{February 12, 2017}


February 12-18, 2017


{Community Is. . . Too Important To Stay The Same}

By Adam Pontier

I remember what it was like to not have community. My wife and I chose to move to Lees Summit back in the spring of 2009. We moved into a newer neighborhood thinking we would be surrounded by young families and new friends. This did not turn out to be the case.

While living in Lees Summit we tried to meet our neighbors and hang out with them…but it never really clicked. We tried going to churches out there to meet people in our new community. We found ourselves coming back to Hearltand–even though the drive was 45 minutes each way.

Living without community was isolated and lonely. There was a piece of our spiritual life missing. We were involved in a small group bible study at the time that helped us, but ultimately there was still a sense of local community that we desired that wasn’t being fulfilled.

After several years of living in Lees Summit, having one child and two babies on the way, we decided to move back closer to home (Overland Park). We wanted to be closer to Heartland and our families. We were hoping we would move into an area where we could meet young families that we could be friends with.

The day after we had an offer accepted on our home in Overland Park, Jenni and I began to worry that we made a huge mistake. We were moving into a 50 year old neighborhood. It was one we both knew very well growing up in the area, but it dawned on us that we may have just agreed to buy a house in a neighborhood were there might not be any little kids and young families that we could be friends with. We panicked a bit (maybe a lot).

We stuck with the deal and moved in. After we moved in we found out we were going to be neighbors to Seth (the dude on stage today), Holly and their children. We then found out there were a couple more Heartland families with kids in our neighborhood.

Three years later, I can’t take out the trash without seeing at least three people from Heartland. Our kids go to school together, we do dinner together, we go out for drinks together, we loan each other tools (mainly me loaning to them because I have enough tools to supply a small army), we take each other’s kids to games, to school, etc…. You get the point, we do a lot together.

Our community goes beyond Heartland families. We have all kinds of families in our neighborhood. Some attend other churches. Some don’t do church that way. We have bible study groups on Sunday night and Friday morning (I skip these because 6:30 AM is way too early for my brain to process anything of importance).

We’ve recently had a neighborhood “Vision Meeting” to see what our community can become. How can we serve others? What is God asking us to do with this? How can we use this amazing gift that God has given us? We know it’s not just for us to keep to ourselves. We are in the process of listening and doing. Because this is too important not to change…to share…to expand.

I look back at that day when Jenni and I thought we made a huge mistake and think about what God knew He had in store for us. We knew nothing about what God had planned!

“Seekers today need to not only get a body of content, but also see Christianity embodied in individuals and a community.” –Tim Keller (Facebook post 2/12/17)


{sunday 2.12.17}

Read Acts 2:42-47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you have a community? If so, get together and ask God to show you what He wants you to do with this gift. If not, what do you want in a community? What would it take to develop one where you live (or where you work)? Who do you know that you could be in community with? Pray for this community.


{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 2.13.17}

Read Acts 21:17-30

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul had devoted his life to taking the message of Jesus to all people (gentiles). Why do you think the Jewish believers questioned him here? What were they saying to Paul and his team? What do you observe of the happenings in the Temple, and the arrest of Paul?

{tuesday 2.14.17}

Read Acts 21:31-22:2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do you see happening in this scene with Paul, the angry mob, and the Roman soldiers? What do you think happened when they heard Paul speaking their language? What would you say to this angry mob that had tried to kill you?

{wednesday 2.15.17}

Read Acts 22:3-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this moment, before an angry mob, Paul chose to return to the story of his experience with Jesus…how he came to believe. Story is a powerful tool–our stories of wrestling with faith, coming to faith, reorienting are faith–are the most powerful tool we have to share with others. People may not believe what you and I have experienced, but that can’t deny that we have. Take a moment to jot down or review your story. Have you come to believe in Jesus? To follow his teachings? How did you get here? If you don’t yet believe, what are you wrestling with? Share these thoughts with a friend or group you are a part of. Ask about their story.

{thursday 2.16.17}

Read Acts 22:17-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When Paul reaches the part of his story involving teaching all people the ways of Jesus, the crowd gets angry again. Why do you think this happened? What lens were they viewing their world through? When the soldiers took Paul inside to be beaten, he revealed that he was a Roman citizen. Why do you think this made them pause, and grow fearful?

{friday 2.17.17}

Read Acts 22:30-23:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul continues to boldly profess what he has been sent by Jesus to do. Have you ever boldly declared what you believe, or why you are here? If so, what was that experience like? If not, what might you say if it was required of you? Paul receives an encouraging word from God…how would you describe the most recent time you received an encouraging word from God? What did you do after receiving that encouragement? Paul was resolute, but calm while sitting in a tension filled room. What can we learn from Paul’s confidence and disposition?

{saturday 2.18.17}

Read Acts 23:12-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Why do you think the Jewish believers are plotting to kill Paul? Why are the Roman soldiers mounting such an effort to protect him? The lengths the Roman commander goes to secure Paul’s safety are interesting…when have you needed God’s protection? How have you seen evidence of God’s protection in your own life?

{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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