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Vision Sunday

Title: Vision Sunday

Main Verse: (Acts 16:9-15)

Key Thought:  Following Jesus requires us to think both creatively and strategically. This has always been true, but in today’s context, creative thinking is absolutely essential for a church to survive. Today we will note how the Paul the Apostle demonstrates this mission-mindedness. The big lesson we can learn here is this- new places calls for new strategies. And if we are to fulfill the vision that God has for us, we must continue to remain strategic.

Introduction to Philippi

Everything was different here compared to other cities. There was hardly a trace of monotheism. No synagogue was available as a handy place to gather with Jews. There were no friendly Christ-followers to assist with housing. This was a brand-new city and necessitated a brand-new approach. So, the next best thing was to gather where the people were gathering. In Philippi, this meant down by the river.

  1. Paul changed strategies based upon context (Acts 16:11-15
    • Here are the times Paul used the Synagogue
      • Acts 6:9, 13:42, 14:1, 17:1, 18:4, 18:19, 19:18
      • Here he conducted ministry where the people were located

Key Point

The Gospel message needs to be clarified. The context needs to be interpreted.

Bottom line: we don’t give up our mission of sharing our message simply because our methods are no longer effective. Instead, we adapt.

2. The Gospel penetrated the culture that was full of hurting people (Acts 16:16-21)

Pause for a moment and consider

  • Do we have hurting people in our midst?
  • How would a meaningful relationship with Christ change that?

The hurt in the world is a hunger for the Gospel.

Update on our Online Ministry

  • We have selected Jeff Wells as the Online Pastor (pending church vote)
  • We are working to put together the Box
  • We are experimenting with the Online Software
  • We have identified some people to be a part of the beta testing this Fall

Application:

Be prayerful

Be open

Be ready

The hurt in the world is a hunger for the Gospel.

TALK IT OUT:

  1. Pastor Rusty reminds us how following Jesus today requires us to think both creatively and strategically. This week’s message focuses how the Apostle Paul demonstrates “mission-mindedness.” Why is keeping our spiritual priorities so important for believers today?
  2. Before arriving in Philippi, the Apostle Paul regularly began his evangelistic outreach by meeting in the local synagogues, since this was where Jews typically met. However, in Philippi no synagogue was available, so he went where people already were, namely, the river. Most people today don’t regularly attend church. Since that is our present-day reality, brainstorm places we might go to connect with people spiritually. 
  3. According to Pastor Rusty the gospel needs to be clarified and the context in which we share the message must also be interpreted. Jot down several ways we can better understand how to share the gospel in contemporary society. 
  4. Pastor Rusty says this is the bottom line: “we don’t give up our mission of sharing our message simply because our methods are no longer effective. Instead, we adapt.” List several ways we can faithfully adapt God’s message today. 
  5. Acts 16:16-21 shows how the Gospel penetrated a culture that was full of hurting people. Answer these two questions: 1) Do we have hurting people in our midst? 2) How might a meaningful relationship with Christ change that? 
  6. Pastor Rusty says, “The hurt in the world is really a hunger for the gospel.” If you are a believer, remember the time you accepted Christ. How did the hurt you were experiencing at the time prepare you to accept the Gospel? 
  7. Make a list of several hurting groups in our society which you think might currently be open to hearing the Gospel.

LIVE IT OUT

  • Be prayerful— Ask God to help those hurting to be open to the hope of God’s love. 
  • Be open— Make a list of hurting people you are likely to meet this week and ask God to help you be alert for opportunities He gives you to share the hope of the Gospel with them. 
  • Be ready— To share the message of the hope you have found in Christ with others who need Him. Ask God to help you be ready for the opportunities He places in your path this week. Commit each day to ask God to give you the courage you need to take advantage of these opportunities for sharing the hope you have in Christ as you are given chances to share God with people who need Him. 

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