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.