I recently had the opportunity to speak at Thrive and Nineteen North, the youth and young adult ministries at Victory Family Church. I spoke on the importance of staying connected with a community of believers. Specifically, I challenge everyone to find a community where they can belong, stay connected, and to develop to their maximum potential. I hope this message adds value to your life! Enjoy!
Step 1: Belong
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[c] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. -Matthew 5:43-48 13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him. 15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees[b] saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” 17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” -Matthew 2:13-17
“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” -St. Francis
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” -St. Francis
What if this was a place that:
- People can come as they are
- People are accepted where they are
- People could belong before they believe
Connect and Stay Connected
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper[i]), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-4
Intentional about connecting with the word of God
- Be here every week
- “Day to day intensity, week to week consistency, builds champions!”
- Make this the place to be!
Small Groups – You Need this Consistently!
Shared Everything They Had
If you don’t stay connected, You will burn out!
In the beginning, your walk with God is all about you, but in the end, Your Walk with God should be all about others!
2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. -Philippians 2:1-3
6 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer[a] is overcome by some sin, you who are godly[b] should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. -Galatians 6:1-3
The Ultimate Development is the Development of God’s Kingdom
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. –James 5:19
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