Share (part 4) Sermon Audio/Video

Share part 4 recap.001

On Sunday morning, January 31, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Mark 3:13-19.  This message was part 4 of the “Share” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio and video to watch/listen to online, download, or share with a friend.

 

To download the audio to listen to online, use the link below:

Share #4

 

To listen to the message online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon, use the Vimeo Video below:

 

Share (part 4) Sermon Questions

Share part 4 recap.001

On Sunday, January 31, 2016, I preached a sermon based on Mark 3:13-19.  This message was part 4 in the “Share” series.  Below you will find questions for personal reflection or group discussion.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection:

  1. Read Mark 3:13-19
  2. What evidence do you see that the general values of this world are “ME” focused?  What do you think was meant by a “WE” culture in Christ?
  3. Jesus chose 12 people to be Apostles.  He chose these twelve from a larger group of His followers.  Imagine you were one of the other followers of Christ who were not chosen to be one of the 12.  How do you think you would have felt about not being included as one of the 12?
  4. Why do you think Jesus chose to focus on the 12?
  5. Do you have a smaller group of people who you are following Christ with?  Maybe this is a small group, service team, Bible study, etc.?
  6. Jesus’ ministry to the 12 was intended to fill them up so that they might overflow and include others.  In what way is it strategic to invest in a few?
  7. **Who are “a few more” that God might have you include in your community this year?
  8. What stood out to you most from today’s message?
  9. What stood out to you most from this entire series?  (I’d love to hear from you the things God impressed upon your heart during this series!  If you have something to share, please email me or comment back and let me know.)

** Note:  If you only have time for one question, consider asking/answering the question marked by the two stars.

PDF copy of the questions is available here.

Share (part 4) Preview

Share part 4 preview.001

We live in a world that is enamored with “ME.”  This should not surprise us.  We are most familiar with ourselves, and our fallen nature most readily seeks to magnify ourselves (to the exclusion of God and others) much of the time. 

We see evidence of this on the athletic field where star athletes boast of their personal accomplishments, even in team sports like football where all 11 positions exhibit an essential role on every play.  We see evidence of this in the political arena, where elected officials (or those seeking office) talk about their personal accomplishments, forgetting that our government is designed to run through a series of checks and balances where different branches (and hundreds of individuals) partner together for the common good.  We see evidence of this in our own lives as we think about our personal preferences (in a variety of areas) instead of what is best for others — even those who are not like us. 

Football players who think it is all about them, demonstrate a lack of understanding of the game.  Politicians who try to go it alone show a lack of constitutional intent.  Individuals who think only of themselves fail to see the realities of society.

Into our individualistic world, Jesus comes . . . and when He comes, He turns this world’s ME culture upside down.  In fact, when Jesus talks about glory, He focuses that on God alone.  And when He talks about people, He often flips the “M” in “me” around to make it a “W.”  “We” is a word that all Christians need to be familiar with.

God never intended for us to live our spiritual lives alone.  He always intended us to be a “we” not a “me.”  That is why it “was not good for man to be alone” in the Garden of Eden, and that is why Jesus saves us into His Body, not as independent operators.  We are designed by God to be a part of a team for all eternity.  We are designed to be included with others and to include others with us.

We are going to be talking more about this idea this Sunday, January 31 at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services as we wrap up our “Share” series by looking at Mark 3:13-19 together.  Hope to see you all in one of our services this weekend.  Engage those around you, and invite them to join you at Wildwood this weekend as we see how we are all included in God’s strategic plan to change the world.

One More Thought about Inviting

Dwight Nash and I in the summer of 2015
Dwight Nash and I in the summer of 2015

In this morning’s message, I talked about the power of an invitation.  Some of the things I mentioned were the personal invitations my sister (Debbie) and Youth Pastor (Dwight) extended to me in some of the formative moments of my spiritual journey.

It was Debbie who pointed out to me that I was a sinner in need of the forgiveness Jesus could provide.  She invited me to follow Jesus.  Her invite began a journey for me that God used Dwight to help continue.  Over a 14 month period between 1989-1990, Dwight just kept inviting me to things.  He invited me to hang out and play golf or tennis or basketball (friendship).  He invited me to exchange my sin for Christ’s righteousness (salvation).  He invited me to help lead a fundraiser car wash the Youth Group was putting on (service).  He invited me to lead Bible studies in the youth group (ministry).  He invited me to consider a life in vocational ministry (calling).  That is a lot of invitations to extend to a sophomore in High School!  But I am eternally grateful that Dwight and Debbie extended these invitations to me.  God used them to change my life.

In this morning’s message, we looked at John 1:35-42 and saw Andrew invite his brother Simon to follow Christ.  There is almost no way Andrew could have known all that God would eventually do through Simon (Peter) at the time of his invitation.  Andrew’s invite was not so much strategic as it was loving  . . . he simply wanted to invite his brother to connect to Christ.

As I reflected on that passage, I wondered what my friend Dwight was thinking as he extended those invites to me 26 years ago.  I reached out to Dwight this past week and asked him.  These were some of his thoughts:

In those days I had a saying. “Run with those who want to run with you.” As you know, there are always folks who don’t want to run the race you are describing. I found myself inviting folks to the level or depth that they would be willing to risk and say yes to. I keep asking until they say no or avoid me! HA

In one sense I would say that the invitation toward you was no different than any other invitation. What was different was the response and the degree I could see that you were being used by God and would be used by God in the future.

God was already doing a work in you, it only required an invitation from me to start the blooming action.

You have to believe in people and what God has placed in them and not what you currently see!

Believing in you! – Dwight

I am so thankful that Dwight did not just rely on what he could see . . . a 16 year old with a mullet haircut with an extensive Hair Band cassette tape collection.  He looked beyond the obvious to what God could do and invited me to follow Him.

Who are you inviting to Jesus this year?  God is already at work in them . . . He graciously includes us in the process by allowing our invitations to start the blooming action.

Like Dwight, I am believing in you this year.  Let’s follow Jesus together.

NOTE: In the summer of 1990 Dwight Nash was the Youth Pastor at East Cross United Methodist Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where I attended.  Today, Dwight is Senior Pastor of Sent Church in Plano, TX and the Church Planting Catalyst with the Wesleyan Church.  He is also my hero.

Share week 3 preview.001

Share (part 3) Sermon Audio/Video

Share week 3 preview.001

On Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on John 1:35-42.  This message was part 3 in the “Share” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio and video for you to listen to or share with others.

 

To listen to the sermon audio offline, click on the link below and download the file:

Share (part #3)

 

To listen to the sermon audio online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video of the sermon, use the Vimeo video below:

Share (part 3) Sermon Questions

Week 3 post.001

This morning at Wildwood Community Church I preached a message based on John 1:35-42.  This message was part 3 of the “Share” series. Below are a set of questions for personal reflection or group discussion based on the message.  A pdf copy of these questions is also included in this post in case you would like to print them for future use.

 

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection:

  1. Read John 1:35-42
  2. What is one invitation you have given (or received) that has had a major impact on your life?
  3. Why do you think we tend to minimize the power of the invitations we offer to others?
  4. John called Jesus the “Lamb of God.”  What do you think he meant by giving Jesus that title?
  5. **Andrew and the other disciple seem to enter a process of finding more out about Jesus as they spend time with Him.  Jesus’ invitation for the men to spend time with Him provides them the opportunity to get to know Him before they truly left all to follow Him.  What are some of the ways people can “get to know Jesus” today before choosing to follow Him completely?
  6. Have you ever chosen to follow Christ with your life?  If so, how did that relationship begin?  What “invitations” were extended to you in your early days that helped lead you to follow Christ.  If not, what is keeping you from following Christ today?
  7. Andrew excelled at inviting people to come to Jesus.  He is a great example for us.  Who might God want you to invite to come follow Jesus?  What is something you could invite them to first?
  8. In Jesus is the power to become something greater.  Jesus says to Andrew’s brother – “You are Simon . . . but you will be Peter.”  What would you like God to do in and through your life this next year?
  9. What stood out to you most from today’s message?

** Note:  If you only have time for one question, consider asking/answering the question marked by the two stars.

To download these questions in pdf format, click here.

Share (part 3) Preview

Share week 3 preview.001

There is power in an invitation.  Think about it.  So many of the momentous things that have happened in your life began with an invitation:

  • A first date that turned into a marriage.
  • A job offer that turned into a career.
  • A play date that turned into a lifelong friend

All of these life shaping things began with an invitation.  We all have felt the power of invitations in our lives, yet we still minimize the effect the invitations we EXTEND could have in the lives of others.  It seems minor to invite another family over for dinner, to invite a friend to church, or to invite someone to join you in serving the needs of others . . . but you have no idea what lies on the other side of that invitation.  For all you know, the person you are inviting to dinner may be to their wits end and just need to know that someone out there still cares.  The friend you invite to church might trust Christ this weekend, changing not only their weekend — but their eternity.  The person you ask to help teach the 4 year old Sunday school class with you may go on to impact hundreds through serving in that venue or another area.  You just never know what hangs in the balance of that invite.

Want a real life example?  There once was a guy named Andrew who decided to invite his brother Simon to meet his new friend . . . Jesus Christ.  Andrew’s brother Simon would be given a new name (Peter) by Jesus and would go on to be one of the pillars of the early church and the author of portions of the New Testament.  I don’t think there is any way Andrew knew what hung in the balance of his decision to invite Simon to follow Jesus . . . but we ALL can agree there was tremendous power in that invitation!

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services, I will be preaching through John 1:35-42 as we look together at the power of an invitation in part 3 of our “Share” sermon series.  Join us on Sunday!  Accept this invite because you never know what hangs in the balance.

Share (part 2) Sermon Audio/Video

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On Sunday, January 17, 2016 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based out of Mark 5:21-43.  This message was part 2 in the “Share” series. To listen to the message or share it with others, utilize the various formats found below.

To download the audio to listen to offline, click the link below:

Share #2

To listen to the audio online, use the media player below:

To watch the video, use the Vimeo video below:

Share (Part 2) Sermon Questions

Share week 2 post insta.001

This morning at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon out of Mark 5:21-43.  It was the second part in the “Share” series.  Below are a set of questions for personal reflection or group discussion based on this message.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection:

  1. Read Mark 5:21-43
  2. The statement was made today that many people have an “on/off” switch when it comes to human interaction.  Do you find this to be true of people you know?  Do you find this to be true of yourself?  If it is true of yourself, in what arenas of your life are you more likely to have your people switch “on” and where are you more likely to have your people switch “off”?
  3. An extended time was spent today comparing and contrasting Jairus and the woman in Mark 5:21-43.  What stands out to you most about the comparison between these two people?
  4. What do you learn from Jesus’ treatment of these two people (Jairus and his family and the woman who was bleeding)?
  5. What would it look like for you to be engaged with those around you at church on Sundays?
  6. Who did you see at church this week that you can pray for today?
  7. **What is one arena of your life where you need to “turn on” your people switch this week?  What would it look like for you to show Christ’s love to those in that arena?**
  8. What stood out to you most from today’s message?

** Note:  If you only have time for one question, consider asking/answering the question marked by the two stars.

To download a pdf copy of these questions click here.

Share (part 2) Preview

Insta week 2 preview.001

Lamps are wonderful things.  Though they are small appliances, they have the ability to illuminate the darkness, open opportunities for discovery, and calm frightened hearts.  All that potential sits in the metal base and cloth shell on my desktop.

Though lamps possess all of this amazing potential, they also have the ability to do nothing.  Lamps are created to give light, but if they are not turned on, they become merely trip hazards for those stumbling about in the dark.

I was thinking about this phenomena today as I reflected upon Jesus’s statement in the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).”  Christians are recreated by Jesus to shine as lamps in the dark room of this world.  We have the potential inside us (by the work of the Holy Spirit) to illuminate dark moral issues, help people discover the person and work of Jesus Christ, and calm and encourage souls in distress.  All that potential sits inside the bodies of you and I.

Though we possess this amazing potential, many times we do little with it.  We hide our light “under a bushel” and keep our switch flipped “off.”  In doing so, we make ourselves stumbling blocks to the blind, instead of beacons. 

How do we do this?  I believe many of us have a people “switch” inside of us.  Too much of the time, we live with this switch turned off.  When we are “off” we avoid others, see the needs of others as distractions, and try to live an anonymous life.  When the switch is “on” we are warm, caring, and considerate of others.  When it is off, we tend to care only about ourselves.

Our switch is often “on” when we are functioning inside of a role that demands it to be “on”.  We are “on” when we are teaching the Sunday school class, coaching the team, or having a planned conversation with a member in our family.  We are almost always “on” in these moments.

However, we turn “off” many times in the stretches BETWEEN appointments.  We may be “on” in the office, but “off” while on the way to lunch.  We may be “on” in the classroom, but “off” around roommates or family.  When we turn our people switch “off” we sometimes miss the biggest “appointments” of our lives.

In order to be the light of the world, we must engage the world around us.  We must learn to keep our switch “on” for longer stretches, and trust God to work through us even when we have no worldly title or earthly job description.  It is between appointments that God often works through us in unexpected ways.

This Sunday, we will reflect on that more together at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services as we look at Mark 5:21-43 . . . one of the New Testament’s clearest examples of God doing something awesome BETWEEN appointments when we engage with others in the moment.  This message will be part 2 in the “Share” series.  Hope you can join us for this time of worship together!