A Vision for this Church…
A small group of foreigners begins meeting once a month in České Budějovice to worship God in English. As friendships deepen and the members eagerly look forward to this time together, they choose to meet more often, even weekly. Their love of Jesus draws them together. Each is from a different background, but they find they benefit from the richness of this diversity.
They encourage and strengthen one another in the faith. They pray. They study the Bible. They do good deeds. They play and sing and laugh together. They mourn with each other and support one another, and admonish when necessary too. They take care of each other as a family. As foreigners uprooted from their homelands, they are happy to have such a close community in České Budějovice.
They tell their friends about this church they are a part of. Other foreigners and also Czechs visit their worship services; some join for good. All are welcome, of course. Many of the members enjoy doing things with their new friends from church throughout the week as well. They take care of one another and serve their needs.
They also have a desire to serve their community. Putting their faith into practice, they seek to help the less fortunate and show the love of Christ in tangible ways in the city. People who don’t know God are finding that his presence is very real; he is using this church to make a difference in people’s lives. And as they hear the Word of God declared and see it in action, many begin to believe.
Meanwhile, more people are joining their growing congregation. Some of them would rather worship in Czech, and most of the members would like to have a Czech-speaking church to invite their Czech friends to anyway. So a Czech-speaking congregation spins off of the English-speaking one. The two meet separately, but remain close and enjoy great encouragement from each other.
The joy, the love, and the welcome that abound in these churches because of salvation in Christ are infectious: more and more people are attracted to it. They see that Jesus changes lives for the better. People are finding healing from sins, help through struggles, confidence and peace in knowing God’s truth, and meaning in their lives and relationships. The Holy Spirit is clearly at work.
As the congregations grow, members from other neighborhoods or nearby towns find opportunities and help in starting congregations where they live. New groups are born here and there, still in relationship with the other ones. They also encourage–and are encouraged by–churches of various other denominations in their areas. God’s Kingdom is rich, diverse, growing, and open to all.
Some of those whose lives are changed in South Bohemia move to other parts of the Czech Republic, Europe, and the world, where they either join and serve other Christian churches or start other new congregations wherever they go. Everywhere, Jesus is made known and people find hope and salvation as they are introduced to the Lord. The story goes on and on and on until Jesus returns…
This vision is possible. This vision is worth pursuing. And this vision can only be achieved by God. He will do what he wants, whether it ends up looking like the vision above or something completely different. God just calls us to be faithful to him. So we will love; we will serve; we will worship, teach the Word, and call people to Christ. We will glorify God in our diversity, finding strength in our differences.
Do you have a vision of your place among God’s people? Are you ready to join this community and embrace a God-sized vision to see what he will do with us as we serve him?