Newbies and Drifters

Newbies and Drifters

Sermon Notes

Key Thought: Jesus constantly engaged other people. In these conversations we learn how Jesus treated people who were different than him. We should all take note of the gracious ways in which Jesus interacted with folks from all walks of life. In today’s passage Jesus indicates to us how we should respond to people who are new to the faith and those who have wandered from the faith.

Review of Matthew’s Themes:

  • Jesus is the King 
  • We are Part of Jesus’ New Kingdom
  • Jesus Teaches Us How to Live in this Kingdom

Our treatment of people is a key expression of our faith.

  • I follow Jesus
    • I believe in Jesus
      • I learn from Jesus
        • I walk behind Jesus

Jesus:

  • Was patient with his disciples lack of faith
  • Was gracious to those in sexual sin
  • Was empathetic toward those who were sick
  • Was engaging with those who were from different ethnicities

In today’s passage, Jesus teaches us how to treat people:

  • who are new
  • who wander away


Key Discussion:

What were some emotions you felt when you were showed up at a new place?

1. Jesus tells us how to treat people who are new to the faith -Matthew 18:10

Key Word:
Despise, (καταφρονέω) despise, condemn, push aside


Key Question:

How do you respond to new people who are coming to faith here at Concord? – Acts 15:19

2. Jesus tells us how to treat people who have wandered from the faith. – Matthew 18:12-14

  • God is concerned about those who wander off

Top Five Reasons People Stop Going to Church

  1. They got out of the habit.
  2. They left after they graduated from high school.
  3. They decided they didn’t like the institutional church.
  4. They were hurt at the church.
  5. They say they couldn’t find a church to meet their needs. – Lifeway Research

Key Observation:
God has patience with those who are new, and those who drift. So should we.

Application:
Ponder how you might treat a guest (whether in person, or online). Identify someone who has wandered from faith.

Maybe God wants you to be in the Shepherding Business?

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT

  1. Pastor Rusty reminds us that Jesus showed deep concern for those who had
    wandered away from him. Jesus was patient with his disciple’s weak faith, he was
    gracious with people who sinned sexually, he was empathetic toward those who were sick, and he engaged people from different backgrounds. If we follow Jesus’ example how might we impact those who aren’t close to God?
  2. Jesus’ example challenges all of us to treat others the way he did. Why do we find
    that so hard?
  3. Sometimes those of us who have been believers for a long time expect new believers to immediately adopt godly standards without understanding our beliefs. Acts 15:19 tells how the Jerusalem council concluded that we should allow new believers time to come to a better understanding of all we believe. How might this apply to new believers who some to Christ at Concord?
  4. Jesus’ parable tells of a shepherd who left 99 sheep safe to look for a single lost
    sheep. What does Jesus want us to learn about reaching those who are lost?
  5. Pastor Rusty says, “God has patience with those who are new. And those who drift. So should we.” In practical terms how can we do that?
  6. According to Lifeway Research one of the reasons people leave the church is they
    have been hurt there. Fewer people might leave if we could learn to master the art
    Jesus demonstrated of being patient with those who are weak. How does our attitude have to change if we’re going to follow Jesus’ example in this area?

LIVE IT OUT

  • How does God want you to treat someone who attends our church but has different beliefs than you do?
  • Ask God to help you see people like he does and to treat them the way he does.
  • How might God use you as a shepherd to help others who have lost their way?
  • Ask God to lead you to people who have lost their way, so you, like Jesus can lovingly help them find their way to God.
  • Identify one or more people who have yet to find their way to faith, or has wandered away from faith. Ask God to help you love these friends where they are and to use you to help them discover God’s incredible love for them.