Sunday Recap 3-21-10

It was great to be back yesterday @ The Ridge after I had a chance to speak at my brother’s church in Florida last weekend. Thanks to Jerry for teaching last Sunday.

Yesterday was the end of our Outsiders series. This has been a vision series @ The Ridge and it has bee great to talk about what God’s vision is for His Church @ The Ridge and the strategy he has given us. For review, our mission is to “Impact Another Generation By Changing People’s Perspective”. which is accomplished by our strategy of “changing people’s persective on the church, God, themselves, and others.”

Yesterday we ended the series by talking about changing our perspective on others. We did somnething kinda risky. Something we have talked about doing for several months. I have even mentioned once before about a church that had done this. However, we hadn’t done it ourselves. Just sat on the idea, not sure how it would go over. But yesterday, it fit with our perspective series and particularly the message. What did we do? We gave almost all of our volunteers the day off. With the esception of our preschool groups, we didn’t have any volunteers working. We had virtually no set up either. There were no signs, there was no cafe with coffee and donuts. There was no band, there were no greeters other than our staff. There was nothing set up anywhere. Just our sign in front of the school, a single screen on stage, a single microphone and Jerry with his guitar leading music. I set up all the benches in the cafeteria and Wendel and a very small crew set up the preschool classrooms. That was it. Very stripped down. Out RidgeKidz even joined us in the main gathering.

Why do all that? Well, first to give most of our awesome volunteers a break. Second to visually illustrate how essential all our volunteers are and what it looks like when they are missing. But the main point was in the message. Why do we do what we do? The answer was found in the scripture for the day. John 4:1-42 records the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus. It is a great picture that should change our perspective on others. Why do we do what we do?

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Because the fields are white for harvest. Because there are lost people who neeed Christ. Because there are people who have been “written off” by the church and in some cases by society. Because they are all where we once were: people in need of rescue. Our perspective on others should be the same as Jesus. in verse 4 it says, He HAD to go through Samaria. He was compelled, He had a divine appointment. He went through a place that most Jews would not even enter because of one woman. That woman could arguably be called the first missionary to the Gentiles…the Samaritans.

Our perspective on others is that they need rescuing and Jesus calls us to ride with His posse…a rescue party and be about the mission the Father has for us.

But another perspective we talked about was this: 

What is it that will draw people to Christ the most? John 12:20-21 says

 20Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”

 These guys came to those who had been following Jesus and asked to see Him. When was the last time that our lives compelled others to come to us and ask that? When was the last time what was going on in our church compelled others to come to us and ask that?

Martin Lloyd Jones said this:

“Our essential trouble is that we are content with a very superficial and preliminary knowledge of God, His being, His cause…We spend our lives in busy activism… instead of realizing our own failure, [that] we are not attracting anybody to Christ and that they probably see nothing in us that makes them desire to come to Him.”

 Wow! That just convicts me in a big way!  To join Jesus’ posse takes brokenness, repentance and surrender on my part. When people see the reality of Jesus in my life and in your life…when they see the difference…when they see revival taking place, they will be drawn to Him! I really believe that.

So, will you and I join His posse? “Lift up your eyes church! The fields are white for harvest!”

At the end of our gathering, we asked people to commit to serving in a variety of areas. We need more volunteers as we approach Easter and prepare for next fall. We asked thenm to put their name in the hat…and did so literally…and join the posse. People took small wooden stick horses (really book markers) as a reminder of their commitment to serve and impact others in our community. It was exciting to see people come forward in response. Don’t have the nmbers but most people there did so.

Had Partnership 2 class afterward as well. 7 new Partners @ The Ridge!

Last night we had a meeting for our mission trip to Burkina Faso in June. I am really excited about the team God seems to be putting together. Looks like between 8 and 11 will be going on this trip!

I love pastoring this Church! You Ridgers “get it” when it comes to changing perspectives in our community. I pray that we never stop letting Him work in us so that He can work through us to accomplish His mission.


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