Summary: Part 3 of our mission/vision series. Presenting our vision for how God desires to use our church to impact our community
Sermon 9/24/06-I: Impact Our Community
Intro: Review mission & first 2 Letters of acrostic.
Today, Impact our community through relevant ministry.
Book of Acts.
Start by looking at:
I. The Impact of the Early church
They were a small group of believers (possibly around 120) that were gathered together on the day of Pentecost, when we really begin to see the impact that the church X had established was going to have.
Their impact on their community changed the course of history.
Not time this morning to go into all the different ways that the message of Christ has changed the course of history. Everything since the time of Christ has been influenced by the message that He gave to His disciples to spread.
B. Wherever they went they had an impact.
8:1-4-persecution forced believers to move beyond Jerusalem
9:18-conversion of Saul
9:31-spread to Judea, Galilee, Samaria
11:19-Phonecia, Cyprus, Antioch of Syria
11:20-Antioch of Cyprus & Cyrene-Gentiles
13:43, 48-Antioch of Pisidia
Other locations of churches mentioned in the NT.
Wherever they went they had an impact.
C. Their ministry wasn’t simply proclaiming the gospel, they met the needs of those around them.
Acts 2:45-Sold possessions and shared w/ those in need
Acts 4:32-37-shared everything they had.
James 2:14-17-Urged to live out their faith through helping others
I John 3:16-17-Helping others is a demonstration of God’s love in us
II. The Impact of LBC
We live in a culture that is, believe it or not, more conducive to spreading the gospel than the culture that the early church operated in. For them following X could have meant death. Much more hostile than ours, here in America
God can use us to change the course of history.
Ill. Jukes-Edwards Study-
New York state sociologists studied two families-the Max Jukes family and the family of Jonathan Edwards.
The head of the Max Jukes family (not his real name), was an unbeliever, a man with no obvious sense of morals, and he married a girl with similar values.
Among the known descendants of the Jukes family (a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards), over 1200 of them were studied. Of those 280 were professional vagrants-130 were sent to a penitentiary for an average of 13 years each, 7 of them were murderers-100 were alcoholics-128 were prostitutes. Of the 20 who learned a trade, 10 learned it in a state prison. None of them made a significant contribution to society. On the contrary they cost the state of New York $1,308,000.
What about the Jonathan Edwards family? He came from a Christian family and married a girl with similar values. Among his descendants 100 became clergy men, missionaries, or theological professors-over 100 became college professors-over 100 became lawyers, 30 of them judges-over 60 became physicians-and over 60 became authors. There were 75 army or navy officers-13 presidents of universities. There were numerous giants of industry, several members of congress, 3 senators and one became vice president of the united states.
Ill. A Nobody named Kimball-Edward Kimball was concerned about one of his young Sunday school students who worked at a shoe store in town. One day Kimball visited him at the store, found the student in the back stocking shoes, and led him to Christ then and there. Dwight L. Moody eventually left the shoe store to become one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time.
Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man with the imposing name of Frederic Brotherton Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a Sunday school teacher he had known in Chicago who personally went to every student in his class and led every one of them to Christ.
That message changed Pastor Meyer’s entire ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Over the years Meyer came to America several times to preach. Once in Northfield, Massachusetts, a confused young preacher sitting in the back row heard Meyer say, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.
Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time. A volunteer by the name Billy Sunday helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Sunday eventually took over Chapman’s ministry, becoming one of the most dynamic evangelists of the 20th century. In the great arenas of the nation, Billy Sunday’s preaching turned thousands of people to Christ.
Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina, a committee of Christians there dedicated themselves to reaching that city for Christ. The committee invited the evangelist Mordecai Ham to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in 1932. A lanky 16-year-old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the message of the white-haired preacher, who seemed to be shouting and waving his lone finger at him. Night after night the teenager attended and finally went forward to give his life to Christ.