Today – We are kicking off a four-week series based on our Mission Statement:
“To Lead A Generation To Find and Follow Jesus”
SO – When we say this mission statement… And, being a group of people the follows this…
- WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
- WHAT DOES A GROUP OF PEOPLE DOING THIS LOOK LIKE?
WELL – That’s where our “CORE VALUES” come into the picture…
For the next four weeks – we want to introduce you to our FOUR CORE VALUES.
These FOUR WORDS form the “HOW” to the mission!
Here are the four words that make up our core values: [write them down]
- GROW (communion)
- LEAD (baptism – Sept 30)
TODAY – We are going to talk about what it means to CONNECT…
YOU KNOW – We Americans love our INDEPENDENCE! (autonomy)…
- Doing things “our way”!
- “Don’t need anyone to tell me how to live MY life”.
- “I made it as a result of MY HARD-WORK”…
SEE – We believe… Truly believe that HAPPINESS is a result of our independence.
Our culture has never been more:
- UNFULFILLED or DISCONNECTED
- SEE – The Bible tells us that TRUE happiness…FULFILLMENT
… Comes from being – INTER-DEPENDENT… NOT, Independent!
…From being LINKED – JOINED TOGETHER and CONNECTED in COMMUNITY!
LET ME SAY –
THE GREATEST PAIN AND PLEASURE YOU WILL EXPERIENCE IN YOUR LIFE WILL BE IN THE CONTEXT OF RELATIONSHIPS!
All of us know what “material poverty” is… Lacking the essentials to get thru the day!
BUT – There is a new and GROWING issue in our culture today – Known as: RELATIONAL POVERTY
Relational Poverty = ***Lacking the intimacy and the connections to live a meaningful life!
Several reasons why this is a growing issue today:
- The Breakdown of Families… This is epidemic today.
- Increased Mobility… People are moving on average of every 2-3 years.
- Heavy Work-Loads… “Busy” – That’s the standard answer today.
- Rise of Social Media… We really don’t know what’s real anymore. (Our value is coming from how many followers we have on all these platforms)
OK – ROMANS 12:5 (AMP) –
“so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].
Let’s get a little deeper…
ACTS 4:32 (as the church was beginning to form
–All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
“United in heart and soul… They didn’t hold on to stuff… Shared everything!”
FRIENDS – THERE IS A LONGING IN US TO BE DEEPLY CONNECTED TO PEOPLE WHO CARE!
*** People we can truly call – “OUR FRIEND”! We all want GENUINE FRIENDSHIP!
QUESTION: What are GENUINE FRIENDS?
Our small group from SC
- Together for 12 years…multiplying several times – supper together Fri
- Last month we had a reunion – we’ve been gone 4 years…
- Like we had never been apart – We stayed in touch…
- Claude went to heaven in March – We honored him by cutting jokes about him and Betty…
Genuine Friends are people you can truly be yourself with…
This requires a willingness to REVEAL WHO WE REALLY ARE!
** Heart and Soul interaction!
** Taking off all the FACADES!
– Today… We have perfected projecting the image that we are “OK”…
…”DOING FINE” (esp thru social media)
TRUTH IS: EVERYBODY’S WEIRD!!! Some of us are just willing to admit it!
LISTEN – REAL BIBLICAL COMMUNITY IS HARD TO ACHIEVE… Takes Work!
SEE – A very counter-cultural thing happened in the early church:
ACTS 2:42 – records, “They met together EVERY DAY!”
***Our PACE OF LIFE takes this away from us…
SO – Let’s look at an event that happened in the book of Mark – N.T.:
MARK 2:1-12 – When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7 “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
What was it like to be a paralytic in the 1st century?
- Without modern technology…
- Medically speaking – Nothing could be done!
REALLY – What does this man have going for him???
FRIENDS – (a caring community of friends willing to get him to Jesus)
LISTEN – This entire story takes place ONLY because of his friends!
BECAUSE – In true COMMUNITY:
– ACHIEVEMENT OF GENUINE FRIENDSHIP ALWAYS TAKES PLACE IN SPITE OF BARRIERS
What are the barriers? – TIME – PAST HURTS OR LETDOWNS – FEAR OF REJECTION –SELFISHNESS
When you let someone carry your “MAT”… They will see your: – WEAKNESS – Your HURTS – Your BROKENNESS
BUT… **** THAT’S OK – Because you know they only have ONE GOAL in mind:
TO GET YOU CLOSER TO JESUS… WHICH WILL BRING LIFE AND WHOLENESS!
These guys are DESPERATE to get their friend closer to Jesus!!!
LOOK BACK @ V. 5: – “When Jesus saw THEIR faith”…
***WHOSE FAITH? – THE FAITH OF HIS FRIENDS!!!!
TODAY – [unfortunately] – WE HAVE LOST THE AWARENESS OF THE POWER THAT COMES WITH COMMUNITY… The POWER of being together HEART & SOUL!
SEE – What we have done today –
- WE HAVE CONFUSED FRIENDS WITH FRIENDLY PEOPLE!
- WE HAVE REPLACED GENUINE FRIENDSHIP WITH DIGITAL FRIENDSHIP…
SO – Here’s the QUESTION: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU “DUG A HOLE” IN A ROOF FOR A FRIEND?
Second QUESTION: WHO DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE (outside of family) THAT WILL DIG A HOLE IN A ROOF FOR YOU?Jesus saw AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY here! A caring community…
AND… The result was TOTAL TRANSFORMATION! (That’s our goal for you)
NOW LISTEN – This man’s greatest gift was NOT – legs that now work…
**** IT WAS THE GIFT OF TRUE FRIENDS THAT CARED!!!
Pushed through ALL the barriers to get him to Jesus!
This is why CORE VALUE #1 here at The Point is: CONNECT
- People NEED a caring community! This is where you will mature and GROW…
- This is where we carry each other in moments we can’t carry ourselves…
[CLOSE W/ ILLUS] – HAL WILSON – (He and Robin in that small group spoke about earlier)
- Started having breakfast with Hal every Tues.
- Benji, His 17yr old son committed suicide… Hal’s best friend!
- Wasn’t convenient for me!
- I had a busy schedule as we were growing and transitioning…
- BUT HAL NEED SOMEONE TO CARRY HIS MAT!
FRIENDS – DO NOT LET THE ILLUSION OF ‘URGENT’ CROWD OUT THE IMPORTANT!
STAND TOGETHER – GO SIGN UP FOR COMMUNITY – CONNECT!!!!