed. We have struggled to care for one another, follow-up and respond to people, and practice the community God’s gospel creates. As a large church, we have to grow smaller … even as we grow larger numerically. We still have a BOLD Vision to connect 10,000 people to life in Christ throughout our region but that vision starts with and is realized with the number ONE: one God who calls us to do for one another what He did for us.

  • “… be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” [Ephesians 4:32, CSB]
  • Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” [Colossians 3:12-14, CSB]
  • “ … be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us …” [Ephesians 5:1-2, CSB]

 As we pursue a Year of 59, our Elders have discerned that we may need to identify and formally name more servant-leaders. We see in Scripture when the church was struggled to care for and properly serve her people, the solution was to increase leadership (see Exodus 18:13-23 and Acts 6:1-7). We have already created “New Here” spaces in our lobbies to better serve our guests who might need assistance or information to begin their journey of connecting.

All of us can look for opportunities we have to practice one anothering. For example, you might consider arriving earlier to worship gatherings and lingering longer afterwards to speak to and encourage others. Your small group could prayerfully consider multiplying into two groups, creating more space for others to connect and experience community.

Let’s remember the power of the Gospel not only to save us but create a new community—united by Christ and compelled by His love!

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About Matt Evans

Matt Evans hand lifted at Rock Bridge Community Church_res (4)

Matt Evans is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Rock Bridge Community Church in Dalton, Georgia. Matt and his wife, Beth, grew up in the Dalton area and saw the need for a church that would reach the lost, broken, de-churched, and spiritually wounded. 

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