The Sunday That Was (September 18)

As a church we shined this past Sunday! Literally! It was not just the song we walked out singing. If you miss Sunday here is what I mean. We started a new message series for 2-weeks called Catalyst and as we looked at the graphic and message intro, and thought about the idea for the series... "Why not buy a bunch of glow sticks and glow gear for the band and not just "sing" on Sunday but let our worship and gratitude for Jesus be visible?" So we did!

We bought a ton of glow sticks and all kinds of glow gear, the service opened with a cool video explaining what was going on, then the band came out with the lights off and we sang, "It's All Because of Jesus" and we showed our gratitude to Jesus by waving and raising our glowing hands. I loved it!

We are always looking for ways to engage everyone during our songs we sing to God each Sunday, and ways to make a service memorable. This was a simple way to do both. Here is a snapshot I took while they guys were setting up and one of the glow sticks in action. Thank you Rita for making it happen!!!

Like I said we also started a new series called Catalyst about the things God uses to grow our faith. Life is too messy for us to believe that there's a simple formula for faith. So, then the question is how does our faith grow? How do we get to the point of completely trusting God with every area of our lives?

As people share their stories you hear some common things over and over again. In fact you hear about five things over and over again. That is what we are looking at and here are my notes from the first two:

There are only two times Jesus was ever "amazed" in the Bible. Both times had to do with faith. One was some one's big faith, one was a group of people's lack of faith.

By faith we mean: What would someone who was you do if they were absolutely confident God was with them?

As a church we realize we can't make your faith grow. All we can do is create relevant environments in which GOD can work. Specifically, around five faith catalysts God uses over and over again.

#1 Practical Teaching - Having the Bible taught so that you know what you need to know and what you need to do. The "doing" is what makes the difference to your faith though. Unapplied truth is like unapplied paint! The value is in the application. (See James 1:22-24)

#2 Providential Relationships - God always uses other people to build our faith. And, while we can't create a "providential relationship" for you as a church we can create environments that are conducive for this to happen. This is why we want EVERYONE in a NEXT Group.

I closed the message by saying this... About 5 out of 6 painful situations I get a front row seat for as a pastor are all self-inflicted wounds. People didn't apply the truth of the practical teaching and they didn't have anyone around them to point them back to Jesus. Just because you punch yourself in the head doesn't make you Job! When you jump into a NEXT Group THIS WEEK you will take two big steps in God doing something big in your faith and heart.

To find out more about NEXT Groups check out these two links:
About Groups
This Week's Groups

We seriously want YOU in a group this week. AND, I want you back on Sunday for the final part of Catalyst! Bring someone with you and let's pack the house. Love you guys!

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