GATHERING AS GOSPEL COMMUNITIES

This month we will be focusing on seeing, supporting, and celebrating church planting! In the next 4 Sundays in July, we will be visiting 2 Seven Mile churches (Waltham, Kennebunk), hearing about Gospel church planting work in Africa, and praying for the work of God through our churches in the hope of more church planting in the future. 

**GC Leads: Please make sure that everyone is clear on the July Sunday schedule.**

As a way to anchor us in this Gospel work, we are going to look at how Paul saw, supported, and celebrated the church plant in Colossae. Something surprising about this book is that Paul most likely never went to this city. As we will see in the passage, Epaphras brought the Gospel to Colossae. After a church was planted, Epaphras then brings word to Paul of the health and witness of this church.

While Paul was in Ephesus for over two years, Acts 19:10 says that “all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” It’s likely that Paul met and discipled Epaphras in Ephesus, mobilized him for mission back to Colossae, and then writes this letter to the Colossian Christians several years after the church is planted.

Notice how even though Paul’s ministry took him through Laodicea, and never into Colossians*, he can hear of the work done in that city, support it by sending his letter, and celebrate the Gospel work among them.

*For those wanting context, the attached map of Paul’s 3rd missionary journey gives a helpful overview of the locations of the cities of Colossae and Laodicea and the regions of Macedonia and Achaia

Colossians 1: 1-14

Map+Colossae.png

1. Notice the sequence: Paul hears of the Gospel faith in the Colossian church and then commits himself to pray for their maturity and witness. This is the pattern we are going for this month - Hearing/Seeing followed by supporting and celebrating.

2. How can the way Paul prayed for the Colossian church inform the way you pray for other Seven Mile churches this month?