{January 22, 2017}


January 22-28, 2017


{The Church Is Too Important To Stay The Same}

By Sarah Hahs

I recently saw my youth pastor at a wedding. I hadn’t seen him in years, I haven’t needed a youth pastor for quite some time. We no longer go to the same church, we no longer live in the same town, he and my parents are no longer in the same social circles. But when he saw me he hugged me and said, “Hey Girlie!” in the same familiar way that he had 23 years ago. 

He still listened to me talk about life, still encouraged me about the impact I was making on my own children. To me, he was church. I grew up in a small church in East Lynne, Missouri where my grandpa was the pastor for more than 30 years. A church where we still printed an Olan Mills church directory every year. 

When there are only 200 of you on any given Sunday your absence is felt. If you needed help, you didn’t reach for the phone book first, you went to the church directory. The church body served as your social circle, as your moral compass, it was also where you got your plumber, your electrician, and your entertainment–if Mr. Nevils was telling any type of story. 

However, my church life changed in the late 1990’s when my grandpa decided to retire. I should mention that the old adage that preachers never truly retire is true. He chose to leave full time ministry, but he still drove all over small town Missouri preaching when he was called to fill in. I watched my childhood church die because the people were unwilling to accept change . . . they clung to a building and a preacher. 

I know for me, listening to Dan talk this morning I was on board with shifting from “I go to church to we are the church.” I had no issues with switching from “Jesus loves me to Jesus leads me.”  But when we got to “I come to stay versus I come to leave” I needed to pump the brakes. I’m not a fan of change. I like coming to a place at 11 AM every Sunday where I am known and needed. And there’s coffee. 

As I sat there today I was reminded how it felt sitting in a church 20 some years ago and deciding that I love Heartland too much to watch it become irrelevant. I love the message of Heartland, not the building. 

So for me it means change. It means looking at how I can become the church among those in my community. It means being uncomfortable. I’m not great at it yet. I still struggle with what I think it should look like, or selfishly, how best it serves me. 

Ultimately I’m left with this–Jesus came to this world for every single person. He didn’t come for every single building. And in order to reach those who are on the outside looking in, I have to be willing to walk outside those doors and meet them where they are in spite of my comfort. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I am excited about what it means for the church.

“We have to deal with fear because it is possible that it will make us miss the best parts of life.” 
― Jennie Allen, Restless: Because You Were Made for More


Missed Sunday? CLICK HERE to watch the message.


{sunday 1.22.17}

Read Acts 2:42-47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you want to live a life in community with those around you? What intentional steps can you take to live a life in community with others?

{personal reflection and reading plan: from the book of Acts}

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


{monday 1.23.17}

Read Acts 15:6-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This is a great passage about the community the early church was living in and the challenges the faced. What difficulties have you experienced in living in community with other people?

{tuesday 1.24.17}

Read Acts 15:19-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We see in these passages that the leaders decided not to make it difficult on the gentile believers. What road blocks have you seen that worry people in your community about Jesus? Are these unnecessary burdens? What can you do to help eliminate this worry/burden for them?

{wednesday 1.25.17}

Read Acts 15:32-16:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Ok, now these passages are interesting. If this was today we would all be tweeting whether we are team Barnabas or team Paul. We have a disagreement between two well respected men of the early church. One who mentored and vouched for the other. Disagreement WILL happen in community. Have you experienced this? What was the result? How will you prepare for this again?

{thursday 1.26.17}

Read Acts 16:4-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “travel”. The only guidelines are…. 1) Do NOT stop writing for the entire 5 minutes. 2)  Do NOT self-edit as you write. If you feel comfortable doing so, share what you wrote with someone else.

{friday 1.27.17}

Read Acts 16:16-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: On the road Paul and Silas land themselves in jail after being beaten. The path they are own and continue to go down (spoiler alert) is not full of fun and good times. They suffer physically often. Why do you think they are willing to endure this?

{saturday 1.28.17}

Read Acts 16:30-17:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Even though Paul and Silas had an opportunity to escape with ease, they chose to stay to help the guard who was ready to take his own life. Why would they do this?

{group discussion ideas}

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 an Heartland 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 for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘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 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.


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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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