Today, we’re starting a new series called Movement. In this series, we’re going to be looking in the book of Acts and discovering what it means to be the Church. We’re going to look at who we are. Why we do what we do. We’re going to look at our overarching mission of what oneChurch.tv is all about.
When we launched oneChurch.tv 5 years ago, we knew one thing—Clarksville didn’t need another church. There are Baptist churches. Presbyterian churches. Catholic churches. Assembly of God churches. Nazerene churches. Methodist churches. Tons of church buildings. We don’t need to launch another church where only churched people go.
Our vision? What we wanted to do is to create a church where the unchurched and dechurched love to attend.
Why would we create a church for people who don’t go to church? Because 88% of people in Clarksville don’t go to church. Why is that? You talk to the average person here in Clarksville, and you will find that they believe in God. They even know some facts about Jesus. But the average person—88% of the people here in this community do not attend church on Sundays. Why is that?
Why don’t they go to church? Here’s the reason why I think most people don’t go to church. We all work in communities or cities where, for the most part, people think that Church is for Churched People. They do. It’s true. In this community, people think that church is for churched people. The reason why unchurched people don’t go to church is because they believe church is for churched people. “Why would I go to church? Church is for churched people!’ It drives me crazy that people want to connect with God, but because they have had such a bad experience in church, they just don’t want to go to church. I believe that church should be the magnet that draws people to God—not an impediment. We ought to be irresistible.
Big Idea: Becoming a ‘we’ doesn’t make this about ‘me.’
Check out the sermon manuscript or watch online to see the whole message.
From the Bible:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea , in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NLT)
In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have not gone unnoticed by God! Now send some men down to Joppa to find a man named Simon Peter. And after the angel left, Cornelius sent two of his servants off to Joppa.
The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the city, Peter went up to the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. But while lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “Never, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never in all my life eaten anything forbidden by our Jewish laws.” The voice spoke again, “If God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was pulled up again to heaven. Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.”
Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God doesn’t show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to witness that Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. Acts 10:42