Community – Part 1/3

You are here:
CFC Christian Fellowship Church
Community - Part 1/3


Andrew Gibson (00:05):
Hello and welcome. We are starting a three week series podcast on the idea of being in community and being together. My name is Andrew Gibson, senior pastor here at CFC for those that don’t know me and today we are joined by Jill Boyd. Yay. Who is our interim site pastor at inner east and also one of our elders. Welcome, Jill. Good to see you. I guess we’ll just maybe kick this off Jill by introing like why this topic? Yeah. What’s the, reason behind it? I suppose, you know, primarily there’s a few things. One is, if we trace ourselves back as a church community our beginnings, you know, it’s referred to as, when you talk to the people from those days, it’s the fellowship, isn’t it? And also like another stream from the community of the king. Yeah. So
Jill Boyd (00:57):
Big buzzwords in our history, right?
Andrew Gibson (00:59):
Yeah. Fellowship and, community. Just off the back of, um, our week of prayer and fasting that we had in January, some really significant words, do you wanna even like, intro what some of them were or like bring those to us?
Jill Boyd (01:13):
Yeah. There was, there was a couple of threads that came through all sites, right? So the biggest one from my memory was about the, the generations. That we’re a community where all generations are present. Yes. But actually, how do we get better at cultivating intergenerational friendships and discipleships through the generations, all of that. So, and I think we know that deep within, within ourselves that we, from the youngest to the oldest where a community where anybody can influence anybody, like, that’s the message, isn’t that and the gospel. So I like, I think those words always ring true. I think if you’re an older person in our community quite often, it’s, you know, we talk about history and do give the impression that they’re done, cause they’re definitely not done. And we have, we have had conversations before and services before where we’ve passed the batten and there’s, there’s something very ending in that isn’t there. It’s like you pass the batten to the next generation. Like I’m done here. But actually that’s not even the prophetic words that we’re coming through. It’s like, we’re not done. And like even some people were getting words like, I’m taking my Batten back. Right. Cause we’re all like literally all in this together, high school musical and all that.
Andrew Gibson (02:32):
Give us a wee line
Jill Boyd (02:33):
All in this together no, no, no, no. Let’s not do that.
Andrew Gibson (02:35):
One Boydo in worship is enough
Jill Boyd (02:36):
One Boydo who worships is enough, not, not from me, me saying it’s not good, but I, I think that concept of like, how do we do generations better? You know, we are a model of, you know, we’re we literally are all age groups. Yep. So it’s not on one age group to be in the driving seat, which sometimes I think has been the case. And when you look at other churches, it seems like the forties and fifties are the drivers, which in so many ways the space, the time, the energy to do. Yeah. But not at the expense of going these people, either side, the younger ones, well you’re not ready. And the older ones you’ve had your time. It’s not that I, I feel like God’s speaking to us about like, we need, we are all on board. Yeah. All fellows in the same ship, all
Andrew Gibson (03:24):
Fellowship, come on. That’s good. And also I, I think it’s important to say and to recognise like, isn’t it, that our, our statement, our vision statement, our core statement of who we are, we are Christ centered community. Yeah. So also, Christ doesn’t come in lesser amounts to younger people or in more amounts to older people. Yes. I mean the understanding of Christ increases and evolves and, and grows and develops. But the reality is that Christ and the power and presence and person of the spirit is in all of us. I guess that’s even, don’t wanna jump too far ahead because we will probably end up here today in Acts 2. But that prophecy of Joel, like on all flesh, will my spirit fall and sons and daughters and young and old, so, community is very much a part of the scriptural vision and all ages are very much part of the scriptural vision as well. So I suppose, like maybe kick off our convo today around, this idea of community and its actually what God models, isn’t it like from the very beginning from
Jill Boyd (04:30):
The get go?
Andrew Gibson (04:31):
Yeah. He, says in Genesis, let us make man in our image. And so we have this relational interconnected, God who’s in community. With himself in three beings of the same essence.
Jill Boyd (04:47):
Oh gosh. I’m getting like twitches from university here
Andrew Gibson (04:51):
From your college studies.
Jill Boyd (04:53):
Christology modules.
Andrew Gibson (04:54):
Homoousios, there’s a word for, for our listeners to engage with.
Andrew Gibson (04:57):
But this sense of the, the three in one distinct, but equal and preferential and deferential, all those things. Yeah. Talk us through Jill where does that go in scripture then? What do we then see as, as Jesus then emerges as who was in the beginning was the word was with God, was God, what does Jesus do? Like, I think it’s amazing what he then does and forms based on who he is as part of the Godhead,
Jill Boyd (05:33):
Even as he is like incarnated. So as he becomes flesh to me, what we just see is him model what he knows to be true spirit. So if he’s in this relational Godhead, it’s not surprising that he presents himself in community and that he desires to be in a human relationship with other people. Like he has friends, he has disciples. He has even a, a smaller friendship group within that wider group. He, he desires connection because actually that’s who he, he knows what it is to live a connected life. Yeah. And it’s like his most like, I guess, perfect community for him is father son spirit. And so he desires, if you even think of what he’s talking about in John 15. Right. He’s like, and we read it and go like, oh, that just sounds so crazy. Like I’m in my father, and I want you to be in my father. And if you’re in me, then you’ll be in my father and there’s this he’s drawing us into something that I sometimes think we can’t even really wrap our heads around because if all we ever know is human connection, there’s something where humans feel us too. So actually what Christ is doing is he draws people, even his disciples. What a group eh? , I, I would love to have heard the arguments. There’s bound to be some cracker therapy moments in there with those 12
Andrew Gibson (06:58):
there’s some real, but there’s some real hints isn’t there in like, Jesus’ disciples of argument or like jostling for position or like trying to find out, like they try to find out like who who’s gonna have the best seat, you know, in the kingdom, you know, all of those things are going on. And also like in the make up of the disciples themselves, um, so diverse, so different polar opposites, like even of the political spectrum. You had family, you had brothers in there, which, you know, gosh, you have three, you have
Jill Boyd (07:31):
Three, I’m an only child. And thank the Lord as I watched my three. Yes.
Andrew Gibson (07:36):
You, you have three daughters who, who, you know,
Jill Boyd (07:38):
are feisty, yeah.
Andrew Gibson (07:39):
They have their moments. I have three sons and, and a daughter as well. And you know, there’s, there’s siblings are constantly gonna rub off each other and they’re in there, with Jesus gang aren’t they, with the crew. But do you think there’s purpose in that? Like what, what’s the model like what’s Jesus doing? Cuz obviously like, so from his baptism, right. You’ve got father spirit son there as well in this, in this like new creation moment. So there’s a real clear parallel drawn from Genesis one, right the way through to what is happening at the baptism so you have relationship, you have community here again, and then straight from that, Jesus goes then obviously in the wilderness, but then he goes into forming relationship. Is there significance, do you think to who he, who he goes after, you know, who does he call? Who does he ask to follow him? What does that mean? Like, um, yeah, because they’re not all the same.
Jill Boyd (08:33):
They’re not all the same. And I think like if you, if you could sum up what’s the kingdom about and what’s God about it’s love, right? Yeah. So, in that love, if God is love, if we believe first John all that God is love. And we see that expressed in who he is there’s three I always love the concept that actually true love places, its whole like thing on something other than itself, cause it’s easy to love self. So like even God being God is the very definition of love cause he loves something other than himself. So I think like that’s what Jesus is doing Like even when he is going into the world, he’s laying down himself for the sake of others, which we see him ultimately do on the cross. So what he’s modeling is it doesn’t matter who you are, how different you are from me. I wanna develop a community where I reveal what love actually is that love isn’t about you. Love is about other. And actually we only ever understand that within God.
Andrew Gibson (09:39):
Yeah. That’s good.
Jill Boyd (09:39):
Which is where he’s drawn. You know, he’s drawn us to you the whole time. That’s where he is drawn us disciples too. He’s going, you wanna learn, even when he’s presenting the law, he’s like, how do you fulfill the law? Well, we’re gonna learn to love each other. Yeah. I mean, these people are other than you and are different from you actually it’s about laying you aside for the sake of other all the time. Yeah. Which is our journey to become like Christ. So I think that’s what he, I think that’s what he models he’s modeling love
Andrew Gibson (10:07):
And there’s something there isn’t there as you journey to become like Christ, you know? So as Paul says he yearns for Christ to be formed in us, like we, when we see him one day we will be like him. So that is our journey to transformation in Christ. Um, but there’s something actually that, that can only happen in community So actually, you know, post pandemic, which is seen obviously an isolation, occur, it’s seen a withdrawal, you know, distance, all of those things. A lot of people have been like reevaluating their time, reevaluating their energy, where they’re going to invest what they’re gonna go to, what they’re gonna commit to all of those things. And I think if we’re honest, like our tendency can be to become quite self focused
Jill Boyd (10:57):
Hundred percent
Andrew Gibson (10:57):
You know, even with our own families, like we are going to do this now, you know? And, and we become a little bit withdrawn. Is that fair? Is that what you’re seeing?
Jill Boyd (11:05):
Like a hundred, I even see it with myself. Not even pointing the fingers at any other people. Yeah. Even think, you know, on my own. I’m a really great Christian .
Andrew Gibson (11:18):
even if you do say so yourself
Jill Boyd (11:21):
on my own though right. I just, me and Jesus. Yeah. I then go, I’m becoming more like you here, I am this morning talking to you and praying, I worshiping you, I’m reading your word. This is class. Yeah. And I feel like I feel all fired up and then I go out and I meet someone. And what I find in the other is that they stir all sorts of emotions in me. That honestly are not the fruit of the spirit. And so whenever I’m in conversation, then I realize, oh, I thought I was doing really, really good here being patient. But you’re really winding me up the wrong way. And what I discover in myself is that that part of me has not come under Christ. And it’s really only skin deep. Yeah. So what community does then, is it reveals to me, the areas that I need, do you know, do you know what I mean? And it is that thing that iron sharpens iron and, and in community we realise, oh, I thought I was really full of love there until all these emotions of anger and hatred, frustration are now bubbling up within me because of this one thing. This one person said, surely that should not be the way of the kingdom. Yeah.
Andrew Gibson (12:26):
Because you don’t know, you don’t know actually, if you’re a patient until you are tested in your patience or you don’t know
Jill Boyd (12:31):
Be careful what you pray for.
Andrew Gibson (12:33):
How deep is my love actually. Until someone challenges, your, your ability to actually love them, you know, um, someone behaves in a way or says something to you and you’re like, how is my self control. What is the fruit of the spirit? What is the Christ likeness in me? They don’t know that unless it’s in a context where it’s tested and presented to us. It holds a mirror up to us doesn’t it?
Jill Boyd (13:03):
Like let’s see how like Jesus, you are now
Andrew Gibson (13:08):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, very much so.
Jill Boyd (13:12):
But then we can run away from that and go, I’m a terrible Christian, or we can lean into those emotions and go, God, I honestly, I, I thought I was doing great with you. Yeah. And I just got really angry today. Yeah. And let’s journey that I don’t wanna be an angry person. I don’t wanna respond that way when someone does this, what am I doing? And you let him minister cause here is the thing you can force it. Right. And I I’m like the we’ve had this conversations before in sermons and stuff, but I’m like the biggest self-righteous person. So I will try really, really, really, really hard. Yeah. So if I have got anger on the inside of me, is it really the holy spirit teaching me self control and patience. If all I’m doing is gritting my back teeth so that you don’t see my anger.
Andrew Gibson (13:57):
Yeah. It’s different.
Jill Boyd (13:57):
Isn’t it it’s different. Right. So how much of us are like going, I’m gonna control my anger right now, but actually it’s still there. So like how do we become people who in Christ discover that he wants to even transform that?
Andrew Gibson (14:10):
Jill Boyd (14:11):
Cause that’s like what he presents, it’s not even when he’s challenging, you know, don’t commit adultery, actually the issue is lust so it’s not the fact that the outward thing looks good cause we’re christians that wanna look good, but actually I’ve come to give you a radical heart transformation. Yeah. So that all this stuff gets flipped through my spirit. So it’s not through me trying really hard.
Andrew Gibson (14:31):
And we see. Yeah. And we see Jesus, we see Jesus gently leading his disciples in that way. Towards love and it’s a challenge and it’s done, it’s done together. Yeah. You know, isn’t it, um, even like the scene at the last supper when they’re sitting around and you know, is it, I who’s gonna betray you or like, you know, Peter’s like, you’re not gonna wash my, my feet. You know, what are the other disciples saying? You know, they’re Judas, meanwhile ploting you
Jill Boyd (15:00):
scheming behind the scenes
Andrew Gibson (15:01):
You know, so you’ve all these dynamics of like, but all the while Jesus is just like setting his, his path of, of love. He’s he’s bringing people with him and ultimately we like, we need, we need to be in community to be like Christ. You know, we’re a Christ centered community. So therefore we at CFC that’s so key to who we are. So, you know, we wanna, you wanna be in, in the community here at CFC, then we’re centering Christ and we go after that together
Jill Boyd (15:34):
And I’m sure Jesus, well, even when you think of his journey in the garden, it’s not that he’s not experiencing the same emotions as us he’s
Andrew Gibson (15:43):
Yeah, very much so.
Jill Boyd (15:44):
Like there’s, there’s no way he, those disciples were all arguing and he’s like, you know hippy, Jesus, just not letting it like, but he’s choosing, I’m just gonna lay these feelings down. Like even in the garden, he’s going, like, I feel pain, anxiety, worried. I want this to pass me, but I’m gonna say no to that. And I’m gonna lean in for the sake of other. Yeah. So he’s always other focused. So no doubt within himself, he probably, he could have gritted his back teeth at times with his disciples, but that’s not even his focus because his focus is them, How do I reveal to you who I am. So this isn’t about him and his person not getting annoyed, angry, frustrated, cause he’s a human being. Yeah. Right. And it’s, none of those things are bad in themselves. It’s what we do with those things. That’s the thing that causes us great anxiety. Right. And our behavior then becomes outward.
Andrew Gibson (16:41):
And interestingly, I think it’s maybe important and maybe get your thoughts on this. Um, Jesus very much engages with his community, but that’s not at the expense of his own time. Cause you talked about like John 15, you talked about like drawing from our source. Yeah. like, what is our route? So we do need our individual. We do need our time alone. You know with me andJesus. You know, we, we need that. We need that source.
Jill Boyd (17:06):
I definitely need that to draw. And the people around, we need me to need that
Andrew Gibson (17:10):
We all need you to do that Jill . But we all all need to be in that place. Um, but it’s not to stay there. Mm it’s it’s it’s to be it’s to be filled, to be, to draw from that, those streams of living water. And then to, engage then in community with, others who also are, doing that. And then together we can take what we’ve learned in our, in our quietly us and are alone and journey that together. Yeah. I mean the disciples got this, like it took them a while.
Jill Boyd (17:43):
It did take them a while
Andrew Gibson (17:44):
I think it’s probably fair to say. Um, you know, when, when you read through the letters of, in the new Testament, the churches, like I think too often we paint the early churches, this perfect community. If we could only be like the early church. Right. And like the disciples and the apostles and those early church, like leaders did get this, but that’s not to say like it was all plain sailing, but when you go to Acts 2, and you see the community that Jesus formed. Right. Which was like the 12, although at the cross, it was like a few women and John. Yeah.
Jill Boyd (18:16):
Andrew Gibson (18:16):
But we see post resurrection, the, the transformation in that community, this Christ centred community, waiting for power to come from on high which is what Jesus promised them. And then the day of Pentecost comes and, and this church then is formed and birthed. what were they doing? Like, you know, what actually were they doing as a group of what? 120 people, what did that look like?
Jill Boyd (18:47):
I even just love what, I dunno the exact verse. You’re the holy one with your Bible. And I’m like modern technology.
Andrew Gibson (18:53):
You’ve got your Bible.
Jill Boyd (18:54):
I’m not tech, I’m not checking texts, just so you know, I’m pulling up the scripture.
Andrew Gibson (18:58):
Love you, Aaron.
Jill Boyd (18:58):
Love you. Oh, Hey. Yeah. That’s for dinner but yeah, I just love, where is like, I can’t even find it. You can skim read. It says they’re devoted to one another. Oh yeah. But even just that phrase and they were
Andrew Gibson (19:12):
Acts 2 42,
Jill Boyd (19:14):
Even just that.
Andrew Gibson (19:15):
Jill Boyd (19:15):
Like even that word to be devoted to someone is, is so the opposite of selfishness.
Andrew Gibson (19:24):
Yeah. Yeah.
Jill Boyd (19:25):
So the opposite of selfishness. So in my devotion to our community, what Jesus models is, it’s not about me.
Andrew Gibson (19:35):
It’s not about you. Yeah. Which, which is taken directly from the last supper. Yeah. Like if I’m willing to
Jill Boyd (19:40):
Give my whole self
Andrew Gibson (19:41):
Yeah. Put on my towel and wash your feet. Like you’ve literally ate my body, you’ve drank my blood. This is pointing towards what, the amount of, sacrifice I’m going to make for you and lay down for you. Yeah. And then that then transfers into the type of people that are shaped and formed already at the stage. Yeah. And what they were engaging in, you know? So as you said, devoted to themselves yeah.
Jill Boyd (20:06):
They’re devoted to each other and then they, so the, the first thing they’re devoted to the apostles teaching, what do they teach him while they’re teaching Jesus. Yeah. And everything that all the scripture was pointing to him and here’s, here’s what it meant. Um, and then fellowship breaking of bread. Yeah. And prayer. Prayer. Yeah. So there is the most Christ centered so they’re learning about him. And in that, then there is a community formed because we are all here as a community. And our focus is Jesus. Because, you know, and even we said, we should have recorded the conversation before this, but we were talking about, well, what, marks us as a community? Because actually I, even in my own life have several different communities that I’m part of. I’ve got Sydenham, come on, Connsbrook love it. Right. The Connsbrook community, my neighbour, I have a neighbourhood community. I have a community in work. I have a community of people that I study dental hygiene with. And so there’s a community and we form around something that unifies us in that moment. Right. So what marks, so what, what are we doing as a, as a Christian community?
Andrew Gibson (21:16):
So why is the church, a different community and that’s a great point to stop.
Jill Boyd (21:21):
really? we’re just getting into it
Andrew Gibson (21:21):
So what makes the church a different community? What is the church? What are we at CFC? Why are we a different community? That’s a great place to leave it, cause we’re gonna jump in there in part two
Jill Boyd (21:36):
Dun. Dun Dunnnn
Andrew Gibson (21:37):
So we’ll engage in this conversation in part two of the CFC podcast. Next time. Hope you can join us.

Podcast Archives

A Christ centred community dedicated to impacting Belfast, Ireland and The Nations with the love of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christian Fellowship Church is a registered charity, NI Charity no. 101476
Other Links
Main Office
Christian Fellowship Church
10 Belmont Road
© 2024 CFC. All rights reserved.

Find out what's happening in all our sites by visiting our Hub

ChurchSuite is the system we use to organise our church members:

Drop us an email or give us a call.

Our office hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (GMT) and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.