Joel Charest and his family are missionaries to a part of Mozambique that is primarily Islamic. He teaches from 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 about how the love of Christ compels us to share the Gospel message with others. Joel shares a powerful testimony of following the prompting of the Holy Spirit that resulted in a church being planted in a community hostile to Christianity and miraculous healing occurring through God's power.
With the first year of our CityLove urban missionary initiative coming to a close, Pastor Scott and the CityLove missionaries each share about what they learned during this year of serving the city. Hear from Chris Waugh, Ayisha Jackson, Christina Strachoff, Asa and Heather Sohn, Jack Heibner, and Lianna Wittick as they share inspiring testimonies and unexpected lessons learned through this experience.
This was an important Sunday giving tribute to the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The theology behind King’s work was explored, as well as, an assessment of the progress we have made in America toward racial healing. Practical ideas were given on how to be agents of justice both individually and as a church. Several short messages were given (Rachel Rogers, Ayisha Jackson, Sam Jean-Baptiste) to create a symphony of diverse voices and perspectives around the theme of racial reconciliation. Pastor Scott ties it all together toward the end showing that the Gospel cannot be separated from justice work.
It has become common for Christians to disregard the clear commands of God. Not only is sin practiced but not much is thought of it. There’s no brokenness, no shame. Pastor Scott breaks down the message of Jesus to the church in Sardis (Revelation 3). Sardis had a reputation of being alive but the Lord said they were dead and their works were incomplete. It’s a reminder that man looks at the outward but God sees the heart. In a sidebar Scott lays out ten of the most commonly disregarded commands that he’s seen in this generation. The call of God to the dead Sardis Christians is to wake up, remember what God has done for them and repent. The call to get right is not presented as optional but comes with a grave warning that if they don’t make things right God will come against them in judgment. This is an unusually sobering message bearing down on anything in the life of a Christian that is dead. When the church fully aligns with God’s Word the glorious result is that the Spirit rests upon her and life is manifested.
This day featured multiple speakers. Pastor Scott kicked it off with a short message about the importance of being in proximity to the local poor. Then the service was handed off to Tony Carew from the Rescue Mission who brought a strong message from the Parable of the Talents. This was followed by three separate testimonies of people who were transformed by Jesus and now serve at the Mission in various capacities. God’s compassion for the local and global poor was displayed beautifully.
Several ladies from the local Teen Challenge share their stories of how the Gospel of Jesus transformed their lives. Tabatha Mello, one of the directors and also the leader of Ren’s ministry of prayer, preached a powerful message about counting the cost of following Jesus.
As followers of Christ we are commissioned by Jesus to bring the Gospel whenever we are planted. That may be in a far away land where people have never heard about Jesus, or it may be at work, in our school or our neighborhood. In order to be effective in this mission we must be filled with the Spirit. And in order to be filled we must make room for the Holy Spirit. Special guest Jeremy Ugumba, a campus missionary at Brown University with Inter Varsity, expounds these important ideas with passion, clarity and with inspiring stories. Jeremy lays out several practical ways we can make space for God at the end of his message.
In Philippians 3, Paul sets forth a lofty standard of how we ought prioritize Jesus above all else. He also recognizes that he has not obtained it or arrived at this standard. Undaunted by his past, he presses on toward the goal. In this sermon, we look at some of the roadblocks in growing in our life with Christ. How should we deal with our sin (as well as our success) in order to “move forward”?
This is a message taken from Acts chapters 1-2 addressing the great need of the Church to receive spiritual power in order to be effective witnesses. Jesus told his disciples not to rush out and try to reach the world until first waiting for the promise of Holy Spirit power to come upon them. The disciples already had a measure of the Spirit’s power to pray, to believe, to love one another, to joyfully worship, and so on. But Jesus revealed that there was a greater power needed that would only come to them as they waited in prayerful anticipation for it. About 120 disciples spent 10 days hungering and thirsting for God’s Spirit to be poured out. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind and with tongues of fire! This was the birth of the Church and the beginning of turning the world upside down. 3000 people were added to the Church. Pastor Scott exhorts at the end to continue pressing into prayer during this season for the power of God to fall upon the church in such an extraordinary way that the city would be transformed.
How do we live in the tension between the brokenness we see, feel, and touch, and the reality that Jesus is the King? We must identify what’s broken, identify the King, and live into His Kingdom. This sermon was given by one of our REN missionaries who serves with the Campus Ministry of Cru, which is mobilizing students and faculty to reach the world with the love of Jesus.