All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘community’
Typically, this is a summary of this past week’s sermon, but Sunday’s sermon was brief as was the service. We did look at Acts 2, and you can find the audio and video online. We followed the sermon with a beautiful baptism and our quarterly Town Hall meeting. Look for an email with audio and video links from the Town Hall in the next few days.
Right now, I want to say thank you to everyone at Evident Grace. We have a beautiful, growing community. We are blessed with wonderful committed members, lots of newborn, healthy babies, consistent guests, and an ever-growing ministry to the local area.
When I look at our church, I know we need to grow in our worship, community, and service. I pray for our growth in depth and reach. But I want to remind us that growth best comes as we are thankful for what we have.
If we want our worship to grow, we should remember Psalm 100
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
If we want our community to grow in depth and number, we should remember Colossians 3:
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If we want our service to grow, we should remember 2 Corinthians 9:
2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others
I love all of you, and I pray your weeks are full of joy and thanks, no matter what God has called you to do.
I look forward to hearing from all of you this week and seeing you on Sunday.
This is our second post of worship observations. You can find our first here. This week, we talk about when things don’t go well – a common challenge for young churches.
At Evident Grace, we have been meeting for a year and a half. For church planters and church plants, a year and a half feels like five regular years. Each Sunday, you feel like you are taking giant leaps forward as you become more efficient in everything from setup/takedown, greeting, music, children’s ministry, etc.
And then there are the Sundays where you feel like you take giant steps back. It feels like you have never met for worship before. No one seems to get anything right.
Here is my encouragement, fellow planters and young churches: While each good Sunday feels like five years ahead, an off Sunday is not a five year setback. Let me give a painful example.
This past Sunday, we were launching a new series, “Journey to Worship – a Study of Ezra”. Excitement built fairly well, and several folks joined in to help with a decent amount of web/social media promotion. While I am given to hyperbole like many church planters, I could realistically say that folks were pretty excited.
But things didn’t go as planned.
For some reason, from the onset, I stumbled over my words. Apparently, I said that, “Christ was circumcised for our sins.” While true in one sense that was far away from my wanting to say that He was crucified for our sins.
I was leading our music as well. Leading a crowd in singing is something that I have comfortably done for over 25 years now, but apparently, comfortable was not yesterday. I couldn’t get into a groove no matter what. In fact, the team finally stopped one song and just began again.
My sermon was never was comfortable either. I felt rushed. I felt the need to over-explain everything, and I continually lost the ability to pronounce most every world.
We made plans to take the Lord’s Supper, but our elder wasn’t able to make it, so the elements remained lonely on the table – something we had to explain to our congregations and visitors.
I left assured that no one was ever going to show up ever again.
But here is the encouragement to my heart and to yours, young planter and young congregation. Our worship is not about professionalism and perfection. While starting songs together and ending them together is preferable, while a commanding sermon delivery is helpful, neither of those are necessary for worship. Worship must always be about grace. Worship must always be about the lifting up of Christ. Grace and Christ equal worship. Preciseness is a bonus.
Yes, you seek to improve in every area. You learn from things that go both well and poorly. You practice and study more. You offer areas that continue to struggle to God in prayer. And then you give thanks for what happens.
So, this week, we will work towards getting the songs right and pronouncing the words correctly knowing that Christ will once again meet us on Sunday. If we make mistakes, we haven’t stepped back five years.
Christ will be lifted up, Christ will be honored, and we will be transformed. We will wait for eternity for mistake free worship.
As Evident Grace moves into the second half of summer 2014, we are launching a 6-week sermon series entitled “Life Together” on July 27th.
“Life Together” will give a clear picture of what it looks like for us to live out our 3 distinctives: Community, Worship, and Service.
Our series is going to give us the opportunity to explore these “Life Together” distinctives in two different ways.
We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by celebrating.
As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that celebrating what God has done is essential to our Community, Worship, and Service. This way, we can speak of the Community, Worship, and Service milestones that God has given us in the past year and half, and we can study and pray specifically about where we might go next.
We have only scratched the surface of the depth of Community, Worship, and Service that we hope for at Evident Grace, so seeing those things as they are presented in scripture and thanking God for what He has done, puts us in the perfect place to pray, plan, and prepare for what comes next.
Celebrating is essential for our “Life Together”.
We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by growing in Biblical leadership.
As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that growing in Biblical church leadership is essential to growing in Community, Worship, and Service. The scriptures devote a great amount of time discussing what local church leadership looks like with elders and deacons, so we must understand the scriptures well as we move towards recognizing, training, and installing that leadership.
Multiplied and mature church leadership enables our people to be led well and mobilized well.
Biblical Leadership is essential for our “Life Together”.
Join us as we study and do “Life Together” beginning July 27th. You can find directions to our service as well as many other details about Evident Grace throughout our website.