Acts 1:6–11 (NLT): The Ascension of Jesus
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
SERMON “Ripples” 01-19-20 at Harbor Church
Drop a pebble in a pond on a still day. Its amazing how far the ripples travel. The way we live our lives each day, and the influence we have on those around us, is like a series of expanding concentric circles, spreading outward from the center. In the modern age that we live in, those ripples of influence can literally reach around the world!
Carrie: drop a pebble, then strum a chord on guitar
Let’s focus on that part of our mission statement today- on what we can do, and how we can do it:
Reading: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
First, our mission areas: (our circles)
Our Jerusalem: (our church)
Our members– ‘Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.’
Were good at this sharing and caring, hopes and hurts
Where can we improve? our church covenant which we’ll read today in our annual meeting:
We are already a friendly church; we need to strive to become a more Seek-friendly For ourselves – define seeker
Our Judea (Our Neighbors, our community, our friends on the island- the people we hang out with)
INVITATION AND COOPERATION
For our community – focus on giving what you have and can give, not on what you don’t have.
Invite, invite, invite!!! Every time we have an event, every ministry we offer, every extension service we provide.
Check the list on the bulletin board; we already do so much. Start looking at each ministry as an opportunity for invitation. Every one of our mission commitments is represented on this list. not just worship but prayer, teaching, sharing and caring).
Worship invitations? Sure! Everything else? You bet!
e.g. Bridge club, Blood drives
COOPERATION With our community- partnering with existing programs that others offer. Show our support, community commitment.
Our Samaria (the ‘others’ that we don’t hang out with)
the Hispanic community -MNP…
The Cleaners and service-oriented people,- the Summer work force
The White collars, the blue collars, the rich elite summer crowd – WHOEVER YOU ARE NOT!
Look for ways to build bridges to the ‘others on the island’
Our World –(our ‘larger community)
Illustration: 6 degrees of Separation. the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. Often called as 6 Handshakes rule. As a result, a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. Seen in this light,
We are only six short steps away from reaching the whole world with the love and good news of Jesus Christ.
The world is smaller than ever before. “Global Village.” Global Community” WWW stands for World Wide Web! Social Media.
Illustration Phone Support for businesses -
ASSOCIATION and CONNECTION -we can be greater than the sum of our individual parts
Illustration. Historic Baptist Societies, associations and conventions. The local church needs to be in connection with the larger universal church – denominations, parachurch organizations, charities, missions, social programs, etc. E.G. ABHMS
Lastly – “The Power of the Spirit” to reach Our Planet and all its people. “you shall receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you- power to witness to the ends of the earth.
No reason not to reach out. No inadequacies, no lack or resources no social barriers.
We have everything we need because we have the power of God in our lives.
So we can be witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the world.
Through invitation, cooperation, association and connection, we can fulfill our church’s mission statement to minister to our church, our neighbors and yes, our larger community, the world itself. Amen