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At Christ Fellowship, our mission is clear: we are people helping people find and follow Christ. This is a great life: to follow Christ and help other people find and follow Christ. If you want to follow Christ and help others find and follow Christ, how do you do it?
If you are new, we are in the last week of a four-week series on practices of a Christ follower. At Christ Fellowship we see four simple practices that enable you to follow Christ well. You can think of these as life rhythms. We are not talking about church programs, but fundamental practices of Christ-followers. We have programs and opportunities to help you live out the practices.
To keep it simple, we have made a napkin drawing. Your goal is be able to draw the X with the four practices. Today is test day. Take your program and draw with the icons of the four practices. (MUSIC)
The X stands for Christ and for multiplication in his power. In each quadrant draw a cross with a vertical and horizontal line. The top quadrant cross has a what? A circle at the top. This practice is to . . . . engage God individually. On a daily basis every believer should engage God in the Bible and prayer. We have a study guide for you every week that ties to the upcoming sermon. Exodus study guides are available today. The bottom quadrant has a what? A triangle at the bottom. This practice is to . . . worship in a gathering on a weekly basis. All believers should gather weekly to worship God with other believers. The right quadrant adds a what? A second cross with arms connected. This practice is to . . . connect in a group. Every believer should be connected with others in a group where we can care for each other, encourage each other to grow in Christ, and together make a difference for Christ. We have a connection guide with all the groups you could join this fall, available at the kiosks or from an usher. The left quadrant cross has what? Arrows pointing out from each line. This fourth practice is to . . . impact others. Every believer should love another person, bless them, and invest in them for Christ. In order to follow Christ well, we should each instill four practices in our lives: engage God individually, worship in a gathering, connect in a group, and impact others. Last week we talked about the practice of engaging God individually. Today we are talking about impacting others. Impacting helps another person, but it also helps us grow. If you are not impacting another person’s life, you are not fully following Christ.
Why is it so vital to impact others? God the Father commands us to love others. It is the second great commandment. Jesus modeled serving others. The Bible days,
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV84).
We are to be Jesus’ hands and feet, showing and sharing his love. The Spirit of God empowers us to serve with abilities he gives us. We are responsible to be good stewards of the abilities God has entrusted to us to serve others.
Jesus tells us that each one of us matters. We each have a part to play. You are needed. Church is not a spectator sport. Every Christ-follower is on the field of play. Can you imagine, if in the middle of a soccer game, one player refused to play, grabbed a chair and just sat down on the edge of the field? Every Christ-follower should have a regular life rhythm of impacting others. Why? Because the Father commands it, Jesus models it, and the Spirit empowers it.
So, how can we make an impact on others for Christ? How can we help others find and follow Christ? Let me get very practical. Every believer can impact others by seizing opportunities in three spheres. During the message, be praying to God about which sphere you should give special attention this week. Also ask God to bring to your mind one person, one name, one face. Who will you impact for Jesus this week? What one concrete action step will you take this week to help that person find and follow Jesus?
The first sphere in which each of us can impact others for Jesus is in daily life. We are to live missionally, to reproduce regularly.
In daily life – missional living, reproducing regularly
Each of us should be engaged in missional living. What is missional living? It is living to represent Jesus, living on purpose. Realize that you are already deployed into a mission field. You are a sent one. Jesus said,
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21.
The word for “sent” is related to the word “missionary.” Every Christ follower is a missionary right where you live. Christ followers reproduce regularly. We reproduce disciples of Jesus. We are called to multiply. So we impact others by living missionally in our daily lives. Let’s keep it simple by focusing on two areas: home and work. The home is a primary place of mission.
• Home – Deuteronomy 6; Ephesians 6
The Bible says parents are the ones primarily responsible for their children’s spiritual development. How are you helping your son find and follow Christ? We hope to lead our kids to faith in Jesus Christ and then to baptize them. Of course to do that we must first find and follow Christ ourselves. Have you found Christ? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ yourself? If not, that is your first step. Trust in Jesus Christ for your own salvation. If you are not sure what to do, talk with me after the service or one of the online hosts or write your questions on your Care Card and we will contact you.
Are you seeking to follow Christ? Perhaps today you need to recommit to Jesus. You cannot help your children follow Jesus if you are not following him. You cannot help anyone else follow Jesus if you are not following Jesus. So what are you going to do?
The Bible tells parents how we can impact our children in two key biblical texts, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. Think of it as D6 and E6 parenting: Deuteronomy chapter six and Ephesians chapter six. If you are a parent, grandparent or have influence on any children, read those two chapters.
Israelite dads and moms were to teach their children about God in the ordinary course of life. Notice how Deuteronomy six describes it:
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6–9.
How are you talking about Christ with your kids? Teaching them the Bible? Remember Deuteronomy six with the acronym MTV: model God’s truth, talk about it and visualize it. MTV. We are to have God’s commands on your own hearts. In other words, we model following Jesus. Talk about God’s truth when you sit at home, when you walk down the road, or drive in the car. What are you talking about, what music are you listening to? What videos are you watching? When you lie down, what stories do you read? When you get up, what do you do around the breakfast table? Then visualize truth: tie it on your hands, write it on your doors. What art do you have in your house, what images are on your screens? How are you visualizing the truth? MTV: model it, tell it and visualize it.
In Ephesians chapter six, Paul told dads:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.
Dads, you are to impact your children for Christ. This is a job not just for Mom. God called you out by name. “Fathers” pay attention. What are you doing to bring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord? How are you helping them find and follow Jesus? If all the Christ Fellowship families were impacting their kids for Christ, we could change the world.
If your kids are in middle school or older, I encourage you to do the Christ Fellowship Study Guide with them. Discuss the Bible texts in advance of Sunday to prepare them to better hear the truth. Then talk about it after the service. Students, I challenge you to take the initiative with your parents. Ask them to do the study guide with you. Don’t wait for Mom or Dad.
No matter what their age, is your child serving? Have you served with them? How could your kids spread the word about Christ Fellowship? Have you bought them a tee-shirt or a bumper sticker? Empower your kids to spread the word about Jesus by sharing about Christ Fellowship.
Next weekend is Labor Day. Many people are looking for something to do. Let me suggest missional grilling. Have a party for your neighbors or people at work or your kid’s friends. Grill out. Involve your kids. Seize the opportunity to build relationships and spread the word. See your program for practical tips.
The second area of our daily lives where we can live missionally is the workplace.
• Workplace –already deployed
All of us are workers in one way or another. What does what you do on Monday morning have to do with Jesus? Everything. Work is fundamentally good. It is a gift from God given to us before humanity’s fall into sin. Work is God-like. God works. He creates things. Jesus worked. He spent most of his adult life as a nonreligious worker with his hands. Of 52 parables Jesus told, 45 had a workplace context. More than 75% of the characters in the Bible are working people who did ministry as part of their work. All honorable work is holy, not just church work.
The second primary mission field is your workplace. You spend more hours there every week than nearly anywhere else. God has already deployed you. You have amazing opportunities to make an impact. You can represent Jesus in places where I have no influence, nor does any pastor. The Bible says,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24.
For whom are you ultimately working? Monday morning you wake up to work for the Lord. On this earth you may receive human job reviews, but one day in heaven we will face the one job review that really matters. How well did you install those storm windows? Did you manage that project in a way that brought the best results on the tightest budget? Christians ought to be the best workers because we are working for the best boss. Companies ought to be standing in line to hire people from Christ Fellowship because of your reputation as phenomenal employees. And as managers, you ought to be so good that people stand in line to work on your team.
How do we impact others for Christ in the workplace? By demonstrating quality work, by showing godly character and by standing up for Christ. Be public about your loyalty to Jesus. Show moral character in your actions. Do excellent work. You can spread the word about Christ Fellowship at work. People who do not live locally can participate on Christ Fellowship Online. If the people of Christ Fellowship represent Jesus in all our workplaces, we could change the world.
We have a tool to help you figure out how to make an impact at work. Each week we send out an email from a national ministry that we have partnered with, Maestro WorkLife Coaching. The email gives practical biblical advice for a Christian in the workplace. Over 2,000 people at Christ Fellowship are blessed by it. If you want the workplace email, write “workplace email” on your Care Card. It’s like having your own spiritual work coach. Try it for a few weeks; if it is not helpful to you simply click unsubscribe. The last thing any of us needs is more junk email. However, what most of us really need is practical help to connect our work life with Jesus. That’s what this does. On the Care Card write “workplace email.”
Daily life is your fundamental context for making an impact on others: in your home and in your work. The next sphere is your church where each believer should be serving selflessly.
In the church – serving selflessly
Biblically the church is not an event we attend, but a family in which we participate. The church is not somewhere we go. It is something that we are. You are the Church. The Bible says,
10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10.
The point is that God’s Spirit is working in each one of us uniquely, not for our good, but for the good of others. God entrusts us with gifts and holds us responsible for the way we use his gifts. God is the source, supply, and supreme end of our service. We serve with God’s gifts using God’s words and God’s power for God’s glory. Through and through our service is God-centered.
In a healthy family, each person does their part. Everyone helps. Christ followers serve selflessly. Every person serves, not just a special class of ordained clergy or super-spiritual people. At Christ Fellowship every member should be serving through Christ Fellowship in one way or another.
Our mission is to be people helping people find and follow Christ. Who are the people who help? You are. Each one of us. Paul says how the church holds together and grows in Ephesians four sixteen,
16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16 (NIV84).
Each part is to do its work. There are thousands of diverse ways to serve in accord with the beautiful diversity of God’s grace gifts. So how are you serving through Christ Fellowship? Get your Care Card ready with a pen to write with.
Some of you are serving tons. Many of you stepped up to serve recently at our volunteer expo. Some have gotten involved and some are in process of getting plugged in. Thank you for your faithful, selfless service to Jesus at Christ Fellowship. If Christ Fellowship is your church, then you should be serving through the church in some way or another. This is your house, your family! I am going to give you a number of ways you could serve in and through the church. As you hear them, if one hits you, write it down and someone will contact you.
• Make worship gatherings happen
You could help make worship gatherings happen. That could look like serving with the children in Promiseland. We have over 400 children every week who need loving care. There is a place for you and we need you. If that hits you, write it down. You could usher. You could be a greeter on our guest services team. You could sing, play an instrument or help with tech. You could run a camera. You could serve as a Spanish translator. You could serve in our Internet campus, Christ Fellowship Online, as a host. You could help with Organic churches, or with services at Pate or the jail. In addition to serving to make worship gatherings happen, you can make groups happen.
• Make groups happen
If you are qualified, you could lead a group. In your group you can serve. You could collect prayer requests or host the group in your home or coordinate the food or service projects.
Every person who considers Christ Fellowship your church home should be serving in one way or another. On the church web site click on the “Make a Difference” tab and you can find more ways to serve with more detail. Imagine if 100% of us were serving through Christ Fellowship, we could change the world.
The world is our third sphere. Not only can you impact others in your daily life by living missionally and by serving selflessly in the church, but you can also impact others by going into the world, giving generously of your time and finances.
In the world – going, giving generously
Just minutes before he ascended back to his throne in heaven, Jesus said,
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8.
We are to show and share Jesus right where we live, in our Jerusalem, in nearby places, our Judea and Samaria, and in far away places, the ends of the earth. In what has been called the Great Commission, in Matthew Jesus said,
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, Matthew 28:19 (NIV84).
In Matthew and in Acts, Jesus was not talking to pastors or missionaries, but ordinary followers. We are to impact the nations, even to the ends of the earth. How can you do that? At Christ Fellowship we think about this in two buckets: community and global. We have opportunities for you in both.
• Community impact
We do many things to bless our community funded by M2X, our movement to multiply. In our community we have adopted Webb Elementary, a school with a very high number of lower income families. You can make an impact by mentoring a student or by helping the teachers.
Webb focus Karen
If you are interested in serving with Webb, write Webb on your Care Card or visit the kiosk after the service.
Each year we do Clothe a Child. You can register today to serve that day. It is an amazing experience. Right around the corner we will do Scare Away Hunger on Halloween and then our huge community outreach for the fall is the Garage Giveaway. If want to help make those events happen, use the Care Card to let us know. It is easy to get involved and make a difference.
Entire groups can get involved. We also have on-going community outreaches such as Angel food, a national program offering high quality food at a discounted price. Angel food has recently upgraded their food. This is for everyone, not just low-income. You can order on the web. The food is delivered and given out monthly early on Saturday morning. We also have full-time missionaries serving on the East side of McKinney, Jimmie and Meredith King, whose ministry is called N2N, Neighbor to Neighbor. They have ways you can serve each week.
Finally, I am excited to share that we are just now beginning to deploy a “Meet the Need” software that matches up real time needs with people who want to help. If you or your family wants to help someone in our church or in our community, soon you will be able to see who you could serve with the love of Christ. If you live outside this community, look for ways to impact your immediate community. In addition to our community, our Judea so to speak, we want to reach out to the world.
• Global missions
God calls us to make an impact beyond our community to the ends of the earth, so Christ Fellowship has an active global mission. 10% of M2X giving goes to multiply churches around the world. We have started seven churches in Uganda and built three water wells bringing life-giving fresh water right near the churches.
You can make an impact by going on a trip, by praying, and by financially supporting those who go. There are orientation meetings soon for the upcoming trips. In November, Jaime Gonzalez is leading a trip to Rio Grande in Texas, so you do not need a passport. Over Spring Break we have a whole family mission trip to Guatemala. You can bring children four years old and up. Use your Care Card to tell us of your interest or just come to the meeting.
How can you impact the world without going on a mission trip? You can pray for missionaries and specific cities. You can reach out to people right around you who are from other countries. You can befriend an international student. What if each of us made an impact in our community and in other countries, we could change the world.
Every believer can impact others by seizing opportunities in three spheres: in daily life, in the church, and in the world. All of us should seize opportunities in all three spheres. Each of us should impact others by living missionally in our daily lives, in our homes, and workplaces. Every member of Christ Fellowship should impact others by serving selflessly through the church in some way. Each of us should be making an impact by going into our community or beyond and giving generously of our time and finances.
At the start of the message I asked you to be praying to God about which sphere you should give special attention this week. Also to ask God to bring to your mind one person, one name, one face. You have heard many opportunities. Now slow down and choose something. Let me ask you: what sphere has God brought to your mind to give special attention this week: home, workplace, church, the community or the world? Who will you impact for Jesus this week? What one concrete action step will you take this week to help that person find and follow Jesus?
I shared that my heart is for each of us to follow Jesus Christ more fully. Our mission at Christ Fellowship is be people helping people find and follow Christ. You can follow Christ and help others find and follow Christ by carrying out four simple practices. What are the four simple practices? Engage God individually; worship in a gathering; connect in a group and impact others. If you will build these rhythms into your life, you will follow Christ more and more fully. You will grow in Christ and you will impact others for Christ. What if most of us instilled these four practices in our lives? What if we really lived this way? We could change the world. Let’s do it. It starts here. It starts with you. It starts today.