Upcoming Events (Men’s Breakfast and Evangelism Training)

Coming soon…

2/9/19 – Men’s Breakfast at the pastor’s; 8:30am — men, join us for biscuits, gravy, bacon, and fellowship; fathers and grandfathers, feel free to bring sons and grandsons!

2/10/19 – Evangelism Training week 1 of 3; Noon, with lunch — after our morning worship gatherings during the last three Sundays of February, we’ll meet in the gym for lunch and then Life On Mission – 3 Circles evangelism training.

You can check out the event pages on our facebook page.

life on mission

Who’s Your One? (2019 Evangelism Challenge)

Jesus found Philip and said to him, “Follow me…” Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth.” – John 1:43, 45 (ESV)

JD Greear, current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has issued an evangelism challenge in which he asks, “Who’s your one?” Greear explains:

Greear

(Image source: http://www.sbclife.net/article/2587/whos-your-one)

The “next year” he mentions is 2019, as he issued this challenge at the end of 2018. We’re a month into this new year, but we still have plenty of time to pray, share the gospel, and see the impact the gospel can have on the life of even one person.

While some will go and proclaim the gospel to hundreds if not thousands at the same time, all of us can be like Philip in John’s gospel—we have met Jesus, and we know someone else who needs Jesus, so we go and share with that one.

I want to challenge you to pray these things over the next month and then see where God leads:

Lord, place one person in my life who needs to know Jesus. Give me open eyes to see the opportunities to share as they arise, and give me boldness to tell them about Jesus and invite them to church.

God’s will is that people come to faith in Jesus. Prayers like this are prayers that he delights in answering. So, who will be your one?

When God Saves a Terrorist

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

In the Bible, we read about a man who did great violence to others. This man threatened murder, violently persecuted and tried to destroy others, and helped arrest people because of their religious beliefs and sent them to their death. From these descriptions, found in Acts 8, 9, & 26, and Galatians 1, we wouldn’t be far off if we called this man a religious terrorist.

This man was named Saul, later known as Paul–the same Paul who became a life-and-safety sacrificing witness and missionary for the very religion he sought to destroy; the same Paul who wrote a large part of Christian scripture.

How did Saul the persecutor of Christians become Paul the Christian? Acts 9:1-9 describes it for us: While Saul traveled toward Damascus, Jesus showed up with a flash of light and radically changed the radical’s life.

Saul wasn’t looking for salvation. He thought he had it all figured out. He thought followers of Jesus were a threat that needed to be wiped out. He thought Jesus was simply a man who died on a cross. Then he met Jesus, the resurrected man who is also God the Son, and received his grace.

Paul’s story reminds us that this side of death and eternity, no one in the world is out of the reach of the God’s saving grace offered in Christ. Not you, not me, not your mean neighbor, not your crass coworker, not the bully, not the maligned politician, not the terrorist.

This is why the call of Jesus is to go and make disciples of all nations. The church, as a whole, is to strive to take the gospel into every corner of the earth and share Jesus with anyone who will listen. Sometimes that means the nice couple next door who smiles and waves every time they see you, and sometimes that means the person who would love to kill you for your faith if they had the chance.

God offers grace to all, but they will only know it if God’s people will share. Don’t be afraid of the Sauls, as they very well may become the Pauls.

April is for PIE

We’re declaring April to be PIE Month! In 2017, we talked about “gospel conversations” and how we can share Jesus in our day to day lives. PIE Month helps us keep those ideas forefront in our hearts and minds.

PIE stands for: Pray, Invite, and Explain. And I want to issue you three challenges for the month of April. First, pray each day for at least one person you know who does not know Jesus. If you want to pray for more than one person, that is great, too. But let’s each think of at least one name—one person we personally know who needs to experience the grace and love of God, and let’s commit to pray for them each day.

Second, invite at least one person or family to church each Sunday of the month. The vast majority of people get involved with a church because someone they know invited them. We all have friends, family members, neighbors, classmates, or coworkers who are not actively engaged in any church. Invite them to our church. The worst they can do is say no, the best thing that could happen is that they meet Jesus and develop a deep love for him. Easter is the perfect time to invite someone, too.

Third, explain the gospel and/or your testimony of following Jesus to at least one person during the month of April. Jesus is the only way anyone can be right with God (John 14:6), and the way that someone is going to hear about Jesus is if someone else tells them (Romans 10:13-15). We have different tools available at the church to help you share the gospel with others, including The Life Book, The Story, and Three Circles. Just ask if you’re not sure where to find these tools.

And then at 6pm on April 29th, we will celebrate PIE Month with a pie fellowship—we will eat pie and you will have an opportunity to share about your experiences praying, inviting, and explaining. As you think about these things, might I also suggest that you pray the following prayer from Alvin Reid’s book Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out: “God, give me today an opportunity to speak to someone about Jesus, the wisdom to see it, and the courage to do it.”

pexels-photo-890574.jpeg

Image used with permission from pexels.com

Sunday 10.22.17 (a loving and faithful witness)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and how we as followers of Jesus are to have a faithful and loving witness to those around us. Then, on Sunday evening, we’ll watch the second half of the documentary on Martin Luther in honor of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Luther documentary in church auditorium

Sermon Notes
A Faithful and Loving Witness ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

  • Our witness of words: Speak fearlessly of Jesus, no matter the consequences (2:1-4)
    • Be faithful, even if it brings suffering (2:1-2)
    • Remember that your first aim is to please God (2:3-4)
  • Our witness of love: Share with and invest in others like caring parents (2:5-8, 11-12)
    • We’re to be motivated by love, not pride or self-gain (2:5-6)
    • Provide in a gentle and caring way, be affectionate, and share your life (2:7-8)
    • Exhort and encourage, teaching others about righteousness and hope (2:11-12)
  • Our witness of character: Seek to be blameless in the way you live (2:9-10)
    • Put away that which offends and/or creates roadblocks to faith (2:9)
    • Put away sin and treat others in righteousness (2:10)

1 thessalonians

Songs for Worship
The Bond of Love
Here I Am to Worship
Meet with Me
Wonderful Words of life
Let Others See Jesus in You
I Surrender All

Image used and modified with permission from pixabay.com

Good Reads 10.05.17 (on anxiety and prayer, evangelism, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On evangelism: Engaging Others with the Gospel by Adam McClendon

We are called to consistently engage our culture with the gospel in mind, within and outside our normal routines. We should go on mission trips. We should, on occasion, go door-to-door to people we don’t know to engage them in gospel conversation, but we don’t end our engagement there. We should engage others from a gospel perspective in our everyday and every-weekend moments like our school boards, club teams, Home Owners Associations, Parent / Teacher Associations, workplaces, classrooms, charities, neighbors, etc.

We should take others fishing, hunting, golfing, or whatever other recreation activity we might prefer, and we should do it with a gospel mindset and a love for others. Many of us are already engaging our world where we are through social media, neighborhood conversations, sitting at our kid’s practices, etc. We just need to ensure we shift in our mindset, keeping the gospel in view. In addition to just being friendly, we must engage with a gospel mindset that looks for opportunities (i.e. open doors) to point people to Christ and gauging their openness to the gospel. (click here to read more)

On prayer and anxiety: What if Prayer Makes Anxiety Worse? by Mike Leake

This is why I still pray…or try to pray…in the midst of darkness. Because eventually the gospel wins out and God breaks through. It happened with Bunyan and it happens with me.

Prayer is helpful even when our thoughts of God are jacked up simply because the gospel is true. When we cry out to God—even with hearts tinged with unbelief, depressive thoughts, and the whole lot—he answers. It may not make me feel better in the moment in which I pray. But God hears and God answers. (click here to read more)

On discipleship: Let’s Get Real About Women’s Discipleship by Rachelle Cox

Less than a year ago, I helped organize a women’s ministry event focused on discipleship. During this hour-long event, we offered women the chance to ask anonymous questions to a panel of female leaders in the church about the practice of discipleship. It went well. Frankly, a little too well. The five of us participating on the panel ran out of time long before those in attendance ran out of questions.

While I was encouraged by the interest women showed in the topic, I left the panel feeling somewhat burdened by the trend I saw in the questions women were asking us. Many women in my church seemed to struggle with the essential rhythm of discipleship, mostly because they had unrealistic ideas about what discipleship should look like in the first place. They were frustrated by their lack of theological prowess or their inability to squeeze a group Bible study into their schedules, and rather than doing discipleship “wrongly” they were just foregoing discipleship completely. (click here to read more)

On doing good to others: Enjoying God Fuels Doing Good by David Mathis

Titus also has something to say about “learning” to do others good. There’s a process — with practical steps to take ahead of time — to make space for the Spirit’s leading. That may include leaving enough margin in your schedule to be able to meet unexpected needs, or carrying paper money to give on the spot to someone in need, or setting aside funds for personal ministry in your monthly budget.

“Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14). Being ready to do good doesn’t necessarily come naturally. It’s something we learn. We learn to devote ourselves to the good of others. (click here to read more)

Sunday 08.20.17 (gospel conversations: the conversations)

This Sunday we’ll conclude our “gospel conversations” series with a look at John 1:29-51 and some examples of how we can have conversations about Jesus in our everyday lives. Then in the evening we’ll look at God’s mercy and grace in our “attributes of God” series. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God Study in the church library

Sermon Notes
Gospel Conversations: The Conversations ~ John 1:29-51

  • The Conversations: As people who love Jesus, we want to love others by telling them about Jesus.
  • Three conversations about Jesus (John 1:29-51)
    • Some of us will speak to a large audience, like John the Baptist (1:29-34)
    • All of us can speak one-on-one with people we know like Andrew and Philip (1:35-51)
  • Starting points of Gospel conversations
    • Assume people want to talk about spiritual things (God created us with a longing; Gen 1:26-27)
    • Try to see the best in others (1 Cor 13:4-7)
    • Even if they reject you and the Gospel, they are not the enemies, our war is spiritual (Eph 6:12)
    • Pray (Col 4:4-6)
  • Ways to have Gospel conversations
    • Personal testimony
    • Ask good questions, listen, and respond
    • Get to know a basic presentation such as The Story or The 3 Circles

Gospel Conversations (sermon series)

Image taken and modified from pixabay.com