Tag Archives: Church

(September 15, 2019) “Ambitious church: Relationship”

from Colossians 3:1-15

While we were created for relationship…first with God, and then with one another- in the hopes that those relationships would be a reflection of the fullness of Who God is…while this is part of the means by which we experience the full life that Jesus promises us…the reality is that relationships can be the source of some of our greatest challenges and deepest hurt in life.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, we get a window in to how we might just be able to live in to having healthier and more Christ-reflecting relationships.

w/ Vern Collins

(August 18, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Distinct Community” -Combined Worship Gathering

from Romans 12:1-21

As we begin our new series, “Ambitious Church,” we are invited over the next several weeks to consider some of the foundational elements and practices of the early church were that helped keep them focused on Jesus, rooted in His love, and committed to the work He called them to…

When we are honest about the enormity of the work Jesus has called the church to, and the deep brokenness that exists in the world, to think that the Church can still have an impact does feel more than a bit ambitious…and yet, we are given this promise that Jesus will never leave nor forsake us.

The church is called to be a distinct community in this world…a community that actually shapes the community around it so that it begins to resemble the Kingdom of God. We cannot hope to do this as a church, nor in our lives if we do not give ourselves wholly to life with Christ.

w/ Vern Collins and Lory Beth Huffman

“Letters to the Church: In Ephesus-Rekindling the Lost Love” (June 16, 2019)

from Revelation 2:1-7

As we begin a new series through the letters to the churches in Revelation, we are invited to consider-both in the life of the church, and in your life as an individual…what might Jesus be pleased with? If you are a Christ follower, what are those things that are reflective of the life you have found in Him?

What might Jesus offer as a challenge?

Has your faith become little more than doing and saying the “right things?” What if you found yourself caught up in the love of God and love for God that is meant to be both the source and the driving force of who we are before Him and who we are for the world?

w/ Vern Collins

“Belonging: Offering Accepted” (February 17, 2019)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging when you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to thing to which you have given yourself to belong. Even for those who would just as soon fly under the radar and are content with doing next to nothing, eventually the chasm of disconnect created is too much to navigate, and you are left feeling like there is no place for you.

In God’s Kingdom, in the Body of Christ…in the church, no gift offered is too small. In fact, Paul suggests that those who feel the least significant are perhaps the greatest gift to the church, and to what the church is called to be in this world.

What if your belonging included your willingness to use the gifts God has given you…no matter how small they may seem…to use the gifts God has given you in and through the church to transform the world?

w/ Vern Collins

“Belonging: in Transition” (February 3, 2019)

from Romans 12:3-8

When you say yes to the gift of life made possible by Jesus on the cross, when you walk in salvation, when you are adopted into the family of God…you are NOT meant to be an only child! And yet far too many of us attempt to walk this journey of faith and life in isolation from those we are meant to walk alongside.

In this first week of our “Belonging” series, we consider why belonging in the midst of life’s transitions is not only good…it is vital to our remaining rooted in who we are in Christ and remaining connected in relationship to God and what God is doing in this world.

w/ Vern Collins

“Church: Outside the Walls” (September 10, 2017)

from Matthew 28:16-20

In our final week of our “Church” series, we are challenged with the work that the church was tasked with: making disciples.

What if making disciples weren’t the terrifying thing we believe it to be?  What if making disciples wasn’t about forcing something on people?  What if making disciples was not about what you do, but about who you become?  What if making disciples was simply rooted in relationship?

It can be.  And God can do amazing things in and through you simply by a willingness to say, “yes.”

w/ Vern Collins

“Church: Showing Up (Devotion)” (August 20, 2017)

from Acts 2:42-47

“Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim…” Let us find true devotion to each other and to God.

w/ Vern Collins and David Hockett

“As For You: A Life Worthy” (October 30, 2016)

from Ephesians 4:1-16

It does not take long in this life before we begin working to be seen as being worthy…worthy of affection, worthy of attention, worthy of responsibility, worthy of advancement, worthy of acceptance.  Too often, we will go to great lengths to prove our worth, and too often come away feeling more unworthy for what we sacrificed in the process.

What if you began to live out of the worth you are already given in Christ?  What if you rather than living to prove your worth, you strived to live a life that reflects the fact that you have already been called, “worthy.”

And what would it look like to do that in the context of the Body that is the Church?

w/ Vern Collins

“You Asked For It: Why Be a Part of the Church?” (August 14, 2016)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

In a time in history (in our Western Culture in particular) when we are much choosier with the things we give our time and energy to we are finding that the church is not near the top of everyone’s list the way it once was…and if we are honest, who could blame anyone for choosing not to be a part of the church.

The argument could be made that the church spends too much time trying to police the world around it than it does carrying out Christ’s mission of loving the world around it, serving the world around it, and inviting the world around it into a life changing encounter with Him.

But what if the church were the Body of Christ that Paul talks about in his letter to the Corinthians?  What if the church embraced its identity as the hands and feet of Christ in this world, and what if each member saw the incredible value of both their investment in the church and the investment the church might make in their lives?

As we open our “Questions” series, we consider that being a part of the church might just tell you something about who you are, how you should be cared for, and what you could do in this world…

w/ David Hockett and Vern Collins

“Foundations: Serve” (November 15, 2015)

from Joshua 24

Options.  Many live in a culture full of options.  Options for clothing, cars, the way you spend your time…upgrade options, warranty options, media options, options for the way you connect with others…it is a culture that caters to the consumer.

What if, however, we have become so accustomed to crafting this life to be the most comfortable it can, that we have made optional things that should not be?

Take serving and loving others for example…Jesus never presented it as an option…even in our Old Testament passage from Joshua, we see that amidst the options of lesser gods, Joshua makes it clear that those options are no option at all, really.

What if the way you served was a life style, not simply another option on your list?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Foundations: Connect” (November 8, 2015)

from John 15:1-17

How is it that we’ve boiled Christianity, that is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, down to NOT doing the things we shouldn’t do, and being sure to do the things we should?

The invitation of Jesus is to life…a full life to be more specific.  Yet, we have somehow bought in to this idea that life with Christ is little more than behavior modification.

In this week’s foundation of Connecting, we consider that what we DO for God is simply not as important as how we are WITH God through our connection in our relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps the fruit, or what we “do” comes as a byproduct of abiding in Christ as He calls us to do in John 15.  Not only in relationship with Jesus, but in relationship with one another do we find that God is able to bear fruit in and through our lives that is beautiful in His sight.

Rather than focusing on, “doing and achieving,” what if your focus became, “abiding, and being?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Worship” (November 1, 2015)

from Revelation 7:9-16

Silent Mediation.  Old Hymns.  Traditional.  Contemporary.  Praise and Worship.  There are as many different opinions about what worship should be as there are people worshiping…or as there are people in church.

As we begin our “Foundations” series by looking at both foundations of the faith and foundations of who we are as a church and how we accomplish our mission of, “Loving our Community and inviting all to discover life in Christ,” we begin with worship as being a vital piece of that identity.

What your worship were not a matter of preference of style, but was the, “True Worship,” Jesus refers to in John 4, and that we catch a glimpse of in the vision of the throne in Revelation 7?

 

w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: as Church” (June 14, 2014)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

We are conditioned from an early age that if we have any hope of success, we need to be set apart.  This is great for those who feel like they are, and a road block for those who feel less than unique in a world that values distinction.
The problem is, our distinction often creates division, so we find ourselves not only suffering the effects of this, but trying to compensate for it by calling for unity in the midst of our diversity.
Paul argues, that as the Body of Christ, we find unity because of our diversity, not in response to it.
How would the church begin to look different; how would your life begin to look different if you saw yourself as one part of the whole, and began to value the parts around that also contribute to the church being the body of Christ?
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: For Us” (June 7, 2015)

from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The call for the Christ follower to be Christ to the world can be at best confusing and at worst something that on you can make a quick mess of.  In an age when the church and the follower of Christ are seen as being judgmental, hypocritical, or more concerned with self than with a hurting world, is there hope of bringing the gap?
The invitation to Christ’s table is an invitation to a deeper understanding not only of the journey that led Christ to be broken for us, but a deeper understanding of who we are called to be in Him.
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: In One Jew” May 31, 2015

from John 20:24-31

The lifeless form on the cross, the broken bread at The Table, the church, and the individual following Christ…all, the Body of Christ, yet for much of the world there the disconnect between who the Christian, or what the church is and who they understand Jesus to be.
Perhaps if we had a better understanding of what it means to be the Body of Christ, then we would begin to look more like the One Who is at the head.
In week 1 of our new series, we look at Jesus’ patient encounter with Thomas after the Resurrection, and are challenged in the way we might approach those around us who doubt.
w/ Vern Collins