But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 I am excited about our August sermon messages entitled, “Unstoppable!” The metaphor for these messages is that of a soapbox […]
We are refining our worship music as just one small way to better reach those who are not coming to the traditional (and today the contemporary music of the last century – 1980’s and 1990’s has become the “traditional” music!) worship services. In other words, we must be willing to do this, because the love of Christ compels us to reach more people with the saving news of Jesus as Savior.
Jesus had three years to build an enterprise that would extend both regionally beyond Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and globally to revolutionize the lives of those from every nation and people group. Jesus, eternal God and sovereign Lord, could have employed any strategy He wanted to advance His campaign. He could have attracted the masses to the world’s largest arenas to be dazzled by His miraculous power and amazing teachings. He could have gathered great quantities of wealth to launch a public relations communication plan to saturate the entire Roman Empire with His message. He could have built a political machine to not only rival but overtake the Jewish ruling class of priests and the Roman governor assigned to Israel. However, He chose a method to build His Church that first appeared ineffective, but surprisingly became the greatest movement our world has ever seen.
Jesus chose 12 men to follow Him daily. In this context of “doing life together” Jesus not only taught His disciples, but shared with them His way of life, His love and compassion, His values and vision, His faith and worldview. After three years’ work, the results were not impressive. Jesus only had 11 disciples and a few women to show for it. What kind of world movement was that?
Actually, it turned out to be pure genius because Jesus employed the principle of multiplication. Rather than teaching the masses in a superficial, informational way, Jesus poured His life into a few in a deep and transformational way. When the igniter fire of the Holy Spirit filled these disciples, they became bold ambassadors of their Lord and King as they both proclaimed and lived the Gospel in such compelling ways they were accused of turning the world upside down
To be global means we take seriously the words of Jesus to “Go make disciples of all nations” and to be witnesses by the power of the Holy Spirit “to the ends of the earth.” (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8) Global impact is the phrase in our mission statement that says we are to “fill the world with dynamic disciples.”
How do we become a regional church? First, by mobilizing God’s people at Shepherd’s Gate to serve outside the walls of the church through Endorsed Inside Out Ministries (brochures listing these ministries are available at the Connection Center), MCREST (Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team), Step Out and Serve annual church-wide service projects, and Marketplace Ministry (intentional lifestyle witnessing in the workplace, school and marketplace). Second, we become a regional church by launching Satellite campuses across metro-Detroit.