Sharing God’s Love


Acts 3:1-9 and Acts 2:47
Sunday, October 21, 2012
#5 of 5 – 30 Day Church Challenge
Lost and Found: Reaching Out to Your Relational World

This is it: the final week of the 30-Day Church Challenge!  For the past few weeks we’ve been taking challenges that are changing us and changing our church.  The objective of our 30-Day Church Challenge has been for each of us to discover and engage in the five purposes of the church.  Our goal has been to see a radical transformation in our thinking about the church…viewing it not as simply a place to go to each week, but realizing that it is a vibrant family to belong to.  That is the vision we have for this campaign, and I pray we’ll continue to do it long after this series is over.

Today we’re going to finish this series by hearing from some of our church members who have worked this year to BE the church outside our walls…I want you to watch and listen to some of the things that have been going on around us that reflect…Authentic Community…Active Worship…Spiritual Growth…and Faithful Stewardship…

Today’s theme is – OUTREACH

Turn in your Bible to Acts 2:47…Repeat that last sentence out loud with me: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  How do you suppose that happened?  Certainly there was a magnetism to the church because of their devotion, unity, and generosity…But no one would know about those things unless the members of the church were talking about them with their friends outside the church.  A recent survey shows that 1 in 5 Americans have no religious identity…What will you do to introduce these people to the love of Jesus Christ?  How will you work to help others understand the difference between faith in Jesus and “religion”?  When will you do something that shows what discipleship really means in our culture?

I invite you to listen and watch carefully this morning and see what two groups from our church have done this year and imagine how you might be involved in the future.  We will hear from Graeme Collett and members of our youth group about their mission trip this past summer.  We will also hear from Jamie Warkentin and members of the adult mission team that travelled to south central Missouri last week.

[Youth Mission Trip Report]

[Adult Mission Team Report]

Our final challenge for this series is to care about what Jesus cares about and do something about it….I want you to focus on our scripture from Acts 3:1-9 and try to imagine how we might see ourselves in this story…How can we “give whatever we have in the name of Jesus Christ”?  In what ways can we reach out to the least and the lost in our community?  I also want to suggest that you take some time to read the entire Book of Acts to get a sense of how the early church worked.  We can learn a lot about church life and church growth by studying the Book of Acts…Try to see yourself in these stories; try to see our church through the lens of Acts.  I hope that our 30 Day Church Challenge journey has helped you to see new ways of engaging the five purposes of the church:

        • Authentic Community
        • Active Worship
        • Spiritual Growth
        • Faithful Stewardship
        • Relational Outreach

These are our purposes as well…They fit right into our Mission:  “Through God’s grace our church will grow in service and ministry, making and nurturing disciples for Jesus Christ.”

Will you receive God’s transforming message today?  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Amen