Expectations can shape us in both positive and negative ways. They can help us become better people. Our parents teach us their expectations for how we will behave and treat our elders. Our teachers set expectations for how we conduct ourselves in their classrooms. Our spouse, children, and close friends likewise expect things from us (sometimes unstated things that we completely miss), and we have our expectations of others. However, too many expectations can leave us burdened and stressed and threaten our morale. . . .
Some churches have very low expectations of their members and attenders, for fear of driving them away. But research indicates the fastest growing churches have high expectations for their members.
—Linda Tower Pevey, We Are the Church . . . Let’s Act Like It: A Study on the Book of Acts (Upper Room Books, 2019)
Would you prefer to be a member of a church that expects nothing of you or one that expects you to contribute to its life or mission?
Join the conversation.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
—Acts 4:32-34 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, help us be the church you created us to be. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Do you hunger for a deeper spiritual experience? Join the next Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, starting in January 2023, at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama. Learn more.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.