We’ve talked about our strategy broadly in our discussion of participation in prayer, worship, the Word, fellowship, discipleship, and missions, so now we look at how we structure the activities of OHC around these strategies.
Very early on, the New Testament church began meeting on the first day of the week, the same day that Jesus rose from the grave. From the descriptions and instructions we see in the Bible, these meetings were centered around the Lord’s Supper and included worship and teaching. Their songs, prayers, and preaching would sound somewhat different than ours, but the bread and the cup, the tangible symbols of His sacrifice, would be familiar to Christians of any generation. These times together as a church cannot be replaced by podcasts, social media, and celebrity worship leaders. God designed us to live in community, and the Sunday meeting is often the front door to that community.
We also see in the Bible that the meetings of the early church were not limited to Sundays; they actually met daily in houses and public spaces. For OHC, weekly house fellowships provide a smaller environment where we can discuss the Bible and build relationships over time through sharing a meal and consistently praying together with a few people.
Effective discipleship is often the result of intentional mentoring by a more mature believer. Jesus had a large group of disciples, but he invested Himself intensely into twelve men for three years. Paul mentored and served alongside a few men and women throughout his missionary career. Priscilla and Aquila mentored Apollos in his understanding of God. In all three cases, mentoring enabled these disciples to grow and serve more effectively, often in difficult situations. OHC connects mentors and mentees and trains potential mentors to fulfill their role because we believe that this is one of the best ways to facilitate individual spiritual growth.
At times, there are groups of people within OHC that seek a more structured and intensive training in discipleship and evangelism. These time-limited cohorts meet regularly outside of the typical meetings of OHC for prayer, training, and ministry.
Local Outreach and World Missions
The Gospel should be infused into every part of life so that we regularly have opportunities to share Jesus, but we also must have intentional times to collectively share the Good News with our community and the parts of the world God has connected us with. Just as in our personal outreach, our corporate outreach must be driven by love, grace, and mercy. As believers, God has called us to care for the needs of those around us, and all of our service must point to Jesus. There are many different ways to do this; we should bring our creativity to evangelism, but the love and truth of God has to be at the center.
Next week, we’ll look at what drives the content of these opportunities for growth.