Impacting Our Communities

“Communities” is plural because we each have multiple communities (worship, school/work, activities, trade/shopping, neighborhood, etc)

At 29:11 we do a lot of things to touch as many people as possible. Today, let’s look at three ways we can have a lasting impact on the people in our communities.


PRAY THE PRAYER

Five ways to pray the prayer that reveals the power of God

1. Pray the Blood of Jesus – His blood isn’t just for forgiveness, but for healing (1 Peter 2:24) and protection, too (Exodus 12:21-23)

2. Pray the Name of JesusJohn 14:12-15, John 15:4, Luke 10:19

Authority is connected with accountability.

3. Turn God’s promises into prayersExodus 14:14, 14:25, Deuteronomy 1:30, 3:22, Nehemiah 4:20 and  James 1:5, Proverbs 2:6, Daniel 2:21, Ecclesiastes 2:26

You have to know His promises to apply them!

4. Pray in agreement with another Christian(s)Matthew 18:19, 18:16, John 8:17, Deuteronomy 19:15, Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28

5. Pray in FaithJames 5:15, 1:6, Mark 9:23, 11:24, Matthew 21:21

Finally, we must connect Jesus to the prayer in order to reveal His power through the prayer! Acts 3:1-7


 

SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE and freedom, not death and bondage.

Words are powerful! Matthew 12:37, Proverbs 18:21, Romans 10:10

Speak faith, hope, peace, joy, love, patience – how? Ephesians 4:29, Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Words are declarations of our faith, or lack of faith. So it starts with your faith. And if you have faith then your words are like seeds to be planted in places where they can grow. In other words, through faith you can speak words of life!

You need to see yourself speaking words like seeds that bring life everywhere they are sown!


FIND PURPOSE IN SERVING

It is impossible to have a positive impact on others while focused on yourself!

 

GreatPumpkinBash

How We Impact One Another

The #1 reason to attend small group and church? Someone needs you.

We should encourage one another, stand up for each other, be an example to each other!

Romans 14:1-3

Someone’s walk with God is more important than my opinion!
We need to be careful how we impact one another, making sure it is always in a positive way

Matthew 18:15-17

Listening to rumor, gossip, innuendo, etc. will impact the people around you.
Refusing to listen will impact those around you, too, but in a different way!

Guilty and innocent people have this in common, they all need somebody to be their friend. And maybe a guilt person needs it more!

Galatians 6:1

Marks of Maturity

  • Keep commitments
  • Have humility
  • Put space between emotions and actions
  • Display gratitude
  • Pursue wisdom
  • Make peace
  • Easily delay gratification
  • Have a distaste for drama
  • Know they don’t know everything
  • Listen more than they talk
  • Not easily offended
  • Accept responsibility, don’t deflect blame
  • Selfless sacrifice without expectation of return
  • Find joy in other people’s success
  • Prioritize others over themselves – like Jesus did, & taught – Romans 15:3

There is a progression to becoming like Jesus in this:
– Doing what you want or like
– Taking care of what you need
– Doing what has to be done
– Seeing someone else’s pain or need
– Responding to needs beyond yourself
– Living to help others, a serving lifestyle


So where are we going with this? Look around.
Someone nearby just lost their job or will this week.
Someone got bad news from their doctor this week, or will this week.
Someone is struggling in their marriage.
Someone else is hurting financially.
Someone feels alone, is depressed, or is afraid of something you’ve already been through!

Stop avoiding eye contact!

The last person you dodged may be the one God was trying to connect with you.

Romans 12:13

People who are too busy can’t have impact!

Lasting Impact

Being a Christian:
isn’t visiting a building on Sunday morning
isn’t telling people you’ll pray
isn’t posting to social media
isn’t hoping for change

Being a Christian:
is actually being the church 24/7
is actually praying for needs
is actually connecting with people
is actually being the change we want to see!

Being a Christian is not merely influencing, impressing, inspiring or exciting others.
Influencing someone may cause them to act differently.
Impressing someone may cause them to see differently.
Inspiring someone may cause them to think differently.
Exciting someone may cause them to evaluate differently.

But impact leaves it’s mark!

We’ve had many leaders in this world. All leaders have influence. But some have had impact!

I have a dream!
Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask …
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.


BEING A CHRISTIAN IS ABOUT HAVING IMPACT!

Matthew 28:19-20

That’s not influence, that’s impact!

Matthew 5:13

In Jesus’ time salt was a curative, a preventative, a tool, a powerful force that impacted anything it touched. Who is the salt?
The phrase for “lost its saltiness” by definition means more literally to lose one’s wisdom or strength, in other words to become simple or lose the ability of its original purpose.
And when salt was in contact with the ground or exposed to rain and sun it became insipid, or useless, and was only good as gravel for footpaths.
Jesus’ intent is for us to have the power and the purpose of impact!


JESUS HAD A MINISTRY OF IMPACT

When Jesus went to “church” He didn’t just warm a pew!
He healed people in church – Matthew 12:9-14, Luke 13:10-13
He even made some people mad at church – Luke 6:6-7, 13:14
He cleared profiteers out of the temple – Matthew 21:12-13

People were amazed at Him, one time even in an uproar – Matthew 22:33, Matthew 7:28-19, Matthew 21:10-11

He was healing every sick person – Matthew 10:1, 4:23, 8:16, 9:35, 12:15, 14:35-36, 20:32-34, 15:30-31

Matthew 8:2-3, 5-13, 14-15, 26-27, 9:6-8, 20-22, 24-25, 9:27-31, 14:14-21, 15:32-39, 17:15-18, 21:14, 18-19


JESUS HAD A MINISTRY OF IMPACT AND HE LEFT IT FOR US TO CONTINUE!

We weren’t given a certificate or a Bible bookmark or a gold star.
We have been given power and authority over evil powers and to heal diseases.

Luke 10:19

Following Jesus

Following is a commitment to the One you’re following

Today let’s talk about two things that Jesus started – for us!


BAPTISM

The top 3 reasons all Christians must be baptized:
1. Matthew 28:19
2. Mark 16:16
3. John 4:1

Baptism is the first step. You can’t take 2nd step until you’ve taken 1st.

Jesus chose to be baptized.
Baptism is a foreshadow for Jesus, looking toward the day He would die then raise back to life.
Baptism is a symbol for us, it points to our past that we have died to and become alive in Jesus.
Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify with us!

There is no power in the water. But there is power in obedience!

So follow Jesus into the water!

THE CHURCH

Jesus called 12 men to follow Him in order to be together, learn together and grow together.
Mark 3:14-15
They spent a lot of time together in ministry, not doing their own thing.

When Jesus sent out His followers it was in pairs, not individually.
Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1
They did ministry together!

So when Jesus left, at His direction, the disciples waited together in Jerusalem until the feast day called Pentecost – and the church was born! Acts 1:4-5, 12-14, 2:1-41

Hebrews 10:24-25


You need us and we need you!

We can do more ministry together.
Paul was no lone ranger. He had Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, John Mark, and at least 7 more.

Questioning Jesus

Questioning is not always bad. It can mean:

  • Interrogation
  • Raising doubts, or simply entertaining them
  • Being suspicious
  • Seeking truth or peace

Let’s start with perhaps the most important question we ask of Jesus:
Are You the One?

Matthew 11:3-5, 27:11, 21:23-25, Luke 7:19-22, 22:67-68, Mark 14:61-62

  • To John the Baptist’s followers Jesus replies (this is a paraphrase): What do you see? Notice the miracles! And that hope is readily shared with the poor! Something is different!
  • To Pilate He basically says: You already know
  • And to the High Priest Jesus simply says: “I am”

A related question from John 6:30-33:
Why doesn’t Jesus just prove Himself to everyone?
Jesus doesn’t want us to chase His miracles, He wants us to believe in Him!

But probably most questions asked about Jesus in our age are about reconciling a good God and a bad world

Luke 10:38-42
Does Jesus care that life isn’t fair?
Maybe we’re prioritizing the wrong things!

Luke 2:43-50
Why does Jesus disappoint me?
We really should know what to expect Jesus to say and do.

Matthew 15:12
Does Jesus knowingly offend people?
Disregard these particular people.
But do not offend those who are weak or young in their faith! Romans 14:1, Matthew 18:6-7

Luke 9:51-55
Wouldn’t it be better if bad people were dead?
Check your heart, your spirit, your motivation.

Luke 22:47-51
Should we fight?
Stop it!

Mark 5:25-34
Why is Jesus concerned about insignificant things?
Insignificant things are huge to the people who have to deal with them!

Mark 4:36-40
Does Jesus care what happens to us?
Just have faith! He’s already on the boat with power to perform your needed miracle!

John 9:1-3
Why do bad things happen?
God’s power has not yet been displayed in this place. So we should be working toward prayer and seeking God’s power for needs!

Matthew 3:13-15
Why does Jesus need me?
Jesus said it is fitting, it’s how He chooses to do it. He wants you involved!

John 8:31-36
Why do I need to be set free? I’ve never been a slave.
We think we sin because we choose to sin, but it’s really because we can’t help it. And Jesus came to not just make us feel free but make us free indeed!

John 4:11
Can Jesus really perform miracles?

Most people today don’t believe in miracles – until they need one!

Do I Really Need Jesus?

Who is Jesus?


The Questions

What if I’m a good person?

Oriel FeldmanHall study at Cambridge
96% of subjects chose to administer an electrical shock to someone for money

Romans 3:23-24
Jeremiah 17:9

Aren’t there many paths to Heaven?

John 14:6

What if my life is already full?

John 10:10-14


The Verdict

Jesus is not some app or widget to simply make our lives smoother. He is the missing piece that completes us.

Revelation 3:20

What About Jesus?

Recently a staff member commented on the fluidity of our times.
Jobs, friendships, technology, medicine, travel, everything changes these days. Even truth?

Facts, information, data and perspectives are ever-changing.
Truth does not change.

Fluidity can be good, having the ability to adapt to your situations.
But fluidity can be bad, uncontrollable, destructive, like an unseen leak in your plumbing!

We must be careful to not allow the fluidity of our times to influence our understanding of who Jesus is, and of our relationship with Him.


You need to settle what you believe about Jesus!


Jesus is not moody, impulsive or fickle.

He is the opposite of erratic, wavering, unsettled, indecisive, uncertain, unsteady – that often describes us but never Jesus!

Hebrews 13:8


 

Jesus is the reason for grace!

John 1:17

Think about what changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Jesus came!

When a woman was caught in adultery Jesus said, “I don’t condemn you, either. Go home, and from now on don’t sin anymore.” John 8:1-11

The famous woman at the well was a Samaritan, see John 4:1-13

Jesus created a story of a hero and made him a Samaritan, see Luke 10:30-37

Jesus ate with sinners! See Luke 19:6-7, 15:1-2, 5:29-32


 

Jesus loves everyone

kids and adults, the well-off and those the Pharisees called “scum,” both the educated and ignorant – so much so that He died for us!

The only people Jesus seemed to have issues with are probably the same people you have issues with:
hypocrites Matthew 23:1-33
profiteers (price-gougers) Matthew 21:12-13
bullies, see John 8:3-5, 9:20-24

Revelation 3:20

Grow

Perfect people have no room for growth…the rest of us do!

You can help a hoarder clean their house, but if they remain a hoarder it won’t do them any good next week.

OWN YOUR GROWTH

Ethiopian court officialActs 8:26-40

He went from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, 1500 miles to worship!
Or he went to worship while on business or vacation!
He was reading though he didn’t understand it all
He found an opportunity to take the next step!


 

FIVE STEPS FOR REAL GROWTH

READ

Imagine the impact it would have on your life to read the Bible early every day!


 

PRAY

Converse with God every chance you get!
1 Thessalonians 5:17


 

DO

Church is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be impactful!
Whatever needs to be done, do it, even if you have to do it alone!


CONNECT

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Small Groups launch with new changes on 9/8!

Image result for divine direction
Divine Direction – Check out the 7 day devotional here.


CONSISTENCY

Corporate success requires individual commitment.


 

  • Start strong

  • Stay strong

Consistency builds character, gets us through tough days, but is missing in many lives


 

THE GOAL is not to just get you here on Sunday. The goal is to get you to the feet of Jesus,
worshipping Him for yourself not just watching,
discovering the gifts He has given you to make a difference and helping you develop and use them,
become so overwhelmed by Who He is that you can’t help but invite someone else to come sit at His feet with you,
learning for yourself as we provide all the help you need doing that.

Gather

Because of all He’s done, This Is What We Do

We gather because we are Firstborn!
Luke 13:34
Matthew 9:35-38
Luke 19:10

The goal is not to just get you here on Sunday. The goal is to get you to the feet of Jesus,
worshipping Him for yourself not just watching,
discovering the gifts He has given you to make a difference and helping you develop and use them,
become so overwhelmed by Who He is that you can’t help but invite someone else to come sit at His feet with you.


What kinds of things need to be gathered? Things that are scattered, out of place, or lost!

Lost is the word Jesus used in Luke 15 when he spoke of a sheep, a coin, and a son.

Pray and watch for signs, for hope! Those who have chosen to walk away have to choose to return.

So who are these scattered ones? Those with marital problems, addictions, suffering abuse, with financial trouble, self-esteem issues, living with guilt, condemnation or shame, who have anger issues, those who are lonely, etc.

What kinds of things need to be gathered? Things that belong together!

  • ALL the sheep!
  • ALL the coins!
  • The WHOLE family!

HOW WE GATHER

At 29:11 we want to reach people no one else is reaching. That means being willing to do what no one else is doing!

“I think our culture is changing, which is making evangelism difficult…people are shrinking back because it’s not politically correct. I think people are afraid of being asked questions that they may not be able to answer. They’re not even sure…how to engage in spiritual conversation.”  – Garry Poole



How to gather better:

  • Make it priority
  • Set a goal
  • Name a name
  • Plan follow-up in advance
  • Design the worship service with FTAs in mind
  • Equip people to invite

When I see God in eternity and He looks over my shoulder and asks, “Who did you bring with you?”, what will be my answer?