The First Thing

“Simon says”

The secret is distinguishing between what should be followed and shouldn’t be.

What is your life authority? For a Christian it has to be Jesus.


THE FIRST THING JESUS SAID

Luke 2:49

Who says that?


Covid-19 has impacted how we are obeying

So, what is Our Father’s business, His things?

  • PEOPLE
  • SACRIFICE
  • EXAMPLE

Sacrifice is simply living like there is something bigger than yourself!

Online

Why online?

Luke 5:1-3

Matthew 28:20

  • Do everything possible to reach everyone possible!
  • Ministry 24/7!
  • Responding to a new normal
  • An awesome way to get the salt out of the shaker!
  • Half the world’s population is online
  • Online is not going away

How-tos of an online campus:
Like, share and comment
Watch videos
Send songs and videos to specific friends who need it
Respond and take surveys

Decide to be ALL IN!
This was a series about a new location, a new venue, a new normal!
Pray this along with me: God, fund what You want us to do!
Give something and do something!

Leaving a Legacy

Hebrews 11:4

That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave, that I believed in God and was a righteous man!

I don’t want someone else to be the example, to show my family what a Godly dad and grandad looks like.

Exodus 20:6

It’s hard to go back to normal when normal disappeared.
Carey Nieuwhof

Ephesians 6:12

And no place needs more warriors than our children and teens!

I would be scared to death to raise kids these days without regular influence of the church!

You may love kids but don’t feel you can serve IN kids.
You can still SERVE kids!

One of my goals, and I hope it’s yours too, is to build a church that our kids and grandkids will want to be a part of!

The Coffee Shop

Why a coffee shop?

To Help Get Your Light on a Tall Pole!

Matthew 5:13-16

How effective is salt in a shaker?

Reach People in the “New Normal”!

“But the biggest mistake most leaders will make is the emotional rush to get back into a facility, to see everyone again, to assemble their teams and get back to ‘normal’, they’ll re-embrace a model of ministry designed to reach a world that no longer exists.”

Carey Nieuwhof

Back to Basics

Where are you most likely to invite someone to meet you?

Make This Building About the 167!

“If we bought this building to be about Sunday morning, we bought the wrong building.”

Make a Well!

“Jesus didn’t just hang out in the synagogue – he hung out at wells. Wells were natural gathering places in ancient culture. Coffee houses are modern wells.”

Mark Batterson

John 4

Because It’s Time to Be ALL IN!

Esther 4:14

All In – A New Building

Let’s begin with the scripture that describes what a church building is supposed to look like.

God gave specifics on the ark Noah built, Genesis 6:14-18,
the tabernacle during Moses’ day, Exodus 26,
the temple Solomon built, Exodus 25:10-22,
even the ark of the covenant, 1 Chronicles 28:19.

But nothing about a church building!

  • ekklesia was the word Jesus used for the church in Matthew 16:18 which means a gathering or assembly
  • kirche began to be used in Europe, sometime around the 4th century, emphasizing a building, denoting a place for Christian worship

Romans 16:3, 5

The church is not a building. It might meet in a building, but isn’t limited to buildings for worship.

John 4:21

The building is nothing more than a tool.
– It is not the holy of holies.
– It is not more holy than a civic center.
– It is not venerable.
– It is not to be idolized, honored nor receive our undying devotion.
– It does not need protection from other activities.

   It’s just a building!

What makes a building special is the way the building is used by the church!

How 29:11 will utilize this building…

Rules

Matthew 23:1-7

The defining characteristic of man’s religion? An overabundance of rules!

But let me be very direct! Rules are good, beneficial, required, etc

But rules are elementary steps or stages of relationships.

1, We need to mature past just doing things because of rules

2, And no one wants a relationship that has devolved into a list of rules!

Spiritual disciplines:
Bible
Prayer & Fasting
Worship, Gratitude
Fellowship, Gathering
Stewardship


Asking what is the least I can do to get to heaven isn’t a relationship, it’s a religion of rules!


Imagine your spouse is away for a week. But they leave you notes, send texts and make phone calls but you ignore them, put off reading or answering.

       1, we miss help to make our lives better

       2, we seriously damage our relationship with God

In the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks didn’t find even one Bible in all those boxes!

1, without the Bible I have to work harder to maintain my relationship with God!

2, the Bible helps my relationship with God get deeper, stronger!


So don’t read, pray, gather, worship and give because it’s a rule. Read, pray, gather, worship and give because it’s who we are and it deepens our relationship with God!

Loopholes

Religious people use loopholes to both get out of laws/rules we don’t agree with, (ex. That’s the Old Testament, or Jesus didn’t really say or mean that) as well as hold others to a standard we don’t hold ourselves to.

Jesus called the Pharisees out for this. – Matthew 15:1-9

When we understand that Jesus didn’t use any loopholes when it came to forgiving us, we realize we can’t use them against others. Instead Jesus challenges us to repay this “debt of love”. Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor.

Romans 13:7-9

Matthew 22:34-40

In light of these scriptures that lay out love being the lenses we see God’s law through, our question is no longer, “How much do I have to do?” But rather, “What does love require of me today?” How can I repay the debt of love that I e received?

Losing MY Religion

Moral compass – Without something pointing us north (like we need to be pointed toward God) our focus becomes inner, self focused. So whatever makes me happy is best, right, acceptable.

Without a moral compass we can justify anything.

My greatest concern with pastoring an independent church…

Jesus had that moral compass. John 7:16-18


This isn’t a mere call to follow Jesus better just for the sake of obedience. It’s also encouragement, mentoring, pastoring, to say if we want to have impact like Jesus then let’s stop doing it our way and try doing it His!


Three truths about Jesus and personal interactions:

  1. Jesus was only rude to a very few people.
  2. Jesus wasn’t rude to people just because they disagreed with Him.
  3. Jesus was rude to those who were supposed to be leaders but were breaking the law.

If my religion tells me to be rude, attack verbally, etc, it’s probably not Jesus’ religion.


We often must decide if we want people to hear our personal message or our Jesus message. Because they usually won’t listen to both.

Proverbs 15:1

Matthew 10:16

Look at IMPACT Jesus’ way. Not political, no personal axe to grind. Some great examples are John 7:15, 46, Matt 7:28, 13:54, 22:33, Luke 2:47, 4:22, 32, Mark 1:22, 6:2

What was so amazingly different?

Living water, the Spirit, for those thirsty, John 7:37-39

Parables of two sons, evil farmers, the great feast – a common moral that it’s not what you say but what you do! Matt 21-22

Yet Matthew 7 is the best insight into what amazed so many people:

  • Don’t judge others
  • Be careful finding fault with others while ignoring your own faults!
  • Don’t waste your efforts where you know they won’t be received!
  • Keep on asking & receive… seeking & find… knocking & doors will open
  • God wants to give good gifts
  • The Golden Rule
  • The path to eternal life takes effort, as opposed to the path to death
  • Be careful who you listen to
  • Activity is not enough, not the goal, but doing God’s will is

Jesus’ teaching, His way, is a rock to build your life upon. Our religion is shifting sand!

When we share our God-given passion with Jesus’ words and in His way, lives and hearts are changed!

Jesus has given me passion AND direction on how to share it!

Responding in Difficult Times

The first part of 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear…”

Don’t respond in fear!

The Greek word used here that we translate to fear means “cowardice or reticence”

There is paralyzing fear and there is the fear that is just over-concern. Either one, fear is not from God!

So is what follows in that verse the opposite response of fear? In a way.


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power…”


There is peace in strength, especially His strength. If I know I can handle it then there is no need to fear.

It’s not just that God gives us power but He has given us a spirit or an attitude of power!


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love…”


Same as above, not just the command to love but we have been given a spirit, an attitude of love.

Love – perfect love casts out all fear. Fear keeps us from one another, physically and emotionally.


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”


Sound mind – peace, calm, sober, level headed, not stirred, not shaken by circumstances, not over-reactive!

We are merchants of peace, purveyors of His peace! This world needs what we’re offering!

Respond in confident power,
in a spirit of love,
in a calm, level-headed way.