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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Words of Encouragement January 14, 2018

It was good this morning to be back at our home church. Our Sunday School teacher is still teaching on death. We had a spirit filled time of worship and then Pastor continued a message on small groups which is to be a focus for our church this year. Last week’s point was:
Community is essential in a healthy church. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12.

Pastor shared these ten benefits of small groups:
1. Small groups foster close relationships and integral community.
2. Small groups provide a comfortable introduction for nonbelievers to the Christian faith.
3. Small groups provide an ideal way to care for the needs of people within the church.
4. Small groups provide a way for Christians to live out their faith instead of merely hearing more preaching or teaching.
5. Small groups participate in focused prayer for one another.
6. Small groups provide a comfortable atmosphere for openness.
7. Small groups allow for mutual edification among believers.
8. Small groups encourage better learning.
9. Small groups provide a source of encouragement and accountability.
10. Small groups help to cultivate leadership within the church.

It is appropriate to speak of Dreams the day before celebrating Martin Luther King Day. He shared a wonderful dream of peace and equality.

Dreams by nature look beyond today’s reality and see a future path which seems impossible or unlikely. Sadly, reality can extinguish dreams. Leaders have dreams and that is how new church plants begin.

It is important to understand the Congregational Life–Cycle:
Outward focus
Organization & Structure
Integration & Assimilation
Inverse Priorities

To revive the congregation/church must return to dreams and outward focus. We need to have a “new church” attitude. Matthew 9:37-38.

Point: We must move from “Come and see” (comfort) to “Come and die” (sacrifice).
True Christ followers must die to self and live for others. John 15:12- 17.

This year we hope to give to others through small groups. We hope to recapture the dream and become an ascending church as a sending church.

I found this song that fits for me.
Verses for Today:
John 15:12-17 (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Lord, help me to have a more personal relationship with You and with those you put in my path.
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