Tag Archives: mission of the church

Follow up to “Frustrated with Outreach?”

2 Oct

Outreach.

The word itself is a picture, an out-stretched set of arms with a hand ready to help a person in need. In the summer of 2005 we took a group of students and adults to Kingston, Jamaica, where we had previously lived/served in 2000-2001.  It was wonderful to be back, renew friendships, help a local pastor, and eat jerk chicken.  On a day off we traveled to the north coast to climb Dunn’s River Falls, a gorgeous place that should be one of the wonders of the world.

We lapped the lines of cruise-ship tourists holding hands on our dash to the top, fighting rushing water and moss as slick as ice.  I kept an eye on my two oldest boys, one in front, the other next to me.  At a particularly tricky spot, my son next to me lost footing and starting sliding down toward wet rocks below. Instinct shot my arm out to grab his wrist.  I had one chance.  Either my attempt would work, and my watery grip would hold, or he was going down hard.  Thank God it held, and we had one of those heart-pounding moments of fear realizing something bad almost happened.

We see this image in the story of Jesus.  We, his sons and daughters, going down, and in desperate need of a hand.  His hand was actually his entire life. It was an amazing gift of love, that he gave himself for us.

So what should outreach look like now?  How should we give ourselves for the people all around that God desperately loves and wants to experience his abundant life?

Let’s discuss!

Follow up to “If Jesus had a scorecard…”

23 Sep

We had a great sermon discussion yesterday, with lots of people sharing about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

So let’s continue the discussion.  One of the things that concerns me is that we can get excited discussion things for an hour or so on Sunday, but then the busyness of the life creeps in and we stop thinking about how we want to grow as disciples.

Here’s a great article that might help you think more about discipleship and common misconceptions.

What do you think?

 

PS – If you want to view the video from the sermon, you can do so here.

If Jesus had a scorecard, he wouldn’t be counting the believers

20 Sep

Ed Stetzer recently shared the following story:

Last year, Caroline Inglis was on the verge of an historic feat. No high school golfer, male or female, had ever captured the Oregon state title four consecutive years. Inglis won the class 5A state tournament her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. There seemed very little doubt that she would win the title again as a senior.

On the course, Caroline dominated the rest of the field­—finishing with a 3-under 69, nine shots better than any other golfer. On the last hole, with victory assured, she scored her first bogey of the day. That would not have been an issue, except for the fact that her playing partner wrote down she had made a par. Caroline signed her scorecard and turned it in, believing she had just accomplished an Oregon first. In reality, she had just disqualified herself.

In golf, turning in an incorrect scorecard results in a disqualification. Because she had signed and submitted the wrong score, Caroline forfeited the win even though her actual score was still much better than anyone else. Having the wrong scorecard can make all the difference in the world.

I wonder if we, Faith Church, have been using the wrong scorecard?  What would be on Jesus’ scorecard?

If Jesus had a scorecard, he wouldn’t be counting the believers.  Our bishop, Bruce Hill, recently wrote “Jesus doesn’t want believers, he wants disciples.”  How do you feel about that statement?  What is the big deal?  Are believers and disciples really so different?  Wouldn’t Jesus be feeling pretty good about people believing in him?  What is a disciple?

In our 3rd sermon on the mission of the church, we’re going to dig into this a bit.  Feel free to post your thoughts and questions now though!

Follow up to “Instant Fellowship…in only 15 minutes a week!”

18 Sep

So is it possible to have genuine fellowship in only 15 minutes per week???

As we heard from Phil Bartelt’s sermon this past Sunday, the answer is a resounding NO!

This past June we started an 8am traditional worship service.  In the weeks following, I started hearing from people who go to the 8am service, AND from people who go to the 9:30 service, that they missed seeing each other.  This sentiment was one reason we avoided starting the additional service for many years.  We didn’t need the space; everyone could fit comfortably in our sanctuary in one service.  So we questioned, Wouldn’t a second service divide the church?  Create disunity?  Put a damper on fellowship? 

The simple answer is Yes.  You can attend the 8am service and leave the church building before most of the people arrive for the 9:30am service.  And you can come to worship at 9:30am, by which time most of the worshippers from 8am have left or are in their Sunday School class.  The two may never meet.

But does that mean fellowship has been dealt a death blow?

Not at all.  The fact that we miss people from the other service has made us realize that we need to be intentional about building relationships.  We should have had that attitude of intentionality in the first place.  We have found that having 15 minutes of fellowship gave us the false impression that we were actually connecting with one another.  It was like a shot of fellowship that inoculated us from the real thing.  Our mission statement says the fellowship is about building authentic, accountable, healthy relationships.  That’s not possible in 15 minutes per week!  Our mission statement describes relationships where people delight in being together.  If we truly miss people from the other service, then we need to be intentional about building a deep relationship with them.  Call them on the phone.  Get together for lunch or coffee.  Visit them.  Encourage them and pray for them.  Then do it again and again.  Turn that 15 minutes into an hour or two each week and watch the relationship blossom!

I urge you to ask yourself how you can apply that teaching to a relationship!

Instant Fellowship…in only 15 minutes a week!

13 Sep

At Faith Church you can get fellowship real easy and quick.  All it takes is 15 minutes a week!  Just walk into the fellowship hall on Sunday mornings after worship, and from 10:45 to 11am, you have fellowship.  There are snacks and beverages too!   Sounds great, right?

Or is there more to fellowship?

Does what happens on Sunday morning in the fellowship hall satisfy the biblical picture of fellowship?

What is fellowship?  What does it look like?

Spend a little time on Google Image search, and you’ll see images like this:

Or church names.  Or people at a meal.  Or scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring!  But what is the picture of fellowship that we should learn and practice?

In our strategic planning process we came up with this description:

Fellowship – We delight in being with one another, building authentic, accountable, healthy relationships. (John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:11-24; James 5:16)

As you get ready for our sermon and discussion on Sunday, would you take time to read these passages and think about whether or not you have fellowship in your life?