Sermons

Summary: We all desire to be used to affect the world in a positive way, but we feel like we can barely make changes in our own life let alone in the world around us. Why is this and how can any of us experience the power to change the world?

Experiencing the Power

Acts 1-2

Well, here we are at the beginning of another year.

The beginning of the New Year can be an exciting time and a scary time as well.

It can be exciting because the New Year offers an opportunity for a fresh start.

People start diets, they start working out, they get back on a budget, maybe there are even opportunities for a new job or a new role in your job. It can be a time to start things fresh with a new perspective.

On the other hand, as we start new things, where will they lead? Will we be able to accomplish what we are starting? That uncertainty of what the New Year holds can be scary.

I know for me, I can sense both of those feelings – excitement as well as some fear – at the same time.

God’s work at Hickory

I look back over the last year and see a year that God did some amazing things here at Hickory Creek.

He changed around and added new staff and what began as a year that I expected was just going to be a year that we were going to work at stabilizing our ministry, turned out to be a year of incredible growth and steps toward a new chapter in the Ministry of Hickory Creek!

The year ended up with us beginning a capital campaign as we saw continued growth and steps of faith leading us to take steps toward expanding our facilities.

Update on Building Plans

Just to give an update, after the campaign, we realized that we would not be able to accomplish all of the plans in this coming year, so we worked at reconfiguring the plans to fit into a more phased approach that would allow us to start this year. Our plan is to start this by June of this year.

I want to share what we have come up with, with you today.

Slide

Here is the floor plan of our reconfigured design. It expands our current ministry space by more than 70%. I will tell you that our staff and our leadership like this plan even better than what we had before. We are still working out some details, but this is pretty close to our final design and our plan is to start the ministry facility phase this year and leave the sanctuary expansion to another phase.

Slide

Here also is a view of the front elevation.

I hope to have more to show you in the next few weeks, but as I said, we are excited about where we are at and working to get started this year.

Transition

But even as we develop these plans and sense the Lord’s leading in this endeavor, and can feel excited about where we are going, I confess that it is still a bit scary for me.

I mean the logistics of having this constructed and continuing to do ministry are daunting. And even though we are in excellent financial position to be able to accomplish this, it is still scary moving forward on something with a cost of about $2 million dollars in this phase.

So it is exciting and scary at the same time.

Transition

Slide

I wonder if these are the emotions that the disciples were feeling after Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

Imagine what must have been going through the disciples minds.

Jesus, the One that had been with you and leading you for the past years, whom you were able to see do some amazing things and because of Him, you were actually able to be part of some amazing healings! Remember when Jesus sent them out 2 by 2, they had the power to heal people!

It must have been an amazing time!

Then the one you believed to be the Messiah dies!

Wait a minute. This doesn’t fit what you thought was going to happen.

Confusion, disappointment, fear overtake you for several days and then you see the resurrected Christ!

No longer is it fear that has a grip on you, but now it is unbelievable Joy that has overtaken you as you see and interact with Jesus the Messiah!

You have encounters with Him during the next 40 days and then He is about to ascend into heaven taking on his role as Mediator and Intercessor for His people, but from your standpoint, He is leaving you again!

But right before He ascends into heaven, the Disciples have a question for the Lord. It is a question that is similar to a question that we sometimes have too.

Transition to text

Turn with me to Acts chapter 1.

Slide

We are beginning a new series today in the book of Acts called The Church Unleashed.

I think this is going to be a great series for us as a church not only because we are embarking on some big things that are in front of us in seeking to see God’s Kingdom expanded, but also because I think we all face circumstances that can make us feel like the Disciples felt early on, both fearful and excited.

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