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I ♥ My Church

It’s not uncommon to hear “I love football” or “I love ice cream” or “I love hunting”, but when someone says “I love my church” people think it’s weird. Maybe that’s because we have drifted from the original design for the church. The church is more than a building or an hour on the weekend. The church is intended to be a movement of people who are doing their best to follow Christ together. It can change your life, your community, your trajectory. You can love your church.

From this Series

Let's Party!

January 5, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 1 of 6

Over time, churches tend to drift into an insider / outsider mindset. Long-term believers can begin to look at unbelievers with a spirit of disgust, rather than a spirit of compassion. Eventually, the church can become more of a Christian social club than a search-and-rescue operation. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders struggled with the fact that Jesus spent so much time with some of the worst people in society. In Luke 15, Jesus confronted their wrong attitudes by telling a compelling story about the father-heart of God. This parable forces us to ask ourselves whether we have the heart of the Father or the heart of the older brother. In this message, we will focus on the reason why we exist – to help people far from God come home to the party that waits for them.

Whatever It Takes

January 12, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 2 of 6

Long-term believers can easily forget what it was like to walk in the doors of a church for the first time, or try to find a Bible passage for the first time. Over time, churches can build their programs around the already-convinced, while ignoring those who are still trying to figure it all out. Worse yet, churches can expect new believers to look and act a certain way before they are really welcomed. This is not a new struggle for the church – it dates back the very beginning of the church’s existence. The Apostle Paul made it clear that he was willing to set aside his personal preferences for the sake of the Gospel so that, “by all possible means I might save some.” In this message, we will talk in specific ways about our approach and how we strive to create environments where people can learn the truth in a way that relevant, engaging and creative.

Next?

January 19, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 3 of 6

Every one of us – no matter who we are – has a next step to take in our walk with Christ. In this message, we will talk about our spiritual growth strategy and ask people to discern what their next step should be. Paul was confronted by Jesus on his way to Damascus. After being blinded and humbled, Paul knew that he had no other choice but to become a disciple of Jesus. He was given a series of next steps to take: “Get up,” “Go to Damascus,” “Be baptized,” “leave Jerusalem,” “Go to the Gentiles.” If Paul had hesitated to act, then the world would never have known the impact of his journeys, his writings and his life. Paul asked two questions: “Who are you, Lord?” and “What shall I do, Lord?” Once we understand who Jesus is, we will ask him what he wants us to do. One of the first things Paul does is go to another believer (Ananias) who can help him take the next steps.

Bibs and Aprons

January 26, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 4 of 6

In our culture, many people approach church with a consumerist mentality. We can begin to see the church as the provider of a spiritual commodity. This creates churches full of people who show up for the “service” but do not really engage in the mission. It’s like the difference between bibs and aprons: babies wear bibs and expect others to serve them; grown-ups wear aprons and serve others. That consumerist mentality weakens the church and stunts the spiritual growth of the believer. If you are not serving, you are not growing… and you are probably stagnating.

On the Move

February 2, 2014 by Paul McGuinness Message 5 of 6

Jesus wasn’t interested in building a building, starting a religion or establishing an organization. He promised to start a movement (Matthew 16:18). More than two thousand years later, we are part of that movement – a collection of people following Jesus as He brings light, hope, forgiveness and transformation to our communities and across the globe. He is on the move. If we are truly following Him, we will also be on the move – moving into relationships with His redemptive love.

Go Big

February 9, 2014 by Mark Stuenzi Message 6 of 6

In our culture, many people see the church as nothing more than a building or an institution. However, the church was originally intended to be a movement. It is common to hear people say, “I go to church,” when we should be saying, “I am the church.”