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TITLE: A Gathering of Strangers

TEXT: Acts 4:31-35

PROPOSITION: Our attitude toward worship will determine how friendly we are to those from the outside.


KEY WORD: Dynamics




               1. American Express ads on TV - "Do you know who I am?"

               2. We go from locked house to attached garage, open with opener from inside the car, drive-thru window at fast food place for breakfast, return home the same way --

               3. We are losing contact with people.

               4. It is not possible to know everybody well


I. The dymanics

               A. Celebration - does not matter --

                              1. How many others are there

                              2. Who they are or if you know them

                              3. What is going on in their lives.

               B. Congregation - some recognition --

                              1. Know many by name or face

                              2. Hear announcements about them.

                              3. See them occasionaly before the assembly

                              4. Common purpose and goals.

               C. Cell - small group, know well --

                              1. Talk, listen, learn grow

                              2. Understand how others feel

               D. In the life of Jesus --

                              1. Celebration = feeding the multitudes

                              2. Congregation = 120 in upper room

                              3. Cell = 12 apostles


II. How to you attend worship?

               A. Movie theater - the show

                              1. Important - what is the show?

                              2. Not important - Who is there, what is going on in their lives, recent deaths, hospital, illness

                              3. We go for the show - and go home.

                              4. Pay at a different time - "Free admission, pay before you leave."

               B. Wal-Mart - the bargains

                              1. Look for the bargains.  What is on sale?

                              2. Might run into a few friends.

                              3. Christianity is not cheap, on half-price sale.

               C. Class reunion - see who has changed

                              1. Who is divorced, re-married

                              2. Catch up on the news, who is a success, who not

               D. Family picnic - fellowship with family

                              1. Social - fun, fellowship, food

                              2. "Enjoy the services."


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