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Known: Vision Bearing Witness | Learning Guide

September 10th, 2023

Text: Acts 1:6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”


Other than Matthew 28:18-20 aka “Go into all the world…” probably no other verse has been used for “missions” than Acts 1:6-8. Over the years I’ve heard countless sermons, endured endless appeals, and been taught in depth strategies that all use this verse, specifically the “witness” part and the “strategy” of moving out from Jerusalem to the ends of earth.

I think very differently about this now, especially about the “witness” part. What does that word mean anyway? Does it mean setting up our signs with tracts to hand out along the Greenway? Going door to door to engage in “spiritual conversations”? Creating a large and energetic youth ministry kids are comfortable inviting their friends and classmates to? Posting Gospel themed meme and articles on our socials? If not, what does it mean?

Understanding this is key to understanding our vision for existing as a Church. Let’s dig in this week and see what we can find.

Grace and peace y’all,

John Ray and the Grace teaching team

Big Idea:

Our Church vision is “to be a Jesus-led, Spirit filled and God-formed church committed to growing in grace to reach our community and beyond for Christ.”

Take Away:

David Fitch writes that “The Church is a community of practices that join people together in their submission to Jesus as Lord. Practices are exercises people do together that work in some way to achieve a common purpose.” This recenters action and practices to our vision away from centering ideas.

How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?

Father Richard Rohr is famous for saying "You cannot think your way into a new way of living. You have to live your way into a new way of thinking." This is why we start with the practice of radical hospitality that leads to belonging. This practice helps to form us into the people we are to become. These practices and images of who we are to be are formed by and inform our confessions of what we believe.

What's Next?

We take a look at what Community means at Grace.


To access the Known participant guide, register here: You'll be asked to provide your name, email address, and location, and will select "Grace Church NWA" from the dropdown menu when asked for Church Name. For future logins, your email address is your user id.

Once registered you will have access to the Known Tell Your Story: Participant Guide, allowing you to follow along each week, considering your own story through the various lenses through which we'll be telling the story of Grace Church NWA. This is the same curriculum we'll use for our fall Table Group discussions, so you can get a headstart by reflecting on the individual story prompts now.

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