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The Core - Sermon 2


Connected People Grow


35 years ago today, Pauline and I shared the first Sunday with about 50 people.

12 came back Sunday night.

9 were there on Wednesday evening.

We quickly knew everyone there and we started doing life together.

Fast forward 35 years. 2053 members now call this church home. We have an event like Freedom Celebration and thousands show up. Everything is a big deal and we celebrate what God has done and is doing!


But here’s the challenge – many can and do get lost in the crowd. But the Bible teaches us that God intended us to experience life together.

1. Colossians 3:15-17 (MSG)
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

2. Psalm 133:1 (NLT)
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!

A. God intends for us to experience life together.

First crisis – in the Garden of Eden. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Gen. 2:18 NLT)

B. Just as God doesn’t want us doing life alone, nor should our walk with Christ be attempted alone.

We need each other. In fact, and here is our core value, Connected People Grow.

This is exactly what the writer of Proverbs 27:17 meant when he said, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

C. God places us in a community – a church – for several reasons; not the least of which is to grow together.

Here’s how it works.

1. In community we can be, and ought to be, authentic.

A. I/you grow when challenged.

The Bible says:

Colossians 3:16 KVJ 
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Romans 10:17 KJV 
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

B. We are pretty much familiar with the Fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

It would be so great if we could pray a prayer and the fruit would appear. But that’s not how it works.

The Fruit of the Spirit comes to us by challenges in life – difficult people – overcoming temptations – struggles – ups and downs.

And as we lean upon the Lord, the Holy Spirit works constantly and consistently in our lives. When my gentleness is challenged, and I want to be harsh, I lean upon the Spirit and He teaches me that in the moment of Christ’s deepest pain, He said, “Father forgive them…”

For our church to function properly and be a healthy, growing church, there has to be an environment of safety and trust. We must be a place that is authentic and not judgmental.

Some of you have been beat up by the world all week. You don’t need another attack or accusation. You need the loving arms of a Savior and He must be welcomed here every time we gather.

It is here we grow when in community. Here, in this place, we are loved - loved because we are, not because we measure up and fit the model.

Jesus gathered around Him 12 guys. 12 very different guys. 12 guys who were far from perfect.

But into those 12 – into that Life Group – He poured Himself and taught them.

In that context they learned and grew to know about the heart of God.

They dealt with their issues of jealousy when they argued over who would sit next to God.

They dealt with their pride when Jesus called them servants, not Lords, and demanded they not fight back when wronged but love your enemies.

They dealt with their faith and faithlessness when Jesus foretold His death and they fell apart, dispersed, went back home, and cursed.

They dealt with their faith when claims were He rose from the grave. “Here you go, Thomas, touch my hands and my side. See, it’s Me!”

And it is here, together, in this context and even better, our Life Groups, we sharpen one another, challenge one another, inspire one another. We don’t do this alone.


When we are connected, then we grow. 

In John 15, Jesus talks about being connected.

“I am the vine – you are the branches. Stay connected to Me and you will grow.”


2. In community, we do more together than if we go it alone.

There are those who feel they don’t need anyone else.
There are those who feel they don’t need the church.

I understand some of the logic:
You don’t need a church that has become institutionalized.
You don’t need a church that has no real purpose for its existence.
You don’t need a church that has lost sight of its mission.
You don’t need a church that is just a social gathering or a hyped-up pep rally, or an act in mindless futility.
You don’t need a dead church.

There has to be more. And there is! 

And when we embrace a Risen Savior and we are empowered by His Holy Spirit and we have realized our purpose and we join together – there is no greater joy and there is nothing we can’t do together!

But you will die and be devoured without community. 

I need you and you need me!




Worship Set


Blessed Assurance (My King Is Coming)

- Matthew West, Pete Kipley

Verse 1

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine,
O what a foretaste of glory divine.Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Chorus 1

This is my story, oh, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Verse 2

Perfect submission, all is at rest.
I, in my Savior, am happy and blest.
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Chorus 2

This is my story, oh, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Bridge 1

My King is coming soon.
He will roll the clouds away.
Light of Heaven bursting through,
Oh, what a glorious day.
Yes, my King is coming soon.
He will roll the clouds away.
Light of Heaven bursting through,
And until that glorious day.

Chorus 3

This is my story, oh, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song.

Bridge 2

My King is coming soon.
He will roll the clouds away.
Light of Heaven bursting through,
Until that glorious day.

Tag

This is my story,
This is my story, this is my song.


Come To Me 

- John Hendrickson and Jenn Johnson

Verse 1

I am the Lord your God I go before you now
I stand beside you I'm all around you
Though you feel I'm far away I'm closer than your breath
I am with you more than you know

Verse 2

I am the Lord your peace no evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind come into My rest
Oh let your faith arise lift up your weary head
I am with you wherever you go

Chorus 1

Come to Me I'm all you need
Come to Me I'm (your) everything
Come to Me I'm all you need
Come to Me I'm your everything

Misc 1 (Bridge)

I am your anchor in the wind and the waves
I am your steadfast so don't be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you
I'm your faithful strength
I am with you wherever you go


The Lord's Prayer

- Lowell Mason

Chorus 1

Our Father who art in heav’n
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heav’n
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the kingdom
And the power and the glory
Forever and ever
Amen


Every Praise 

- John David Bratton and Hezekiah Walker

Chorus 1

Every praise is to our God
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise, every praise is to our God
Sing hallelujah to our God
Glory hallelujah is due our God
Every praise every praise is to our God

Misc 1 (Bridge)

God my Savior
God my Healer
God my Deliverer
Yes He is, yes He is
(Yes He is, yes He is)

Misc 2 (Ending)

Every praise is to our God
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise
Every praise, every praise is to our God


It Is Well (Kristene DiMarco)

- Horatio Gates Spafford, Kristene DiMarco, and Philip Paul Bliss

Verse 1

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Chorus 1

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Verse 2

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Misc 1 (Bridge)

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

Misc 2 (Ending)

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well it is well with my soul

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