Local Congregation Branding

Part of being a healthy church is consistent communication. To support our local congregations, we have developed a local congregational branding kit. These resources are a starting point that can be edited and developed to reflect the unique context of each of our congregations. We pray that these resources will support you in joining with Jesus to share his love with your community! Read the article

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Sermon for July 28, 2019

Readings: Genesis 18:20-21 • Psalm 138:1-8 • Colossians 2:6-10 • Luke 11:1-13 This week’s theme is God knows what he is doing. When Abraham barters with God over Sodom and Gomorrah, God already knows the number of righteous in the city. The Psalmist reminds us that God knows all the troubles we face and already has a plan; for this we can praise him. Paul tells the believers in Colossae to continue to walk (trust) in Christ—he is the head over every power and authority. Luke reminds us that God knows the good gifts to give and we can trust him. This week’s sermon weaves a theme through these passages. God Knows What He Is Doing Have you ever wondered why God is delaying taking control? Why Jesus hasn’t returned yet? Do... Read the article

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Sermon for July 21, 2019

Readings: Genesis 18:1-10a • Psalm 15:1-5 • Colossians 1:15-28 • Luke 10:38-42 This week’s theme is The righteous (those who believe) will not be shaken. The Lord appears to Abraham, who asks if he has found favor. God replies and promises Abraham a son within a year. The Psalmist describes the behavior of the righteous who “will never be shaken.” In Luke, we read the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus says Mary “has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42). This week’s sermon focuses on Colossians 1, reminding us that we live in righteousness because of our reconciliation with God, through Jesus. Incomparable Colossians 1:15-28 Introduction: Who is Jesus? Who do others say he is? Who do... Read the article

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Sermon for July 14, 2019

Readings: Deuteronomy 30:9-14 • Psalm 25:1-10 • Colossians 1:1-14 • Luke 10:25-37 This week’s theme is God’s goodness leads to praise. In Deuteronomy, the Israelites are told they can obey, and when they do, they will see God’s goodness. In his letter to believers in Colossae, Paul tells them he is continually praising God for them—for their faith and love. He reminds them that God’s goodness brings redemption and forgiveness. In Luke, we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, where Jesus tells us to extend mercy, just as he does. The sermon focuses on Psalm 25 and David’s response to God’s goodness. Salvation from A to Z Psalm 25:1-10 (ESV) Introduction: You may want to ask the following question and let the... Read the article

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Loving Your Community

Loving community begins with seeing the neighborhood through the eyes of Jesus. By pastor Sam Butler. After his resurrection, Jesus reached out to his followers with genuine love and concern. He met them in the midst of their brokenness, fear and longing. By looking at Jesus as our model we can learn a few things about how he wants us to engage in our community and church neighborhood. Jesus’ first interaction was with Mary Magdalene (John 21:11-18). Mary was in a state of panic. Not only is she dealing with the loss of her friend Jesus in death, but when she gets to the tomb she discovers his body is missing. She is in a state of great despair and is weeping. Jesus greets her and reassures her by his presence. Later that day... Read the article

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Sermon for July 7, 2019

Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-14 • Psalm 30:1-12 • Galatians 6:1-6, 7-16 • Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 This week’s theme is Our invitation to participate in restoration. The story in 2 Kings is about Namaan, who had leprosy. Namaan was told to wash in the Jordan river 7seven times (participation) and then God restored his health. The Psalm was a song of dedication to the temple they built for God—restoring relationship. Paul reminds believers in Galatia to restore one another—to do good to all. The sermon is based on Jesus sending the 72—inviting them to participate in restoring people to God. Sending Disciples Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 Introduction: Share a time you took a trip or vacation, or went on an excursion or a camping outing and... Read the article

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Community Involvement

God has uniquely gifted you and your congregation for community involvement. By pastor Sam Butler. We have established in previous articles that the motivation behind community engagement is love. Love flows from God to us through Jesus Christ and now through the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, love that flows from us out into our communities. It sounds easy, but most of us feel a disconnect between the idea and how to do this in practical ways. For many of us, we can feel uncomfortable and secondguess our ability to be successful. Part of this is because we can fall into the trap of believing it all depends on us. The key is to live in the confidence of who we are in Christ and understand how he is leading us. We know that... Read the article

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Seeing Through God’s Eyes

Several years ago, I had two individuals in one of my congregations who monopolized my time. Every week they came up to me sharing their woes, asking for advice and just wanting to talk—about anything. There were several occasions when I missed other important conversations because one of these individuals was bending my ear. I’m ashamed to admit I got to the point where I tried to avoid these encounters. I even had others run interference for me. I’ll never forget the one Sunday I was driving home, and I told my wife it was a great day at church, I didn’t have to talk to either one of these individuals. She just looked at me and smiled—you know, one of those smiles that lets you know she’s about to say something you don’t... Read the article

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Love Venue: Event Checklist

Summer is a great time to plan an outreach event for your community and share the love of Christ with your church neighborhood. To assist you in preparing for your outreach event, we've prepared the infographic below (click on the image to download). Read the article

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Sermon for June 30, 2019

Readings: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 • 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 • Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 • Psalm 16:1-11 • Galatians 5:1, 13-25 • Luke 9:51-62 This week’s theme is Letting the Spirit Lead. The passages in 1 King and 2 King remind us of Elisha’s calling. He asked for a double portion of the Spirit to guide him. The Psalmist reminds us how the Spirit led Israel out of Egypt and that everything we have is because of God. Paul reminded the church in Galatia they were free—Christ had set them free. The sermon, from the Gospel of Luke, talks about Jesus, who followed the lead of the Spirit throughout his life. Plowing Ahead Luke 9:51-62 (NIV) We recommend you have the two passages from 1 Kings and 2 Kings read as part of the worship... Read the article

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