04.13.14 Worship Confessional

palmsYesterday was Palm Sunday and we continued our series “Marks of a Missional Community.” Here is the sixth mark we explored: A missional community orients its life around the new social order inaugurated by Jesus called the kingdom of God.

While preparing for my message, I noticed that in Matthew’s Gospel this potent text comes almost immediately before the Palm Sunday narrative:

25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Right before Jesus reveals himself as the King, he teaches that his kingdom operated with a very different value system than that of the world. The new social order that Jesus inaugurated is one marked by humility and service, rather than powering up on people and using them for one’s own advantage.

As you travel through Holy Week, what would it look like for you to choose the pathway of humility, sacrifice and service?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Our God Saves (Paul Baloche)
  • Palm Sunday Video (SermonSpice)
  • Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
  • Here Is Our King (David Crowder Band)
  • Because of Your Love (Paul Baloche)
  • Prayers of Confession
  • Simplicity (Rend Collective)
  • Welcoming Covenant Partners
  • Announcements and Offerings
  • Message (A New Social Order)
  • Mighty to Save (Hillsong)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this past weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

04.06.14 Worship Confessional

diversity_signifier_dnaYesterday as we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community,” we explored the reality that we are a gifted and empowered. A missional community is a community of men and women, boys and girls, gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit with diverse abilities that enable it to accomplish the work of God in the world today.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. ” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

Did you notice how many times Paul used the word, “different?” And how many times Paul used the word, “same?” We are one, but not the same.

Here are a few questions for you to consider this week:

  1. What gifts, capacities and abilities has God entrusted to you? How are you using them to help our community of faith become everything God desires us to be? How available are you to support the common good through your giftedness?
  2. What is missing in your life? Where do you need the support of others? What is your level of vulnerability and what is one step you could take this week to let others know that you need them?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Hearts Start Beating (Tim Neufield version)
  • Call to Worship: Psalm 117
  • O Praise Him (David Crowder Band)
  • Our God Is Mercy (Brenton Brown)
  • Video – Psalm 51 (The Work of the People)
  • Unison Prayer of Confession
  • Shadows (David Crowder Band)
  • Litany of Prayer
  • Simplicity (Rend Collective)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (A Gifted and Empowered Community)
  • Reprise: Hearts Start Beating

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this past weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Sty connected…

03.30.14 Worship Confessional

priesthoodThis morning as we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community,” we explored the reality that as followers of Jesus we are a called to be a royal priesthood. I love reflecting on the words of the Apostle Peter as he addressed our identity as the people of God:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

These words flow from an understanding of the the Old Testament and the belief that God’s intention was that Israel as a nation would serve God as a community of priests. In Exodus 19 we read:

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)

Douglas Stuart, in his commentary on the book of Exodus, outlined four ways that Israel served (or potentially could have fulfilled their calling):

Live (Incarnate) – Israel would be an example to the people of other nations, who would see its holy beliefs and actions and be impressed enough to want to know personally the same God the Israelites knew.

Proclaim (Invite) – Israel would proclaim the truth of God and invite people from other nations to accept him in faith as shown by confession of belief in him and acceptance of his covenant.

Intercede – Israel would intercede for the rest of the world by offering acceptable offerings to God (both sacrifices and right behavior) and thus ameliorate the general distance between God and humankind.

Preserve (Inscribe) – Israel would keep the promises of God, preserving his word already spoken and recording his word as it was revealed to them so that once the fullness of time had come, anyone in the whole world could promptly benefit from that great body of divinely revealed truth, that is, the Scriptures.

Lesslie Newbiggin writes: “The church gathers every Sunday, the day of resurrection and of Pentecost, to renew its participation in Christ priesthood. But the exercise of this priesthood is not within the walls of the church but in the daily business of the world. It is only in this way that the public life of the world, it’s excepted habits and assumptions, can be challenged by the gospel and brought under the searching light of the truth as it is been revealed in Jesus.”

In what ways does the church take up its’ priestly function in the world today? In what ways might we continue in the priestly tradition of incarnation, invitation, intercesstion and inscription?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Hearts Start Beating (Lovelite)
  • A Prayer for the Global Church
  • Our God Is Mercy (Brenton Brown)
  • A Liturgy of Confession
  • Shadows (David Crowder Band)
  • Simplicity (Rend Collective)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (A Community of Priests)
  • Benediction (Matt Redman)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

03.23.14 Worship Confessional

truthThis morning we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community” by exploring the power of truth. In his book, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, Lesslie Newbiggin writes, “A Christian congregation is a community in which, through constant remembering and rehearsing of the true story of human nature and destiny, an attitude of healthy skepticism can be sustained, a skepticism which enables one to take part in the life of society without being bemused and deluded by its own beliefs about itself.”

In John 18, a significant interchange about truth take place between Pilate and Jesus. Here is the heart of the matter: Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate (John 18:37-38).

I find three truths in these verses:

  1. Jesus came into the world to bear witness to the truth
  2. If you want to align yourself with truth, listen to Jesus
  3. Truth isn’t about information, it’s about a person

I love what Erwin McManus wrote about the truth in his latest book, “The Artisan Soul:”

“Truth is not a piece of information but a person. Jesus said it simply, ‘I am the truth.’ I have become convinced over a lifetime that the human spirit lives in the fullness for which we are created only we live in truth. The farther we move from truth, the more unhealthy we become. The more we live in truth, the more we find wholeness and become our most authentic selves.”

In what ways are you and your community living in to the truth? What fruit are you seeing because of this?
In what ways have you and your community moved away from the truth? What consequences have you experienced?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • God of Brilliant Lights (Aaron Shust)
  • The Earth Is Yours (Gungor)
  • Reading from 1 John 1:5-2:2
  • A Call to Confession
  • Shadows (David Crowder Band)
  • A Litany of Confession
  • I Need You Now (Matt Redman)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (A Community of Truth)
  • Benediction (Matt Redman)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

03.16.14 Worship Confessional

clip-art-neighborhoodThis morning as we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community,”we explored the role of neighborhood in the kingdom of God. Lesslie Newbiggin believed that a missional community would be a community that does not live for itself but is deeply involved in the concerns of is neighborhood. He goes on to state in his book, ‘The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society,” that this community will be the church for the specific place where it lives, not the church for those who wish to be members of it – or rather, it will be for them insofar as they are willing to be for the wider community.

What does it mean to be FOR your community? How is your local church living out its commitment to the well-being of your community?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • This Is Amazing Grace (Riddle and Wickham)
  • We Could Change the World (Matt Redman)
  • Call to Confession
  • Video: Psalm 51 (The Work of the People)
  • Responsive Prayers of Confession
  • Shadows (David Crowder)
  • Unison Prayer
  • You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Neighborhoods)
  • God of This City (Bluetree)
  • Benediction (Jude 24-25)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…