Signs of the Spirit (3 of 14) by Joe Alain

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Signs of the Spirit (3 of 14)
Series: Acts
Joe Alain
Acts 2:42-47

Last Sunday, my wife Rhonda and I attended the Kairos prison ministry closing ceremony at LCIW, the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. The women who participated had an opportunity to share what their spiritual condition was before the Kairos weekend, what they experienced, and what they hoped to take away from the experience. Repeatedly the women shared similar testimonies that they had experienced love, acceptance, and a sense of family. They discovered people that would love them unconditionally, people they could share their hurts and troubles with, people who would pray for them and encourage them. They had found, in short - family.

They were really expressing what the church is to be at its best - a family. A place of acceptance, a place where you can share your burdens, where people genuinely care about you and will pray with you and encourage you. That's really what church is, it's a family.

What makes a great church is not our programs or our buildings, it's people, people that care, people that love unconditionally, people that will pray with you, people that will not judge you, but who will come alongside you. We may have traveled many different paths in arriving at this fellowship. You may have come here because of your family ties, or maybe a friend invited you, or there was a ministry that met the need of your family. But regardless of what path brought you here, what keeps you coming back are the relationships that you have developed. And that's what makes a church a family. As a house does not make a home, so programs and buildings do not make a church. The church is people, but more than that, it's family. This is what makes a great church. This is the kind of church, the kind of family that we see idealized in Acts 2:42-47.

I say idealized because it wasn't too far out that the beautiful unity and love would be shattered; Nevertheless, what ...


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