Summary: Message with the series on the topic of Outreach
This message was adapted from the 30 Day Church Challenge Kit from Outreach Marketing
The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September, 1985 a celebration of a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans city pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season. Times-Reporter, September 1985.
The world around us is drowning in the power of sin and sadly the church is quietly oblivious. Like lifeguards who have missed their responsibilities and their chance to make a difference.
The goal of the 30 Day Challenge is to move us from just standing by to actively participating in the work of the church.
Our challenge this week is to engage in the work of outreach.
“Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking, but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, Lifeway Research
“A study including more than 15,000 adults revealed that about two-thirds are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member, and 56 percent from a friend or neighbor. The message is clear that the unchurched are open to conversations about church.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research and National Spokesperson for Back to Church Sunday
Woman at the Well
Peter and the crowd at the Temple
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
One of the reasons that I believe this is one of the most pivotal verses about witnessing is because of it’s timing in the ministry of Jesus. As Luke records this for us, he makes one thing abundantly clear. When Jesus says this to the disciples, it is His last day on earth with them. Jesus lays out a bold and dynamic vision for changing the world.
1. The people of Christ’s vision
The first area of Christ’s vision involves people. Notice what He tells the disciples before anything else - you. Jesus makes it clear that they will carry out the vision and make it a reality. Jesus was telling them that they would be the ones to carry on the work of the Kingdom. They were going to be the people who would complete His vision in the world.
Has anything changed from that day until now? Absolutely not
As believers, we have a continued mission to complete. Your work is only done when you die or when Jesus comes back. Our mission to catch the vision of Jesus and carry on its work until it is completed.
2. The power behind Christ’s vision
The source of power to accomplish the vision of Christ is the Holy Spirit. There is no way to accomplish the work of Christ without the Holy Spirit.
Christ reveals the power of the Holy Spirit because the Spirit was His partner in ministry. Just think about what the Spirit did in the life of Jesus.
• Pre-birth: The Spirit conceives Jesus in the womb
• Pre-ministry: The spirit protects and anoints Jesus like a dove
• Ministry: The Spirit gives Jesus the power He needs to live a sinless life
Jesus promises the disciples something extremely special
1. The presence of God within them
2. The person of God with them
3. The power of God through them
3. The philosophy of Christ’s vision
You will be my witnesses
A witness is one who gives testimony based on what they know. This is from either experience or eyewitness account. This is not hearsay, rumor what someone else saw or experienced but what the witness has experienced.
What have you experienced with or through Christ?
Jesus tells the disciples that they will be His witnesses. This means several things.
Knowledge of the Truth: The word witness comes from an Old English word wit which means to know. This is not what I think but instead what I know. We know the Truth and the Truth sets us free.
Deeds not just words: A witness is more than just a verbal testimony but also by our actions. We show Christ by our actions and we tell of Him through our words.