A church that is outward focused is spiritually generous, and that is something to get excited about.
Dave O'Vell brought that message on Sunday, Sept. 8, at Green Bay Community Church. Here are some of Dave's key points:
*A church should not just be about what happens inside the four walls. It should be about looking outward to how we can reach people, how we can take the amazing gift God has given us — salvation, joy, peace, love, hope — and share it with people outside the church who desperately need it.
*There’s nothing more exciting than when you are part of an outward focused church because people in that setting realize the value of the free gift of salvation we have been offered. And they want to share it. It’s recognizing that there are people hurting and in need, and figuring out a way to get the amazing gospel message to them.
*A holy huddle is when Christ followers have spiritual conversations among themselves. But it must go beyond that to incorporate a hurting world where people are lost an in need of Christ’s love. There is a place for discipleship and growth, but it gets really exciting when we reach the lost and connect them to the amazing story of Jesus.
*Look at the early church in Acts 2 when Jesus had just been crucified and the disciples were hiding in the upper room feeling scared, confused and hopeless. At that point they were very inward focused. But when Jesus appeared to them, there was wonder, awe and excitement because all that Jesus had said was true. So they went out and shared this exciting message and thousands were added to their number.
*The example of the disciples and early church members was simple. They weren’t inward focused, but rather were compelled to go and do whatever they could to share the exciting news of Christ’s transformational power in the lives of people.
*We are called to be salt and light, not a smoldering ember that stays in the fire pit. We should take the light of Christ into the world to shine in the darkness.
*An inward focused church is so caught up in the need to take care of itself that it in essence is being spiritually selfish. Why would you take something amazing like the love of Christ and hoard it? Instead, make a difference and impact people in the name of Jesus.
*Jesus gave the illustration of the lost sheep in Luke 15, in which the shepherd wasn’t satisfied with having 99 out of his 100 sheep in the fold. He went out and found the lost sheep, cared for it and carried it home and celebrated. Like Jesus, our hearts need to break for the one lost sheep.
*When someone finds Christ, there is rejoicing in heaven. Don’t you want to be part of something that makes heaven throw a party?
*There are a lot of things on this earth that we rejoice over, such as a sports victory, or significant events that occur in our lives. But those things will eventually pass away. There is cause for true and lasting excitement when a life is changed for eternity.
*It’s not about numbers, it’s about people, it’s about eternity. Who are the people God has placed in your life that you can share his salvation, love and peace with?