Waking the Sleeping Giant #12 – pt 1

Waking the Sleeping Giant

A Call to be Contagious

Luke 19:1-10

Message #12

Intro:

– This morning in Message #11 of the series Waking the Sleeping Giant, we looked at 3 Questions: What is the Sleeping Giant?; Why is it Sleeping?; What will it take to wake the Sleeping Giant?

– Tonight we are going to look at some things that will help our church to become a contagious church.

Luke 19:1-10

– A chief tax collector

* an unlovely person

– A short man, who did not stick out physically

* an unlovely person

– Jesus took the time to speak with him and go to his house

* Jesus took the time to invest in an unlovely person

– The popular people were not happy with Jesus

* It cost Jesus something to include an unlovely person

– As a result this unlovely person repented and was saved

* God loves unlovely, unpopular people

– Jesus came to seek and save the lost

* That is our responsibility as ambassadors of Christ, to invite all people to be a part of God’s family

“Together, meet unchurched people where they are, speak a language they can hear, tell them what Jesus has done for you, and invite them to make a similar decision – or to come somewhere with you where someone else will present the gospel.” Tom Clegg and Warren Bird < quote >

4 reasons why almost 200 million people in North America will not be in church this weekend

1) They view church as irrelevant.2) They’ve never been invited. Some people thought they had to be a member before they could even visit or that they needed a sponsor as they would at a country club.3) They have the mistaken notion that churches care more about their money than about them.4) They’ve said yes to Jesus, but no to the church (they are “church damaged”). They have endured some horrible experience in a previous church and, therefore, they are angry at God and feeling hurt, let down, or betrayed.

“The key to evangelism is not learning how to win arguments with people, but learning how to love them. People work is an eternal investment that takes time.” Tom Clegg and Warren Bird

< quote >

How does your congregation become a contagious witness

1) Add to your standard curriculum new information and results of studies about how to effectively reach others.2) As a congregation, prioritize outreach, evangelism, faith sharing, and faith nurturing as important reasons for the existence of your church.3) Become more intentionally a “house of prayer.” Seek God’s guidance and petition God for family members and friends who you desire to find new hope and life through Christ. 4) Remember that the way you love is the mark of your witness.5) Seek out and invite into your fellowship, people who don’t have a Christian family heritage or a church home.6) Make changes if necessary so that newcomers feel welcome and wanted.

* If you were hurting would you consider our church: loving, accepting, gracious, merciful?

* Is our church a place of: healing, transformation, meeting with Christ?

“When people follow Christ, God’s priorities become theirs. Therefore, the choice to be involved in reaching friends and relatives is normal for the follower of Christ. Avoidance and disengagement are abnormal.” Tom Clegg and Warren Bird < quote >

Application

– What are you doing to become a contagious Christian? What are you doing to serve God? If you are doing these things, well done good and faithful servant. Keep running well!

– Tonight we will look at the final message in the series Waking the Sleeping Giant – An Overview.

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