a Letter to a Missional Movement
Paul was an amazing Christian leader, church planter and discipler. The second half of The Book of Acts tells his story and several of the books in the New Testament were written by him. In his early years he travelled extensively planting churches in new places where the gospel had not been preached. Staying for just a short time he would quickly move on. These churches though never really became self-sustaining or reproducing and remained very dependent upon him. In response we see Paul changing his strategy. In fact he adopts a strategy closer to Jesus’s own. Instead of rushing around planting new churches, when Paul got to Ephesus he stayed there for two years (that’s a long time for a man who travelled 1500 miles in his first trip!). While he was there he focused on discipling a relatively small group of disciples (Acts 19:10). Something extraordinary happened. As Paul poured his life into them, these disciples became disciple makers themselves. That’s what a disciple does. The result? The gospel spread quicker and faster than ever before. In fact, it went viral and the whole region heard the message (Acts 19:10) and new communities of faith started. The church in Ephesus had become a catalyst for a missional movement.
Some years later Paul writes a letter to this missional movement celebrating what it means to Live it!, that is to live the life that’s in Christ. It’s a letter of encouragement to ordinary Christians about the extraordinary impact their lives can have as they simply Live it! out where they are, in the communities that they are in. As they do, Jesus will be made known and God will do more than they can imagine.
That letter is now the book we call Ephesians, placed in the heart of the New Testament for us as a call to Live it! in our day and where we are. It’s our invitation to become part of a missional movement of our own.
Sunday 13th May – A missional movement (Ephesians 1:1-2)
Sunday 20th May – Alive in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-23)
Sunday 27th May – Live in community (Ephesians 2)
Sunday 3rd June – Paul’s example (Ephesians 3:1-13)
Sunday 10th June – Live in your calling (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Sunday 24th June – Live in your gifts (Ephesians 4:1-16)
Sunday 1st July – Live in the light (Ephesians 4:17-5:14)
Sunday 8th July – Live it where you are (Ephesians 5:15-6:9)
Sunday 15th July – Take your stand (Ephesians 6:10-24)