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{September 2, 2018}





Heartland Community Church


 

September 2 – 8 , 2018

 

Growing Up: Evangelist

By Kori Carew

As I sat in The Hub (by the way, if you haven’t checked out The Hub, please do) trying to put words down on paper for this reflection, Chris walked up to me and introduced himself. His enthusiasm for Jesus and his love for God overflowed from him from the minute he started speaking. Within a minute I knew that God had turned his life around and Chris was committed to never going back. Can you say evangelist? Chris’ life was transformed by the good news and in his interactions the beauty and power of that good news comes out. His story is a powerful one of redemption and restoration, pain and healing, loss and gain. And in five minutes Chris shared things that will impact anyone listening. He also shared with me information on the Journey Community he is involved in and asked for me to pray for them. I sit here typing in tears because of the good news he shared with me and the uplifting words he spoke into my life without knowing a thing abut the season I am walking through.

28 years ago I gave my life to Christ. Raised in a christian home I attended church faithfully, but one day I made an intentional commitment to Jesus. In what can only be described as a beautiful experience, I was shepherded by people who were loving, full of grace, and committed to me learning sound spiritual foundations. I quickly found myself handing out christian brochures like many of the college students around me. But then, I stopped. Remember how Joe said the word evangelism often conjures up “bad news” for some people and negative baggage? That was true for me. The picture of thrusting brochures in the faces of family, friends and strangers, going door-to-door asking people if I could share Christ with them, or even turning every conversation into “choose life or go to hell” struck me as a recipe for asking people to run away from the gospel (and its messenger) rather than “winning lives.”

Instead, in community, friendships, being a listener, being goofy, breaking cultural rules and living life, I shared my faith with those around me, and in that way my teacher-evangelist gift grew. Where have you found the opportunity to share your faith? I love that Joe ministered to people coming back from bars tipsy. What does it look like for you?

Throughout the Bible we see God using people as they are, with their unique personalities, experiences, training, passion. And more uniquely, he uses them to manifest the gifts given to the church. Evangelists come in all forms and types. Peter was not like Paul. James was not like Timothy. David was not like Deborah. And yet they all shared the goodness of God. The lesson? Find your “goats in trees” and share that with others. Evangelism isn’t limited to those gifted as evangelists, or to the disciples and apostles in the Bible.

Scripture reminds us that, “The harvest is plentiful." (Matthew 9:37-38) We are already equipped with the skills, gifts and abilities to contribute in our own unique way toward that harvest. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14) This verse reaffirms an authenticity that is grounded in who God created us to be and gives us freedom to relate and share our lives and faith in our own unique way. We have been invited to walk alongside Jesus in this harvest and in the good news he is bringing—as Joe said, “We are stepping into a place God has already been.” So, shall we go?

“No one gets argued into the kingdom of God. It’s not a spiritual presentation, it’s a conversation.” Joe Ratterman That was so good I will tweet it and share it on social media (that is also evangelism).

NOTE: If you missed the message and want to know what goats in trees has to do with Jesus and evangelism, CLICK HERE!

{sunday 9.2.18}

Read Matthew 9:37-38, Psalm 139:14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How can you explore the masterpiece God has created you to be? How can you practice the unique gifts he has given you, until they become natural to you? Who do you know that you have built credibility with to share what God has done in your life?

CLICK HERE to learn more about all of the roles and choose an opportunity to explore them on our Growing Up page.

CLICK HERE to take the 10-15 minute five fold gift assessment.

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

To dive deeper into Luke 22-23, CLICK HERE or on the image below and check out this great video from Seth Davidson.

 

{monday 9.3.18}

Read Luke 22:14-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These verses are where we get our practice of communion. What is your experience with communion? How can communion help your relationship with Jesus?

{tuesday 9.4.18}

Read Luke 22:24-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The fighting among the apostles about who would be the most important is still a problem we have today. We all have experienced this ourselves, or at minimum witnessed this in other people. What drives people to act this way? How does Jesus respond? What is Jesus saying to you about yourself in these verses?

{wednesday 9.5.18}

Read Luke 22:39-51

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus was so worried and stressed that he began sweating blood. Every good TV medical drama covers this in at least one episode! I’m not a medical expert, but I’ve heard this is possible. I would assume it’s dangerous, too. Worry can become so pervasive that our worrying actually causes us real life problems and limitations. However, knowing that Jesus worried so much about what is going to happen makes me see him as a person instead of just a Christ figure. Can you imagine Jesus acting like a regular person? What do you imagine him doing that makes him more human? Does this make him more approachable?

{thursday 9.6.18}

Read Luke 22:52-62

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Peter is a bold man, but even he gets scared and, when confronted, denies knowing Jesus. This is uncharacteristic of Peter and what we hear about him. Has anything ever shaken you so much that you acted different than usual? Share your story with a trusted group or friend.

{friday 9.7.18}

Read Luke 22:63-71

Observe, Reflect, Apply: There have been moments in my life I wish Jesus would just prove his existence beyond a reasonable doubt to me or someone else. When the guards were beating Jesus, he says, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me.” Would we still find a way to explain away who Jesus is and what he did, even if he did the things we asked? Why do you think people act this way? Have you ever felt this way?

{saturday 9.8.18}

Read Luke 23:1-12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The big fear about Jesus was that he was challenging the political authorities with his message about God. He wasn’t actually challenging them or their rule, just placing God above them. This struggle of faith and politics is alive and well today. Many people place their faith in politics above their faith in God. Have politics or current events ever overridden your faith?

 

{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2018 Heartland Community Church 12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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