"What Is Church?" February 11, 2018
Everyone has an idea or an opinion about church. According to a recent survey only about 20% of Americans attend church services on any given Sunday. A growing number of young people think church is irrelevant to everyday life. Even among those who are church members the definition of church varies from a building or an event or an institution in society. What did Jesus have in mind when he declared that he would build his church to defeat the authorities of hell? As followers of Jesus we are called to be the Church. What does it mean to be Jesus' Church?
"Living Like Jesus" February 4, 2018
Disciples or followers of Jesus were first called Christians (or little Christ’s) by non-believers in Antioch. What a compliment -- to say that a follower of the Lord lives like his master. In 1 John 2:3-6, our text for Sunday, reminds us that as followers of Jesus we are to live as he did. This is how we show we love the Lord and we love people, thus being his disciples. How did Jesus live? What were his values and priorities? What has he given us to do? How can we, as imperfect as we are, hope to live like Jesus? These are important questions to wrestle with if we are to be his followers. When we learn to intentionally live like Jesus, the church is released beyond the walls of the church building. What can God do with us then?
"United in Christ" January 28, 2018
Unity is important to God. In Genesis God established the family on the unity of the ‘one flesh' relationship of husband and wife. God's covenant with Israel was meant to unite 12 tribes in relationship with Him. In Psalm 133:1 God commands a blessing to flow when His people dwell together in unity. Our unity as a church is centered on following Jesus. Uniformity is not unity. The goal is not to look, think or act all the same, but to be able to share our various gifts, ideas and perspectives in a safe place for the growth of God's Kingdom. Unity in Christ is having the same perspective, purpose and mission. Our church covenant reminds us that we are United in Christ by our common faith in the Lord.
"Transforming Love" January 21, 2018
The lyrics of a 1960s popular song are still relevant today -- "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." The question is, whose love? The only love that can change the world is God's love. In 1 John 4:7-21 the Apostle John definitively answers this question: “We love because He (God) first loved us… for love comes from God” (vs. 19, 7). Only by knowing and receiving the love of the God of the Bible can we be transformed by His love and able to truly love others. Being followers of Jesus begins with understanding the depth of the love of God the Father.
"Call to Follow Jesus" January 14, 2018
When Jesus sent his disciples out on mission ahead of him (Luke 10), he was letting them know that discipleship was not a passive but an active thing. They were to learn how to live and minister as Jesus did. In Luke 9:23-25 Jesus issued an invitation to be his disciples, not only to the 12, but also to anyone who would choose to follow Him. The Great Commission is given to the church as our singular task -- to make disciples out of all people groups. Discipleship was important to Jesus and it should be important to us. Our theme to begin this year is Discipleship. However, we can make effective disciples unless we are disciples ourselves. We need to be a disciple of Jesus in order to make disciples of Jesus.
"Reflections on Missional Living" January 7, 2018
Hannah and Jake Spooner share from their experience as part of a church planting team in Nottingham, England. Two and a half years ago a team of people from the Community Church in Derby, England began to pray about developing a missional community-based church in Nottingham. Families then moved to Nottingham and began to meet people and share the gospel. The church has over 100 people from all walks of life meeting in at least two missional communities. Hannah and Jake will be sharing stories of how people are finding Jesus through the community life of this new church and the journey God has them on. In fact God has opened up opportunities for them to reach out to drug and alcohol addicts. Their stories have inspired us, and we are sure they will inspire you as well.