Outreach

GETTING TO BUSINESS

lovethyneighbor

A “FOLLOW ME” FOLLOW UP

Our theme for World Outreach Weekend this year was “Follow Me”.

I hope your heart has been instructed, encouraged and challenged by something you heard in one of our events.

I want to thank Pastor Pat Tedeschi for his labors and heart in organizing this weekend. 

As we move forward in living on mission for Christ it is important that we are prayerful and that we take concrete steps.

Pat suggested that I post this article from the Gospel Coalition by Mack Stiles entitled “What If I Am Not A Gifted Evangelist?”. I hope you will take a few minutes to read through and find godly wisdom for the great privilege we have to represent the gospel in a world where every person we meet is eternally desperate to hear and own it.

 

FOLLOW ME

Follow Me - for Kyle

 

Our Mission Conference is moving to a new time of year.

Due to snow and ice occasionally interfering with Mission Conference events, it will now be held in November.

Out conference theme this year is “Follow Me” and will take place November 19th-22nd.

The purpose of our Mission Conference is to educate and challenge our hearts in regard to being Great Commission people.

Everyone is welcome, but we especially ask that those who are part of Greentree Church would attend at least one event beyond you normal attendance routine.

Please be praying that God will use this time richly in the life of our church.

 

Thursday, Nov 19th

Women’s Bible Study   9:30 – 11:00 am

Featuring a Skype call with our mission partner in Central Asia

Friday, Nov 20th

Youth Night   6:30 – 10:00 pm

Dinner provided

 Movie Night    7:00 – 9:30 pm

An episode of Dispatches from the Front:

“Father Give Me Bread” Advancing the Gospel in Ethiopia & Sudan

Saturday, Nov 21st

 Seminar & Breakfast   8:30 – 11:00 am

Reaching the Unreached at Home:

Making everyday Gospel Connections

Featuring special guest Peter Eck, Assistant Pastor of New City Fellowship of Atlantic City. Continental Breakfast provided

Sunday, Nov 22nd

Pastor Pat Tedeschi Preaching  8:30 & 10:30 am

 International Potluck & Prayer   6:00 – 8:00 pm

Come enjoy a meal together & pray for our missionaries and outreach around the world. Bring a dish to share – make it international if you like!

RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT EASY

Why is it essential to think of ministry in terms of relationships?

God and theology are relational

God by nature is relational: one God who exists in three persons

The word of God is relational

God’s means of saving us is relational:  God eternally took on our nature and gave himself for us

Worship is meant to be relational

We cannot follow God unless we have a relational focus

The Great Commandments are relational

The Great Commission is relational

The fruit of the spirit are revealed relationally

The nature of the church is relational; we are the family of God and the body of Christ

How can we love or how can we show grace if we do not live out “God in us” relationally?

However relationships always bring problems

“Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox” Proverbs 14:4

Everyone you have a relationship with is a sinner

It’s impossible to have problem free relationships, but it is possible to have correct perspectives and responses

We don’t have marriage problems or relational problems, we have sin problems

Remember our people and problems don’t make us sin, they can only squeeze out what was already inside us

Even with all the mess God keeps pushing us together

He instituted the Family and the church

His word keeps pushing us into closer involvements, by telling us to love our neighbor and live in fellowship with each other

It is indefensible for a believer to isolate themselves from relationships

Ministry requires large doses of grace – patience – love – forgiveness – persistence etc

If we are to carry out a biblical perspective in relationships

Burying relational problems and ignoring them is not a biblical option

Walking away from relational problems is not a biblical option

However, God does not ask you to be run over by people; we need to establish boundaries or we are enabling their sin

In many ways life is simpler when we have a self-focus. We only have to worry about me!

But life is much fuller and fruitful when it is relational

When these relationships are God-centered, we are carrying out the most meaningful labors on earth

Ministry involves bringing more oxen into our barn

Make relationship building a way of life

Be helpful and friendly, this draws people to us

Be interested in people’s lives; people like those who listen to them over those who talk at them

Be a servant, so people realize your agenda is not just about yourself

Each morning pray about the interactions you know are ahead of you that day

Look for those who are hurting and on the outside

Our world is filled with ministry potential

If you do not see them, ask God (who does) to open your eyes

When conflicts happen, respond with God’s agenda rather than your own

We typically see conflicts in relationships as an obstacle or as a sign to leave!

God’s wants us to see these moments as opportunities for growth and ministry

Rather than focus on establishing our position, ask God how we can serve his purpose

We are not all people persons, but what we do can be about people

A NEW LIFE, BRINGS A NEW JOB

God has changed us, with the purpose of making us his instrument of change in others

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: “We implore you on Christ’s behalf – be reconciled to God”’.  2 Corinthians 5:17-20

We are a “New Creation”

God has changed us significantly, eternally and wonderfully

When we received a new nature, the change was not subtle or just along the fringes of our life. The Bible says, “all things have become new”

We have a new relationship with God

To be “in Christ” means we are connected to what He has accomplished: his death, life and perfect obedience

Our identity is now forever ‘in Christ’; everything we receive from God is connected and secure in Him

We have a new understanding

If we look at ourselves without seeing supernatural differences – we have a false perspective

How we value what we are and do, is literally turned upside down

This change is not all finalized, but it is complete

Although we are not yet perfected, in the plan and sovereignty of God it is finished

“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”  Ephesians 2:6

Serving God is a matter of living out what he has already done

Examples of this are in Ephesians 6:11 “take up the whole armor of God” and Romans 13:14 “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. In these examples we are not carrying out a new work, we are joining in the work Christ has accomplished for us

God provides all we need to be fruitful

We have the Holy Spirit, who is the fullness of God, residing in us.  It is impossible to have greater help!

We have the Word of God which has an extraordinary power to work change (Hebrews 4:12)

We have the Church, a community operating by supernatural principles of support and encouragement (Ephesians 4:16)

What is the result of all this?

We are always blessed abundantly

We are always thoroughly loved

We are always in midst of God’s gracious purpose

But if we stop with God working in us, we have stopped halfway

The process of spiritual blessing and growth are not merely about ourselves

Our salvation places us in a ministry role

The “word of reconciliation” and “the ministry of reconciliation” are ours instantaneously (we see an wonderful example of this in John 4:39-42)

God immediately turns us into His representative or “ambassador”

Being called an “ambassador for Christ” presents a specific word picture

We represent someone else in what we do; God’s agenda is now our agenda

We can declare the gospel of Christ with the authority of Christ. Look again at v20; it is “as though God were pleading thru us”

This indicates the depth of God’s commitment in using us

And it tells us that if we are to represent God, we should have a whole-hearted participation as his Ambassador

What high honor we have to represent Christ in his work of making broken lives whole

Although ministry has labor to it, it brings joy and vitality into our life

God has given us the most significant and satisfying labors possible

So what are we doing?

 

SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?

What is the secret of Evangelistic Churches?

Thom Rainer wants us to know that it is not a secret at all.

Churches are evangelistic when the people of that church are passionate about the gospel. As we say at Greentree, “If we want to be a more evangelistic church, then we need to be more evangelistic people”.

In this article, Tom Rainer shares the attitudes, habits and patterns in Christians who are fruitfully engaged with people for the gospel. Or in Jesus terms, those fulfilling who they truly are as “Salt” and “Light” in this dark and desperately lost world.

There are obviously actions that must be in our life if we want to be evangelistic people. Just as clearly, being equipped will help us wisely take the gospel forward. Reading Rainer’s article is a small, but good little step in moving forward as a person who wants God to use them for the gospel of His Son.

But above all – it is our heart that God must have for our lives to be fruitfully used.

1. We all can have a heart for the gospel today!

2. And everyone we meet today needs gospel truths and encouragements (whether they are an unbeliever or a believer)

Are you willing to pray and ask God to help your heart to be more gospel driven?

Are you willing to ask God to show you the people he has for you to impact?

SERMON LEFTOVERS 3.16.15

 “We are Ambassadors of Christ”

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Ambassadors represent something greater than themselves

Our identity as an Ambassador reminds us we no longer live for ourselves

One of the most foundational realities of life in Christ is that we are no longer king

It seems hard to give up self-rule, which is a major stumbling block to our fulfilling the Great Commandment

We need to recognize that no longer living for ourselves is the most fruitful and freeing step we can take

It is fruitful – because we exchange our meager kingdom for Christ’s glorious kingdom

It is freeing – because we are no longer bound by our own flawed goals and expectations

As Ambassadors, we represent Christ to a world that desperately needs him

This role is not limited to pastors, the outgoing or those gifted in evangelism (Matthew 5:13-16)

This is our identity; Jesus said we “are” the world’s salt and light

Everyone who can observe you, can be influenced by you

You have impressions about the people you meet; what impression do you leave?

This is more than not cursing etc., we are to live in contrast to the world and in the power of the gospel

We show Christ in what we value

We show Christ in how we respond differently to pressures

We show Christ in how we care for and serve those the world neglects

Each person you can influence is worth influencing

We would never admit otherwise, we interact with people, without even attempting to influence them for Christ

How many people do we know, who have no one that even prays for them?

Small things can have an effective influence

The effectiveness is in how God will use us in these small things

Make as many small influences as you can and trust God to use them

As Ambassadors of Christ, we are to conduct ourselves to bring honor to him

Our standards are not to be How close can I get to sin and still be a Christian?

Our perspective is to be How can I honor Christ more fully?

This is carried out in what our speech emphasizes, how we respond to offenses, and what we pursue

This is not asking too much of us, Christ is worth our all!

Our influence is not lost due to weaknesses or past failure

John 4 describes a Samaritan woman who had 5 failed marriages, an immoral lifestyle and was ignorant of spiritual truth.

Yet after meeting Jesus, we read “many Samaritans . . believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony”

Our influence is based upon what God does in and through us (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)

It is best to live our entire life in obedience, but God can use anyone who will be faithful now

Ambassadors are responsible to share the message that was given to them

Ambassadors have no right to give their own message, or a partial one

One famous pastor says, “My calling is a ministry of encouragement”. No that is the message he chose, God calls us to proclaim His word

v18 God “gave us” our “ministry”

v19 God “entrusted us” with his “message”

This ministry and message is the full truth of Christ:

He is the Lord God who became God-in-flesh

He came to this sinful and condemned world which cannot save itself

He died to pay the penalty for our sin and was raised in victory over sin and death

Anyone who will bow and trust in what Christ has done – will be saved

An Ambassador must be clear about their message

Focus on Christ and our need to respond to what he has done

As Ambassadors it’s important that we understand our audience

Everyone has the same need and our message is unchanging

Yet, each person we meet is a unique opportunity (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)

Listen to understand their heart

Show you care

Build their respect

Where and how are we Ambassadors?

1.  In our natural sphere of life

2.  Going beyond to people we can meet and impact

3.  How we receive people who come to our church

Be an ambassador of hospitality to those who come to your church

Exercise grace to those who are rough edged and may be an inconvenience to you

OUR BIG WEEK CONTINUES!

Connected Slides

There is a lot left in CONNECTED, Greentree’s eight day Mission Conference . . .

             **Friday, March 6th **changed from Thursday

8:15 – 9:30 am  Prayer Breakfast:  pray together for our Missionaries

9:30 – 11:00 am   Women’s Bible Study: featuring Margie Lawler, Jessica Perez and Jen Hu

7:00 – 9:30 pm   “Women and Islam” Dessert Night:  Margie & Randy Lawler help women understand Islamic women and how to effectively interact with them

Bring a dessert to share

Friday, March 6th

6:30 – 10:00 pm   Youth Night

Food, games, a movie and Jozef Gabor’s personal story of escape from communist Eastern Europe

Saturday, March 7th

9:00 – 12:00 am   “Understanding the Muslim Mind”

Seminar by Randy Lawler and Continental Breakfast

Sunday, March 8th

8:30 & 10:30 am  Pastor Randy Lawler:  Randy & Margie have worked in Muslim ministry since 1975

6:00 – 8:00 pm   Meet and Greet Potluck Dinner: learn more about the Lawler’s work in London

Bring a dish to share

WORLD OUTREACH WEEK IS HERE!

Connected Slides

CONNECTED

World Outreach Week at Greentree Church

This is an exciting week filled with insightful activities that will lift and hopefully challenge your heart.

This year we are thrilled that four of our missions partners will be participating!

What is your part?

   ~ Pray for the week and its affect on our church family

   ~ Pray that it will bless and refresh our missionary partners

   ~ Attend at least one activity in addition to your normal schedule

   ~ Spend time getting to know our missionaries

Sunday, March 1st

8:30 & 10:30 am   Pastor Pat Tedeschi Preaching

Monday, March 2nd

7:00 – 9:30 pm   Movie Night featuring 2 episodes of Dispatches from the Front

“Day of Battle” (N. Africa)

“The Power of His Rising” (S. Asia)

Wednesday, March 4th

5:30 – 6:15 pm   International Meal: cuisine from around the world

6:30 – 8:00 pm   “The Greatest Story Never Told”: multi-faceted presentation on bringing God’s Word to the nations

Meet our visiting missionaries!

Thursday, March 5th

8:15 – 9:30 am  Prayer Breakfast: pray together for our Missionaries

9:30 – 11:00 am   Women’s Bible Study: featuring Margie Lawler, Jessica Perez and Jen Hu

7:00 – 9:30 pm   “Women and Islam” Dessert Night:  Margie & Randy Lawler help women understand Islamic women and how to effectively interact with them

Bring a dessert to share

Friday, March 6th

6:30 – 10:00 pm   Youth Night

Food, games, a movie and Jozef Gabor’s personal story of escape from communist Eastern Europe

Saturday, March 7th

9:00 – 12:00 am   “Understanding the Muslim Mind”

Seminar by Randy Lawler and Continental Breakfast

Sunday, March 8th

8:30 & 10:30 am  Pastor Randy Lawler:  Randy has worked in Muslim ministry since 1975

You can find out more about him at the SEE Global website

6:00 – 8:00 pm   Meet and Greet Potluck Dinner: enjoy a meal together and learn more about the Lawler’s work in London

Bring a dish to share

BEING A NEIGHBOR

We seek refuge in our back yards, rather than sit on our front porches

We park in our garages, instead of in the street

We shop online, rather than downtown

We change address more often, instead of settle at one place for life

For these and many other reasons, it is harder today to build relationships with our neighbors.

Yet,

The Bible tells us to “love our neighbor”

Our churches tell us to reach out to our neighbor

And we want to be a good neighbor

So, how do we make this happen?

A good place to start is to read this month’s book recommendation: “The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door”, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

No book can do the work of neighboring for us, but reading this book can increase your heart for it and it provides lots of practical thoughts on what to do now.

Here is an excerpt

“The beauty of the art of neighboring is that it’s simple and genuine. You don’t need to memorize any pitches. You don’t need to chart out a master plan for evangelizing your neighborhood. You don’t need to worry about having a canned speech in your back pocket. In short, you need not make your neighbors your “pet project”; make them your friends. You simply need to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and body, and love your neighbor as yourself.”