Sharing the Story of how God connected Wildwood with Compassion . . .

As you probably know, Wildwood Community Church began a partnership with Compassion International last spring. I was recently contacted by Compassion to help share Wildwood’s story. If you would like to read more about what we are doing in Lagoa de Sao Francisco and what we think the Lord is up to . . . check out this article now posted on Compassion’s website – https://www.compassion.com/church-engagem…/mark-robinson.htm

 

 

Join me in praising God for His work.  So blessed to be FOR THE NATIONS following JESUS together to the glory of God.

The Church (part 4) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Ephesians 4:7-16.  This message was the fourth and final part of “The Church” series and dealt with the spiritual growth of the church that God “tends” through the gifted leaders He gives to the church.  Below you will find the audio related to the sermon for you to listen to online or share.

 

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

The Church #4 5.26.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video stream of the service, view the Facebook live feed here.

 

The Church (part 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message on Ephesians 4:7-16.  This message was part 4 of “The Church” series and focused on the leadership God has given the church to help it grow.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Ephesians 4:7-16
  3. What are some things in life that are “designed to grow” . . . where (given the right cultivation)  growth occurs “naturally”?
  4. In Ephesians 4:12-16, the growth of the church is described.  What are some of the things referenced about what this growth will look like?
  5. In the church, the full stature of Christ is seen (4:13).  What are some of the things that you would not have seen or known about Jesus if you had never been a part of a church?
  6. In order to help cultivate an environment of growth for members of the church, Jesus gives gifted people to churches to help lead them.  What are some ways in which you have personally been equipped or encouraged by church leaders in your lifetime?
  7. How has God gifted you for ministry?  How are you currently using this gift?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Church (part 4) Preview

March 11, 2007 was one of my favorite days ever.  It was the day that our son was born.  Only 31 weeks along, a spike in Kimberly’s blood pressure indicated that (though it seemed early) it was “TIME” for Josh to be born.  

And so, early on that Sunday morning, all 3 pounds of Josh cried out as he came out into the world.  What a blessing it was to meet our son for the first time.  As is the case for many “preemies,” Josh was a bit small and under-developed to leave the hospital with Kimberly and I, so for the next month and a half, he lived in the NICU of Children’s Hospital.  Doctors assured us through all of those anxious moments that Josh would indeed “grow up” to be big and strong . . . and they were right!  As I write this today, Josh is finishing up sixth grade:  active, strong . . . and still growing!

Josh grew, not because the doctors injected him with Captain America’s super-serum.  He grew because he was DESIGNED TO GROW.  All of us are.  The natural progression of every human is to grow up.  The role of doctors and nurses in the NICU (as well as parents in the home) is not to program someone to grow, but simply cultivate the right climate so that the growth cycle that is programmed inside of each person is allowed to run its course.

I say this today because I am preparing for Sunday morning May 26 at Wildwood, where we will be looking at Ephesians 4:7-16 together in our fourth and final installment in our series on “The Church.”  This week we will see how God has created the church TO GROW.  Not just in number, but in maturity.  How does that growth happen?  It happens through the work of the Spirit, but this work is cultivated by spiritual leaders that God has given to the church:  men and women (like you and me) that Jesus has “gifted” to congregations all over the world for the purpose of overseeing, shepherding, and encouraging followers of Jesus to grow up into maturity in Him – our Head and living hope.

We will look at this concept together this Sunday in our 9:45 and 11:00 services together.  We will also be praying for those who are going on summer mission trips and celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday at Wildwood as we kick off the summer together!

The Church (part 3) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes preached a message based on Acts 2:42-47.  This message was part 3 in “The Church” series.  Below is the audio of the sermon to listen to, download, or share.

 

To download the sermon audio, click on this link:

The Church #3 5.19.19

 

To listen online, use the audio player below:

 

To watch the service, visit the Facebook stream by clicking here.

 

The Church (part 3) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes preached a sermon based on Acts 2:42-47. This message was part 3 of “The Church” series. Below are questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

1. Pray
2. This is the third week in the series called, The Church. How has your view of the church changed as we have looked at the creation of the church, the mystery of the church, and most recently the community of the church?
3. How does our culture and technology make it hard for us to connect in community with each other?
4. In Acts 2:42-43, what do we see the Community of the Church is devoted to? How do these priorities reveal the mission of God?
5. Compare Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:32-34, what similarities do you see? What will this church be remembered for? If Wildwood were to disappear tomorrow, what do you think people would remember?
6. How does viewing the church as a people, not a place change how we view our Sunday worship gathering?
7. Much of our life is simply lived “day by day,” in faithful obedience to what God has called us to do, but who is in control of the outcome (Acts 2:46-47)? How does that give the believer confidence?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Church (Part 3) Preview

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus confidently declares that He will be building His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  In the ~2,000 years since Jesus gave this promise, He has been doing EXACTLY THAT!

But what has He been building?  A building?  A place?  Or a PEOPLE?

This Sunday morning, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes will be continuing our sermon series on “The Church” by looking at Acts 2:42-47 . . . as we see that the church is DEFINITELY a PEOPLE and not simply a place.

Make plans to be with us this Sunday at 9:45 or 11:00 as we continue this series (and celebrate our High School graduates!)  See you Sunday!

“Home & Away” Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a topical message (featuring a number of passages) entitled “Home and Away.”  This message was a part of our Mother’s Day Sunday services and focused on women influencing people for Christ.  Below you will find the audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Mother’s Day 5.12.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch video of the worship service, use the Facebook livestream by clicking here.

In the message today, I mentioned Wildwood’s paper on Women in Church Leadership (authored by our Elders).  Find this paper on Wildwood’s website under our “bylaws and papers” section by clicking here.

“Home & Away” Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on a variety of New Testament passages called “Home and Away:  Women Influencing Others for Christ.”  This message was a part of our Mother’s Day Sunday services.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Think about the creation account in Genesis 1-2.  In this inspired by God re-telling of the creation of the world, an emphasis is made on the creation of both genders of humans in the image of God.  What are some observations you can make from these two chapters about men and women?
  3. Women have an opportunity to have an impact for Christ in their homes . . . specifically we looked at the opportunity for influence as a daughter, a mother/grandmother, and a wife.  What are some ways in which you have seen or felt the positive influence of someone in these 3 roles in moving you toward a deeper relationship with Jesus?
  4. Women also have an opportunity to have an impact for Christ AWAY from their home . . . what are some of the ways in which you have been ministered to by women in the church?
  5. Both men and women have the chance to influence others for Christ with our lives.  Jesus has given us gifts to help us minister to others (1 Peter 4:10).  In what way do you see the gifting of Jesus in YOUR life?  What would it look like for you to use that gift to point others to Christ?
  6. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

“Home & Away” Sermon Preview

 

In the beginning, the only thing that “WAS”, was God.  Nothing else had a past tense at that point.  In the time that we know of as the beginning God already WAS and everything else WASN’T.  

At that time, God set out to make a universe that was GOOD for His GOOD purpose.  He created the sun, moon, and stars (and then said, “It was good.”)  This pattern repeated itself as God created plants, oceans, and animals (He would create it, then state that it was “good” – see Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25).  

However, there was a moment in the creation process where God said specifically that something was NOT GOOD.  That moment was when only man (Adam) existed on the earth.  When the only human was a male, the Lord said (for the first time in our Bibles) that something was “not good” (Genesis 2:18).  Now, what did God mean by this?  A few possibilities exists:

  1. God FORGOT to create female humans.  (NOT A REAL OPTION FOR AN OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT GOD).
  2. God was only concerned about the propagation of the species . . . Adam could not reproduce physically alone, so an “Adam only” world was “not good.”  (THIS IS POSSIBLE, BUT IT SEEMS AS THOUGH SOMETHING MORE WAS AT STAKE GIVEN THE REST OF THE NARRATIVE IN GENESIS 2.)
  3. God wanted to highlight the necessity of men AND women in accomplishing His work in this world.  

I think option 3 is the preferred understanding, and best explains Genesis 1:27’s emphasis on both men and women being created in the image of God, and how a humanity with both men and women (different yet equal in God’s eyes) led God to comment that a universe with Adam AND Eve was not just “good,” but “VERY GOOD (1:31).”

As God set up humanity for His good purpose on this earth, He gave some distinct roles of honor to both men and women in two of the primary building blocks of His social economy:  the home and the church.  While certain complementary roles are encouraged for men and women in these spheres, the objective is the same for both genders – to influence people for Christ and to bring glory to God wherever we go.  

This Mother’s Day Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:45 and 11:00 service, we will be looking at a variety of New Testament texts to see what the Bible teaches about the awesome opportunities women have to influence people for Christ both home (in their physical family) and away (in their spiritual family – the church).  

My life has been and continues to be greatly blessed by the women the Lord has placed around me home & away, and I am looking forward to celebrating the gift the Lord has given to our world in the women around us who follow Jesus together to the glory of God.  Can’t wait to see you Sunday as we dive into God’s Word together.