Knocking Down Walls

We’ve finally reached the end of this journey. We’ve seen the church rise up, thrive through adversity, stand firm in the face of some pretty intense internal challenges, and finally hit its stride here in the most exciting story of all with a church business meeting. Wait…a church business meeting? How could that be exciting? Because this one would set the tone for how the church working well would approach ministry for the rest of its history. You’ve never seen such an exciting business meeting before. Read on to find out what happened and what it means for us.

Knocking Down Walls

Have you ever seen the gameshow Wipeout? It is a favorite in our household. If you’ve never seen it, the basic premise is that a group of pretty average folks are invited to take part in an insane series of obstacle courses. Each course is designed for the contestants to fail and in increasingly embarrassing ways. The bigger the wipeouts, the better the laughs. 

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The Nature of Our Work

One more week and we are finally through our series, Telling Our Story. I hope this has been as encouraging and productive a journey for you as it has been for me. Today, having spent lots of time talking about the how and the why of the things the first church did, we shift gears and talk about the what. What was is they were doing that enabled them to be so successful? Read on to find out.

The Nature of Our Work

What does it look like when you’ve done a job well? That depends on the job, of course. A school project done really well looks like a paper with a big A on top. If you’re selling insurance, it looks like helping someone understand the worth of investing in a personal safety net should the tightrope that is life get plucked, sending you falling to the ground. If you’re a firefighter, it looks like a rescue made with as little collateral damage as possible. For a NASCAR team, it looks like a trip down victory lane. If you’re building something you ordered from Amazon, it looks like not having any extra pieces beyond the ones that are supposed to be there. The list here is as varied as the jobs we could imagine. Let me give you one more, though, what does it look like when we’ve done church well?

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For Everybody

This week as we continue in our series, Telling Our Story, we come upon one of the most powerful stories of the journey. Who exactly is the Gospel for? In the first church, early on in their story, in spite of what Jesus had told them, they thought the Gospel was just for them and the people who were like them. What we see today, though, was the time when God intervened to help them understand that it was entirely bigger than that. Let’s talk about just how big.

For Everybody

Have you ever run into someone you didn’t expect in a place you wouldn’t have imagined? When I was 12, my parents planned a surprise party for me. The plan was for my dad to take me out to run an errand, but “forget” his wallet at home. While we were gone, a whole bunch of my buddies invaded the house. When we got back to get the wallet, I ran inside as fast as I could because I was 12 and that’s what 12-year-old boys do. Right as I got to the room where the wallet was supposedly sitting, they all jumped out at me. I’m pretty sure I defied some laws of physics as I changed directions in mid-air and crumpled to the ground in a little ball figuring that I was toast. One of my buddies had even thrown on a Wolf-Man mask for good measure. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of making a mess of myself from the shock. It wound up being a great evening, but I just about didn’t survive the shock of seeing all those guys in that place at that time.

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Foes to Friends

Yesterday we continued our look at the story of the first church in Acts as told by Luke. This week we see how God can bring boosts to His kingdom work from places we would never expect them to come. But, if this is going to happen, He needs something from us. Read on as we talk about what that is.

Foes to Friends

Kanye West is not a man well-known for his modesty and humility. Over the course of his career, he’s bounced around from one name to another and one grandiose claim to another. He’s been crude and crass and just downright rude. One of his biggest moments in the spotlight came when he grabbed a mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands when she was accepting a music award in order to make the case why she shouldn’t have won it. He was never known as a friend to Christianity.

Then he became one.

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Overcoming the World

Last week we ended things on a cliffhanger. God was allowing a terrible unfair injustice in Stephen’s death to happen without any apparent consequences for the people who perpetuated it. Why would He do that? Why does He allow the hard times we face in our own lives to happen the way they do? This week offers not so much an answer as an invitation to a bigger perspective. Let’s talk about it together.

Overcoming the World

Can I safely assume that everyone here has seen or at least knows the basic plot outline of the original Star Wars movie? I’m not sure if George Lucas had his vision completely laid out when he made the first film, but it was released as entry number four of a nine-part series. Who starts a 9-part series with episode number 4? George Lucas apparently. And, it’s has made him a very rich man, so there you go. Now, sure, episodes 1, 2, and 3 are all pretty much abominations (especially episode 1), but maybe that’s why he started with episode 4. Who knows?

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