Hebrews 10:19-25 “19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Have you studied a passage lately, not unlike the said section from Hebrews 10, and the Lord so prompted by the power of His Word and the moving of His Spirit that you changed something? Maybe you adjusted something in your life, in the life of your family, or in this case, the life of the church? Jesus has given us new life and a new way of living that life through Him (vs. 20). We have the gift of salvation by His grace and a relationship offered to us by Christ which calls us to respond and confess sin (vs. 22-23). The author’s challenge in verses 24-25 leads us to consider how we might stir up and engage within one another our affections for the Lord Jesus. In all these things, Jesus is glorified, His power and might is magnified, and through our continued meeting together in His Name and for His Fame, we are continually being sanctified.
Recently the pastoral team at Vintage Church was meeting and began to discuss these three areas that I’ve drawn out of the passage and paragraph above (engage, challenge, respond). We discussed the flow in worship gatherings, both big and small – gatherings on campuses and community groups in homes. Over the course of that time we reflected over the past few months, looked at where we are today, and dreamt about the future of Vintage Church. We asked is it enough just to come together? How can we prepare and plan in such a way that above and apart from everything else, it’s all about Jesus – Jesus and nothing else? When the world is selling and telling of everything besides Jesus each and every day, as we gather how can we be driven in such a way that it all points to Christ? We found ourselves asking these questions of our team and of the Vintage family: why? what? who?…
- Why do we gather?
- What are we doing when we gather?
- What’s the goal?
- Who and what is the theme?
As we discussed, prayed over, and looked to scripture in response to these questions we settled on a flow for Vintage gatherings. What I truly love about this plan is that it funnels us to worship Jesus and challenges us to go and be the church! We’ve also learned a lot from other pastors and churches. A great example is Andy Stanley & NCC in Atlanta, GA who uses a flow called ‘Rules of Engagement.’ As we’ve learned together, we’re excited to present this new gathering format to Vintage Church.
Here is what you can expect at a weekend gathering.
- ENGAGE: connecting, reaching new people, welcoming first time guests, encouraging involvement
- call to worship song
- CHALLENGE : preaching, centrality & divisiveness of the Word, conviction to the lost and equipping to the saints
- video testimony
- bumper (lead-in video)
- RESPOND : salvation, confession, celebration, equipping, giving and sending
- worship (prayer & singing)
- closing, campus specific (campus pastor)
- giving (closing song)