2019 Theme - "Making a Difference"
"These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also."
– Acts 17:6
We are excited to announce our new church theme for 2019. This year’s theme is titled, Making a Difference. We will look at how we can make a difference in our relationship with God, our relationship with the church, and our relationship with the world. Throughout the year we’re going to have sermons and activities that challenge us, and help us to make a positive, long-lasting impact on those around us.
We’d love for you to join us in this journey!
Jesus Made a Difference
Jesus came to a world of brokenness. It was a world of oppressive rulers who thought nothing of murdering thousands of babies to secure their own throne. It was a world of greed and dishonesty where tax collectors abused their authority to rob helpless victims. It was a world of spiritual arrogance where the religious leaders masquerade as saints while living a life of hypocrisy. It was a world of hard hearts and blind eyes.
That’s the world Jesus came to and that’s the world he changed forever.
Jesus didn’t lead any great political movements. He didn’t fund any elaborate social reforms. Instead, he changed hearts. He simply shined a light into the darkness and that light opened eyes, pricked hearts, and transformed men and women from the inside out.
Jesus made a lasting difference.
The Early Church Made a Difference
In Acts 2, Peter stood up and announced a message that shook the cosmos. “God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
With those words, light cut through the darkness and hearts were pricked. “Save yourselves from this crooked generation,” Peter said and 3,000 people were soon baptized and began a new life.
And that was just the beginning. As each soul believed and obeyed the saving message of Christ, they began to shine to others. The church continued to increase and multiply. Soon Christians began traveling to other places to share the good news with more people. As Peter put it, “We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
All over the Roman empire, the contagious message changed hearts and transformed lives. The disciples proclaimed a message that was so counter-cultural that many viciously and violently opposed it, but others received it with enthusiastic eagerness.
The disciples showed love to a world of hate. They provided hope to a world that seemed hopeless. And they showed meaning to a world that lacked purpose.
When Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica and began proclaiming Jesus, an angry mob confronted them with these famous words, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”
The early church made a difference.
How About Us?
The question for each of us is are we going to make that same kind of difference? Each of us find our lives surrounded by sin and its horrific effects. We see people selfishly seeking their own interests. We see people failing to acknowledge the loving God who created them. And we see the pain and sorrow of lives lived in rebellion against God’s authority. Are we content to let the brokenness continue or are we ready to turn the world upside down for Christ?
This year we are going to learn how each of us can make a lasting difference.
How Will We Make a Difference?
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:1
This famous verse will guide our study throughout the year.
January – April
A Faith that Dares: Making a Difference in Our Relationship to God
Before we can transform the lives of others, we ourselves must be transformed. We will begin the year by building a strong relationship with God. We will discuss topics such as prayer, study, and most of all daring faith.
May – August
A Hope that Shares: Making a Difference in Our Relationship to the Church
As Christians, we all share a common hope. That bond should draw us close to each other and motivate us to faithful service together. In this second section we will look at how we can make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
September – December
A Love that Cares: Making a Difference in Our Relationship to the World
“For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son.” How much do we love those in the world? What lengths are going to in order to save them? In this final part of the theme, we will each work on making an eternal difference in the lives of others as we bring people to Christ.