Connecting Like Jesus

This week we kicked off a brand new series taking a fresh look at who God has designed us to be as a church. The message is focused on our church, but the ideas apply to every church and every follower of Jesus. Who did God make you to be and how can you become more that person? It starts with connecting with people. Jesus was a master at that. Learn more here about how He did it and how we can join Him in it.

Connecting like Jesus – John 4:1-26

Our culture is a maze of contradictions.  Think about it: We have never been more connected in terms of technology and social media than we are right now and the webs are getting tighter and tighter all the time.  Movies like Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman that envisioned a slightly futuristic reality in which the government can track every single movement we make is now not only completely true in terms of what they can do, it’s actually even more true now than it was then.  Social media and other tech giants are working on algorithms that not only know where you’ve been, but attempt to predict where you’ll go next in order to allow advertisers to even more closely and personally target their efforts. 

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Get Moving

In this second part of our conversation, What’s Next, we took a look at how the ideas of growing and reaching and help give us clarity in terms of our next steps now that we understand our identity a bit more fully.  Keep reading to see how these can guide us.

 

Get Moving

Well, last week, after spending the previous four talking about our God-given identity as a church, we began a new conversation seeking to answer the question, “What’s Next?”  So we know a little better than we did before who God made us to be.  What are we supposed to do with that?  What are some of the things we can be doing now to start moving us down the road in the direction of becoming fully that church?  Certainly we’re not going to get there all at once, but what are the steps we can take now no matter who we are and where we are in order to start the ball rolling in that direction?  Perhaps to ask that another way: How can we begin adjusting our behavior as a body in light of who God made us to be such that even if we’re not fully that church yet, we’re putting ourselves in a place to begin becoming that church? Read the rest…

Diving In

After spending the past four weeks talking about who God made us to be as a church, this past Sunday morning we started a new conversation about what’s next.  Now that we know who we are, what are some of the specific things we can start doing now to make sure we are able to move all together in the direction He has designed us to go?  Keep reading to find out.

 

Diving In

Wasn’t last week fun?  If you were not here for whatever reason number one, we missed you.  Number two, you will want to get your hands on a video of the service so you can experience some of the Spirit moving as we did in the room.  After three weeks of unpacking the key pieces of the identity God has built into this church for the purpose of building up the larger body of Christ and expanding the kingdom starting in Oakboro and moving on outward from here, we finally put everything together as we celebrated the resurrection and found ourselves in the larger story God is writing across the ages.  I thought it was a really exciting morning and I hope you did too.  It was definitely a morning that I have been looking forward to for quite some time.  Several of you have told me how excited you are to race forward to see what God has in store for us in the days ahead as we become fully the body of Christ He made us to be—a place where people connect to grow in Christ and reach out for His kingdom.  And yet this week…everything looks about like it did last week.  So…what’s next? Read the rest…

Reaching Further

In this third part of our conversation about who God made us to be as a church, we talked about the fact that connecting and growing, while necessary, are not sufficient in and of themselves.  Thank you for taking part in this conversation with us and reflecting on God’s design for your own community.  Don’t miss next week as we put everything together and celebrate the thing that gives it all substance: The resurrection.

 

Reaching Further

Have you ever had a secret that was simply too good to keep to yourself?  It was news that you just weren’t going to be able not to share; you were just going to have to deal with the consequences later?  Or perhaps make this more personal: Have you ever gotten a bit of good news that you couldn’t possibly have not shared with the world?  In our social media-crazed world, some days it seems like most folks think everything is worth sharing.  “I got a promotion!”  “I ran a marathon!”  “My kid is on the honor roll!”  “My dog really like its new bed!”  “I woke up this morning!”  “I’m asleep now (my fingers are set on auto-post)!”  What starts to happen is that as everything gets shared, it can begin to seem like really, nothing is worth sharing.  I submit to you, though, that some things really are worth sharing.  What’s more, some places are designed to help us do that.  And I’m not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Read the rest…

Making Connections

This past Sunday we began a brand new sermon series called “Who We Are.”  For the next few weeks we are going to be taking a look at who First Baptist is; at who God made us to be.  Along the way we’ll be talking about identity as a church and how we can stand firmly in line with God’s design for us.  If you want a better idea of who First Baptist is or what it looks like for a church to wrestle together with God’s plans for them, you won’t want to miss a single part of this series.  Thanks for reading and listening.

Making Connections

Do you know who you are?  We talked back before Christmas about the fact that Jesus helps us become fully who God made us to be.  As powerful a truth as that is, though, if we don’t have at least some kind of a clue as to who that might be, it’s hard to move with anything resembling intentionality in that direction.  This applies to us as individuals to be sure, but it applies every bit as much and maybe even a little bit more as a church.  The funny thing about the church is that it is made up of individuals.  It is made up of individuals who might know themselves incredibly well, but who may or may not understand who God made them to be and how God designed them to work as a group. Read the rest…