For the Community & For the Nations Sermon Audio, Video, & Questions

On August 27, 2023, at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Acts 1:8. This message was part of the “Following Jesus Together” sermon series. Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion. You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.


Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Acts 1:8
  3. What are some of the ways you have grown spiritually over the past 5 years?  Can you think of any evidence to support your growth in faith and practice of following Christ?
  4. Jesus (in His last words) clarifies the importance of our role as being a witness of Jesus Christ in this world.  What are some ways you can be a witness for Jesus in your everyday life today?
  5. Are you praying for ministry opportunities in your life?  Consider joining us Wednesday night, August 30 at 6PM for our All Church Prayer Night as we “Plug in” to His power for the year ahead!
  6. Are there people (or groups of people) in your life that you have avoided because you have given up on them (or have some other reason to not point them to Jesus)?  How does the scope of Acts 1:8 encourage you to freely share the Gospel with all?
  7. How might you personally engage in what God is doing around the world today?  Consider your role in praying for, supporting, or going to the mission field today.
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?


To access these questions in pdf format click here.


To listen to message offline, click the link:

Following Jesus Together to the Glory of God #3 8.27.23


To listen online, use media player below:


To watch online use YouTube:


Following Jesus: For the Community and Nations (Sermon Preview)

Healthy things grow. If conditions are right, and nothing is impeding development, life progresses.

Babies begin as a tiny fertilized egg that grows to 8 pounds at birth, then continues to progress as he or she ages. Humans do not just grow physically, though, we grow intellectually … throughout life we grow in understanding. We also grow relationally and emotionally as the web of friendships, family, and colleagues throughout life continue to build on one another. A healthy person will develop in each of these areas throughout their lives until they begin to die. Our bodies begin to deteriorate in our 40’s (reading glasses anyone)? Our intellect may slow as we age (now why did I come into the kitchen?) And our relationships may fade even before physical death (one of the sad realities of diseases like Alzheimer’s is the relational separation they create from people they knew well in the earlier days of their lives). But until death begins to creep in, life continues to develop.

This is also true of our spiritual lives. A healthy spiritual person grows. They grow in their understanding of who God is … so they trust Him more and more. They grow in their expressions of love to others … loving others as Jesus has loved them. This is also true in a church. A healthy church should be growing in our devotion to Christ … but also in our numbers. Jesus intends for the church to grow numerically. After all, “He desires none to perish but all to come to repentance (1 Timothy 2:3-7).”

What is amazing is that spiritual growth is connected not to THIS LIFE which is finite and will one day die … but it is actually connected to ETERNAL LIFE, which (by definition) never stops. The Christian will grow forever in our relationship with the Lord and celebration of His expanding Kingdom reign.

Last week at Wildwood we talked about one aspect of this growth … the growth of the church family as we submit to the Lord vertically and serve one another horizontally. This week, we will look at how a healthy church grows numerically, by serving as witnesses of Jesus in our town and around the world. We will talk about how at Wildwood we are For the Community and the Nations following Jesus together with us to the glory of God as we look at Acts 1:8. Hope you can make it … and bring friends!

NOTE: As you know, Wildwood has 3 Sunday services – 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00. If you were at Wildwood last Sunday and found it difficult to find a seat or a parking space, I would encourage you to come earlier in the day. While the 11:00 service was packed, good seats were available at the 9:45 and lots of seats and parking were available at 8:30. Come when you can, but just wanted you to know what last Sunday looked like across the morning as you consider which service to attend going forward.

Baptism Sunday (March 5, 2023)!

On Sunday, March 5, 2023, at Wildwood Community Church, we celebrated the baptisms of 19 people.  Join us in praising God for His work in people’s lives!  Below you will find links to the video stream of the 3 worship services (NOTE: the 8:30 and 11:00 services only include the baptism portions, while the 9:45 service has the entire service).  You will also find a link to the audio of the sermon (which was only preached at the 8:30 service due to time constraints in the later two hours).  Also, you will find a link to only the baptism testimonies.

Video from the 8:30 Service (baptism portion):


Video from the 9:45 Service (full service):


Video from the 11:00 Service (baptism portion):


8:30 Sermon audio to listen to offline (click link):

Baptism Sunday 3.5.23


8:30 Sermon audio via online player:

Vimeo Channel with baptism testimonies only:

March 2023 Baptism Testimonies

Baptism Sunday: March 5, 2023 PREVIEW

On Sunday, March 5, 2023 at Wildwood Community Church, we will be celebrating the baptisms of 19 of our people!  We will gather in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship service, sing praise to God, pray for our mission team that is going to serve in the Middle East over Spring Break, hear the testimonies and witness the water baptisms of 19 people, and even look at Acts 2:37-41 together.  I can’t wait for this Sunday!!!!

As is our tradition on baptism Sundays, we will not have our adult/college/student/elementary classes meet (only our early childhood – Pre-K and below will be meeting.)  The rest of us will be “all in” the worship center celebrating God’s faithfulness!  Hope to see you Sunday in one of our morning services.  See the graphic below to know who is being baptized in which service.

The Church that Acts – Sermon Questions, Audio, and Video

On Sunday, August 14, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on a survey of the book of Acts.  This message (titled “The Church that Acts”) kicked off the school year at Wildwood.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find Audio and Video from the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.


Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Review some of the key verses from Acts that we looked at today:  Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:10-37; and any other verses shared that were of particular interest to you.
  3. In what ways is a church like a museum?  In what ways is it different?
  4. When reading of the early church, there are many examples of life transformation and growth.  We talked about some of them this morning (Paul, Peter, Mark).  What are some of the transformations God has done that you have personally witnessed in your own life, or in the lives of those living around you today?
  5. The early Church grew in their faith in God and love for others.  We are called to grow in these categories as well.  We summarized some of the things God uses to grow our faith & love as:  Word, Worship, Community, Ministry, Mission.  If you desire to grow in your faith and love this year, what needs to change, what needs to stop, or should you continue to do as you seek to grow in your relationship with God?
  6. The first church made waves of impact in different groups, including inside the church, in their community (outside the church), among the other nations, and to the next generation.  Think of each of these categories and brainstorm one way that you might be partnering together with your local church to ACT in the year ahead?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.


To listen to audio offline, click the link:

The Church That Acts 8.14.22


To listen online, use media player below:


To watch the service stream, use YouTube online:


The Church that Acts (Sermon Preview)

This past summer, we took a family trip to Washington DC. While Kimberly and I spent a couple of days there on our honeymoon years ago, this was our first trip to the nation’s capital since our son was born. We saw most of the monuments, visited Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetary, devoted a day to the Museum of the Bible, and toured sections of the Smithsonian.
As someone who likes reading and studying history, I LOVED this trip. So many things to see and learn about. Plus, it was the week leading up to the Fourth of July! Guess we were just a trio of Yankee Doodle Dandies!
Walking through memorials, monuments, and museums, got me thinking … in what way is THE CHURCH, like a museum? Museums and memorials collect important documents, mementos, and memories of important events from history. Churches ALSO look regularly to ancient documents that we hold dear and regularly recall memories of important events of years past.
Is THE Church a museum? Is OUR Church a Memorial? Or is there something more.
I believe there is something more. So. Much. More.
And this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we are going to gather and talk about it. By looking at the book of Acts as the “prototype” church, we will see that the church is not a memory factory of what is dead and gone, but a dynamic collection of people on mission today.
Together we will look to the Church of Acts (in history) to find out how to be a Church that Acts (today)!
PLUS, we will remember, through the celebration of communion together, the saving act the Risen and Reigning Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf to secure our eternity. Can’t wait to be with you in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service this Sunday, August 14, 2022!
NOTE: This week is our “Promotion Sunday” for children’s and student ministry!
NOTE 2: We will be starting a new series on August 21 called “The Lord of the New Heaven and Earth” from Revelation 19-22. Make plans to join us all fall!

For the Nations (Preview Sermon) Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, October 17, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Acts 13:1-3.  This message was the “preview” to our “For the Nations” event that will occur from October 23-31 at Wildwood (find details here).  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Acts 13:1-3
  3. Have you ever been on a missions trip before?  What was the purpose of the trip and what are the strongest memories you have of the experience?
  4. In 13:1 we see a list of leaders from the church in Antioch.  This is a diverse group!  Have you ever been a part of a group of people with very diverse backgrounds that came together as one?  What created the unity?  How does Jesus make this kind of unity among diverse people possible inside the church today?
  5. When was the last time you prayed and fasted for the mission of Jesus in the world?  You can pray TODAY … but also you can join us as a church on October 28 as we pray for the mission of the church in the world at 6:30pm in our worship center.
  6. In what way are you personally participating in taking the Gospel to the world?  Giving, prayer, personally going, helping send others?  Join us throughout the “For the Nations Week” October 23-31 as we interact with many Wildwood has SENT to the world!
  7. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?


To access these questions in pdf format, click here.


To listen to the sermon offline, click the link:

For The Nations Intro 10.17.21


To listen online, use the media player below:


To watch the stream of the service, use YouTube online:


For the Nations Preview … Sermon Preview

I am a sinful person.  My desires are not always pure and my actions not always righteous.  More often than I want to admit, the grid through which I process a situation is “what’s in it for me?”

Can anyone relate?

Because of that, I should not be surprised that in my flesh, I often think that whatever I see is for me.  Last slice of cake?  Must be mine.  Last $20 in my wallet?  Must be for MY lunch.  $50 for a birthday gift?  What do I WANT?  Our flesh puts the center of gravity in OURSELVES, putting everyone and everything around us in our orbit.

This attitude is not just present in our attitude toward things, it also even filters into the way we think about our church.  We want the best leader leading MY small group.  We want the best preacher preaching the service that I ATTEND.  We want the best worship band leading ME in worship on Sundays.  We want the coolest most amazing Youth or Children’s Pastor impacting MY KIDS.  We put ourselves at the center, and we don’t let anything get too far removed from our gravitational pull.

Because of this dynamic, we find what happens in Acts 13:1-3 quite alien.  A long time ago, in a time before ANY CHURCHES sent people out on mission trips, one church (in Antioch) released their beloved Senior Pastor and his hotshot young teaching protege out on an extended missionary journey.  They took up a collection, they released them from their Antioch specific duties, and they sent them off to lead OTHERS, to preach to THOSE WHO HAD NOT HEARD, and to lead OTHER PEOPLE’S FAMILIES to the throne of grace.  All this meant that the pulpit in Antioch and the Sunday school classes in their hallways would be led by someone else.  How amazing is this!?!?

To put this in practical terms, imagine a hypothetical situation where Wildwood gathered for worship on Sunday and had a particularly amazing time of worship and prayer … and at the end of that service, commissioned our Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess and myself (Senior Pastor) to take the Gospel to a foreign land, leaving Wildwood to serve in another field.  Now some of you might be excited by the change, but some of you would also be sad by this development!  What could enable a congregation to move past their personal agenda to take such missional action? 

People with themselves at the center would almost never send someone they like to permanently serve someone else.  They would want to keep them around to serve THEIR needs.  However, in Christ, there is another option.

If Jesus (not us) is at the center, and His glory is at the forefront, then everything exists to honor Him.  And Jesus has said that the Gospel is to go “into all the world, making disciples of ALL NATIONS …”  So, churches in sync with the Savior do not collect ministers like stamps, but instead send them out to the ends of the earth.  Instead of relegating missionary activities to those who “can’t cut it here,” the Spirit-empowered church is open to sending its best to those who have not heard.  The task is that important!

In our worship services over the next 3 weeks at Wildwood, we will have a special emphasis on the Lord’s work through Wildwood helping us be “For the Nations” following Jesus to the glory of God.  In these three weeks we will get to hear from some of Wildwood’s best and brightest who are proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth, particularly inside (or near) the 10/40 window.   Please, please, please make plans to attend.  This Sunday we will kick off this series with a preview message where I will be looking at Acts 13:1-3 and contemplating the unifying and primary task of the missionary expansion of the church, and Wildwood’s role in it.  Make plans to join us this Sunday, October 17 in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services, on online in the stream  ( beginning at 9:45.  Join us … and invite friends!