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Tag: Between Sundays

The Family

Many people say that one’s family is the most difficult group of people to impact for Christ. Throughout the pages of Scripture, we see a different dynamic as God used family members time and time again to evangelize and disciple other family members. In this last message of our “Between Sundays” series, we focused on ways that you can impact your family all week-long.

The Family Between Sundays

We started the service with a great intro video focusing on Psalm 103.  After that, our worship team led us in some dependence on God songs as we focused on the family – “Everlasting God” and “Lord, I Need You.”  After that, we got to see a pretty sweet video of the upcoming VBS week.  You can register your children here.

After making some announcements, we were also able to pray for our mission team arriving in West Africa in between services.  Great to connect with them there through prayer.  As we took the offering, we got to watch a special video getting families’ hearts ready for the message.

My wife and the team then led a special time of family worship as they sang “Your Home.”  This song was written by our worship team years ago and has played a special place in the life of our church.

I got the privilege to preach today on the family.  Many people say that one’s family is the most difficult group of people to impact for Christ.  Throughout the pages of Scripture, we see a different dynamic as God used family members time and time again to evangelize and disciple other family members.  In this last message of our “Between Sundays” series, we focused on ways that you can impact your family all week-long.

I started the message by sharing some stats that changed my life about six years ago:

  • 75-88% of kids raised in the church are absent from church by the end of their freshman year in college.
  • There are currently 16 million Southern Baptists.  At our current rate, each generation will lose 3/4 of the people.
  • To maintain the membership numbers, each Southern Baptist would need to reach at least 3 people for Christ.
  • Currently it takes 43 Southern Baptists to reach 1 person for Christ.
  • Over the last 35 years, we have seen the greatest increase in the number of student workers and the biggest decline in student baptisms.

Why has this happened?  We have expected the church to do what God expects the family to do. With good intentions in mind, I believe that families have walked away from God’s calling.  This applies to you regardless of your family situation.

We focused on Psalm 127 and Deut. 6:4-9 today.  The goal is to see one’s family as a gift from God and to love God before them in such a way that you can show them how to follow your example.

APPLICATION

  • We cannot teach our family something we have not learned ourselves.
  • Don’t allow this church’s sufficiency to create personal complacency.
  • Don’t expect pastors to care for your family at such a level that they cannot care for their own family.
  • Remove the log from your own eye before giving tips on how to remove the speck in another’s eye.

I pray that the message was delivered and received well.  My prayer is that our church continues to be a family of families that equip one another to do what God has called us to do.  The true success of this message will be seen this week in homes.  I will never really know what happens but I pray that the Holy Spirit keeps propelling us towards one another this week (Mal. 4:6).

We finished our time together by singing the prayer, “Christ Be All Around Me” as families came and prayed together around the altar.  Precious time and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of what God was doing today.

SIDE NOTE: Since this was the first day my boys were in “big church,” they prayed with the worship team before services today.  Sitting in the circle, I allowed anyone to pray and Obadiah began to pray.  There were tears and expressions of joy in the room when this six year old said, “Jesus, we just want to praise you today, but not just today, but everyday.”  He gets it.  You don’t know how good that prayer did for his dad and a bunch of other folks in the room.  Maybe even some of you.

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Making Disciples Between Sundays

Our mission is to make disciples. Making disciples is simply intentional friendships that are saturated with the word of God and Christ-centered.  This 4th week in our “Between Sundays” series was such a great reminder for me personally about our call to go and make disciples.

We started our services with a great video on Memorial Day.

After that, the Peak band did a great job leading us in worship with these songs: “The Time Has Come, “Beautiful Things,” and “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”  Jamie Strutton did a great job selecting great worship songs for the discipleship focus (yes, it can be done!).

Ben Hjalmer also did a great job honoring our graduating seniors in service (and the lunch afterwards) and the video highlighting this great group of students was great.

After a video showing the process of discipleship multiplication, Jeff was joined by three men in our church to discuss how they are growing as disciples and disciple makers.  Craig talked about the power of friendships that focuses on sharing the Word of God.  Matt chronicled how God has been equipping him to be intentional with teaching his children the Word of God in the home.

Jason shared how his family decided to get connected to North Side as disciples and disciple makers when they only knew they would be in town for 3 years – and God has honored that decision and those relationships!  One of my favorite things he said was that as they visited churches, they didn’t find many that took the Bible seriously.  “When we came here, the Bible was alive!  God’s Word was the focus and it was so refreshing.”  I’t was great to hear from all of these guys.

Jeff talked about how a disciple who is someone who loves Jesus, learning his teachings, living them out, and leading others to do the same.  At North Side, we are seeing incredible transformations of people not only growing as disciples by disciple makers.

From 2 Tim. 3, he showed that in a discipleship relationship there must be: 1) instruction, and 2) imitation.

By instruction, the Bible must be taught.  We are showing others what God says and not what we say.

By imitation, we are committing to lead by example (this is an often neglected part of discipleship in the Church).

Such a powerful, convicting thought: Could I say, like Paul, imitate me as I imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1)?

We are not to be ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7).  We must put the truth into action of becoming growing disciples and disciple makers.

Can’t wait to see all that God does with this Word!

Little Church

It was great for Amanda and I to be able to be in Little Church this morning to watch our boys graduate to “big church.”  That’s so hard to fathom!

They were so excited to get their new Bibles, and I was so thankful watching these gifted and passionate leaders who pour into our children.  They do such a great job of partnering with us as parents to get the Word of God into our children.

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Mission: Proclaiming the Gospel Between Sundays

All of us as followers of Christ have been called to make the gospel known through the everyday course of our lives. Today’s service examined the motive, the message, and the method involved in fulfilling such a call.

We started our time together by singing “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go.”  I used a loop pedal to shape the song.  From there, we went right into “Go.”  At the end of “Go,” we had a video of one of our West Africa partners leading “Ni Zan Je” and we began to sing along with him.  We then went into a global party with light-up trash cans, 4 different languages, and a whole lot of fun.

After that, we had a time of prayer with one missionary praying in Hausa and another translating.  Love hearing other languages in prayer – reminds me of home!  During the offering, we watched this great video that IMB put together.

After the video, we got the privilege to commission our summer missionaries.  Hearing from them and the ability to pray over them was such an honor!  As we finished up the prayer time, we sang “Carry Your Name” which is such a powerful mission song.

Jeff shared a great sermon on how to be missionary everyday.  He preached from Ezek. 36 and 1 Thess. 2.  Our love for others should compel us to share the gospel and our lives with them.

We ended our service by singing “I Will Follow.”  It is so incredible watching people sing out these words passionately who I know are living this message out “Between Sundays.”  Love what Jesus is doing among us!

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Our Returning King

Today was our 3rd and final week in the “Jesus Saves” series as we focused on “Our Returning King.”  In Matthew 24, Jesus himself assures us of His return and tells us what to expect before he comes, when he comes, and after he comes.

We went with a band of solely men today.  Jeff walked in the auditorium during sound check and said, “This is the ugliest this stage has ever looked.”  I was hoping to hear something like, “Wow, this stage reeks of raw masculinity,” but that’s not exactly what we got.  We did miss the ladies today, but we wanted to do something different.

Just so you know, we do prize men leading in the church.  Many times, women are the only ones in churches that are passionate about worship, and we want to change that.  Oftentimes, men are unengaged with their arms crossed during services.  We want bold, men of God not afraid to lead worship as our church family gathers and as their individual families gather.

We started by singing “Hosanna” and “I’ll Fly Away.”  We got fun with some of the arrangements.

After that, Michael George led our Bible Drill students, fresh from the South Carolina meet yesterday, to challenge the congregation in  a Bible Drill.  It was so great to hear all that these young students knew about the Bible.

We then led “Lord, I Need You” and “Arise My Love.”  The last song was originally written in 1987 by Newsong and is such a great, powerful song.  It was a great opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and our anticipation of his return.  Our fellas really went for it and I thought the roof was going to come off the building with the rejoicing going on in the room.  “The grace could not hold the King!”

Jeff’s message on Christ’s return was very helpful.  Our job, as we wait, is to persevere and to proclaim.  We persevere through these difficult times and the ones to come, and we proclaim the gospel in all the nations so that they can know Jesus (Matt. 24:14).

We ended the service at the piano singing the lines, “When Christ shall come with a shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.  Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, ‘My God, how great Thou art!'”

Next week we start a series entitled “Between Sundays” that I am very excited about.  What would happen if we walked with Jesus more than just on Sundays?  What would happen if we were the church all week-long?

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