Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The church has left the building: Sermons.

Note: My dahlia garden is almost in full bloom. I will be sharing a photo of a different dahlia until you have seen all the different dahlias in my garden. Today’s dahlia is called Midnight Moon. The photo does not do it justice!

Faith in Action (FIA) is a joint project between World Vision, Outreach and Zondervan. FIA is a four week, church-wide campaign to help the church focus on mission/ministry outside the walls of the church. Today I am going to talk about the sermon topics for the campaign.

Sermon #1: Detour.

“God uses detours to get our attention and help us see what’s really important.” (FAI Planning Guide) The text for the message is Luke 10:25-37 – the story of the Good Samaritan. Detours take us from the way we would normally go.

There is road construction go on all around the part of the county I live in. Detours are a way of life. Detours have enabled me to see some new areas. Detours have given me a new perspective of the area in which I live.

The Good Samaritan took a detour that took a risk. The Samaritan stopped along a very dangerous road that was known as “The Way of Blood”, to help a person who was hurt. The robbers could have been waiting nearby to pounce on anyone who stopped to give assistance to the injured man.

The Good Samaritan took a detour that took personal involvement. The Samaritan had to get his hands dirty. He had to give his time to care for the injured man. How often have we heard of people who don’t want to “get involved” when they witness a crime? Last night was the 24th National Night Out a time for people in their community to get out against drugs and crime. People get involve for one night—stamping out crime takes involvement night after night. The Good Samaritan was willing to get involved.

The Good Samaritan took a detour that took time. He took the man to a nearby town and found a place for him to be cared for. I promised to return and cover any additional costs. Travel in that day took time—lots of time.

The Good Samaritan took a detour that took money. As I just mentioned, the Samaritan paid for the man to be cared for.

Our churches need to take a detour to see those in our community that need assistance. It will mean taking risks, getting involved, giving of our time and money.

Sermon #2: Lens.

“When we refocus our vision we will begin to see the world as God does.” (FIA Planning Guide)

Something strange happens to humans—when we see something over and over and over it eventually gets to where we don’t notice it. It happens around the house, at work, at church and as we go around town. The familiarity lens keeps us from seeing things around us as they really are. The homeless person goes unnoticed. The rundown house becomes invisible. We forget about the elderly person who hasn’t been in church for three months.

My eyesight use to be horrible (-10 dioptres – almost blind). I had to wear glasses or contacts all of the time. Fortunately, I has lasic surgery to correct the lens of each eye. The change was amazing.

Our churches need to have a lens change. We need God to help us see things in our communities as he see them.

Sermon #3: Drop.

“God uses small things and multiplies the results. We can each make a difference.” (FIA Planning Guide)

Small acts can make a big splash!

Too often the challenges around us seem so huge that we feel overwhelmed. We might say, “What can I do to change such a big problem?” We forget that with God great things can happen.

Little things can bring about change. The mustard seed grows into a huge plant. The little bit of yeast leavens the whole bowl of bread dough.

Our churches can be a “little drop” that makes a big splash.


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