non-denominational churches

Good Friday Sermon – The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

By Christian Fellowship / April 20, 2019

Thanks for tuning in for the live stream of today’s sermon. Today on Good Friday, Pastor Donnie Berry is teaching on History Rewritten: The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross, and we’re so glad you can join us.

We live stream our sermons every Sunday at approximately 9:50 and 11:50 am (CST) both here on YouTube and on Facebook. To give you an overview of our church, we’re a non-denominational church located in Columbia, Missouri, and our mission is to help all people discover and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ in community. We see church as more than just an organization that meets regularly. We see it as a big family, and we’d love for you to become a part of our church family.

If you’d like to get to know us a little better, you can check out our website at ChristianFellowship.com to learn about CF’s leadership, staff, beliefs, and more; plus, that’s a great way to contact us if you’d like to get a hold of us privately. Otherwise, we’ll do our best to respond here in the comments.

Subscribe to our channel for weekly sermons, Bible devotions, announcements, and more! Once again, thanks for watching!

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Palm Sunday Sermon – Entering the Passion Week

By Christian Fellowship / April 14, 2019

Thanks for tuning in for the live stream of today’s sermon. Today on Palm Sunday, Phil Schaefer is teaching on Entering the Passion Week: or Squarely Facing Our Sin, and we’re so glad you can join us.

We live stream our sermons every Sunday at approximately 9:50 and 11:50 am (CST) both here on YouTube and on Facebook. To give you an overview of our church, we’re a non-denominational church located in Columbia, Missouri, and our mission is to help all people discover and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ in community. We see church as more than just an organization that meets regularly. We see it as a big family, and we’d love for you to become a part of our church family.

If you’d like to get to know us a little better, you can check out our website at ChristianFellowship.com to learn about CF’s leadership, staff, beliefs, and more; plus, that’s a great way to contact us if you’d like to get a hold of us privately. Otherwise, we’ll do our best to respond here in the comments.

Subscribe to our channel for weekly sermons, Bible devotions, announcements, and more! Once again, thanks for watching!

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Chosen to What? – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / April 7, 2019

Thanks for tuning in for the live stream of today’s sermon. Today, Phil Schaefer is teaching on Chosen to What, and we’re so glad you can join us.

We live stream our sermons every Sunday at approximately 9:50 and 11:50 am (CST) both here on YouTube and on Facebook. To give you an overview of our church, we’re a non-denominational church located in Columbia, Missouri, and our mission is to help all people discover and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ in community. We see church as more than just an organization that meets regularly. We see it as a big family, and we’d love for you to become a part of our church family.

If you’d like to get to know us a little better, you can check out our website at ChristianFellowship.com to learn about CF’s leadership, staff, beliefs, and more; plus, that’s a great way to contact us if you’d like to get a hold of us privately. Otherwise, we’ll do our best to respond here in the comments.

Subscribe to our channel for weekly sermons, Bible devotions, announcements, and more! Once again, thanks for watching!

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How to Find Forgiveness – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / March 24, 2019

And at the climax of the Apostle’s Creed comes this statement: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins” What an incredible statement, what an incredible thing – he forgiveness of sins. Turn in your Bibles to John 13, as we begin to prepare our hearts for the season leading up to Good Friday and Easter.

There was a time when shame didn’t exist. Can you imagine? Life without shame. I think that’s hard for many of us. Shame tells us that our sin defines us—or that the sins of others define us. It tells us we’re not worth loving, that we better find some masks to cover up our sense of inadequacy. “You’re no good.” “You’re not loved.” “You’re a failure.” “Disgusting.” Shame.

Genesis 3:10, “And the Lord God called to the man and said, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’”

Many of us carry shame—as a result of our own sins and failures, the ways we don’t measure up—in our eyes, in God’s eyes, in the eyes of others—or from sins committed against us that have left us feeling a deep shame about ourselves.

And this is why the church, through the ages, has confessed, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” We have real guilt. We have done wrong. And because of it, we carry a deep sense of shame.

Only God can cover our nakedness. Only he can deal with our guilt—and undo our shame. What we need is to be served by God.

There are two layers of meaning in John 13 – two ways to read and understand this story.

The first: to see here an incredible act of humility in Jesus washing the disciples’ feet – what an example!

You can imagine the surprise as Jesus takes this low position: their Lord, their teacher, the one they were pretty sure was the Messiah – stooping to wash their feet. What humility. What an example of the kind of king he is. And of how his servants are to be.

And Jesus knows that “his hour had come” – the focal point of his whole life – it’s all driving toward the Cross – where he becomes the Passover lamb – whose blood is shed to save his people – and his triumph over sin and death, his victorious return to the Father as the victorious king and ruler over all things – that hour is here.

What is this foot-washing really about? The foot-washing is about the cross—Jesus ultimate act of humility where he serves our deepest need. It’s about forgiveness of sins – about him bearing our guilt and our shame – and washing them away with his blood shed for us that we might be with him, reconciled to him

Adam and Eve—and all of us after them—have attempted to cover ourselves, to wash ourselves, or to ignore the dirt and filth on our feet—we’ve sought countless ways—unsuccessfully—to deal with our own sin and guilt and shame

And This is God coming to serve us. Through this washing, we become his people – we are reconciled to God, guilt removed, shame taken away, and restored to that relationship Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden

“Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” You can’t do it on your own, give up your pride, your hiding, your self-effort to be enough or do enough and let me serve you

“If that’s what it takes to know you, then wash all of me, every part, not just my feet, Lord.” “I know myself – I know my failure – it’s more than just my feet; wash all of me”

Here he adds another element to this foot-washing lesson—when you’ve bathed when you’ve been washed – you’re clean – at the core And your feet may get dusted up as you live in the world – but the deep cleansing work is already done. Peter says, “Wash all of me” – and Jesus says, “You’re already clean”

“I’ll gladly kneel to serve you once more, to reapply my grace, to remind you of my work on the cross that has already made you clean to the core.”

To hear Jesus say, “You’re already clean; my cross is more definitive, and I am glad to kneel and serve you again, so run to me, don’t hide from me. Come to me and confess your sins and let me cleanse your feet. You’re already clean at the core – already accepted – already loved – already forgiven – already right with God

“What if I sin again?” – have I ruined it? Have I messed it all up? “I will cleanse you from all your sins.”

The cleansing of the cross is a once-for-all cleansing – Our feet get messy and we run to him to be washed, but the foundational and fundamental cleansing is already settled.

We can get honest instead of hiding – because we’re loved – because the cross has already settled that

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Increasing Our Love – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / March 17, 2019

This morning we are continuing our launching of Increasing Our Influence that Phil spoke on last week. #CFDreams

We were prophesied to be a church marked by the communing presence of God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit and marked by love in action empowered by his grace and the filling and leading of the Holy Spirit. We were prophesied to be an Antioch church.

I dream of a place where those who have a strong home will, instead of paying to send their own kids to our Christian Fellowship School, pay for kids who come from broken homes to come to CFS. We will send out a tithe of our people into ministry and mission outside the walls of this church.

A story of Launching Pads.

I have learned a new word. Coddiwomple: “to travel in a purposeful manner toward a vague destination”

Dreaming is a bit vague and it’s hard to describe the end of a dream. Like most journeys there will be days it is very clear, and other days it will seem distant and obstructed from our sight. But the quality of our journey is up to us. Are we living purposely?

I want to speak to us this morning about a purposeful way – increasing our love. I Thessalonians 3:12 – “And may the Lord increase your love…”

Love creates a place of transformation and life. It creates healing that is physical and emotional. Life sharers – we know the life of God and we share it with each other and with anyone that will receive it. Love is a culture of honor – the humane over inhumane.

Jesus was the God-man, the incarnation of Christ who is, who was, who will ever be shown us real humanity It is our fear brokenness, pain, woundedness from sin that fuels our behavior which is largely inhumane. We are inhumane to ourselves, to our families, to those around us and to our worlds unless LOVE breaks in. Love makes us human again. It returns us to who we were created to become. Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him (who is love).

Saint Augustine states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

I want to challenge us as we Increase Our Influence for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; let’s do it purposefully receiving the love of God, increasing the love between each other, overwhelming in love to the world all around us.

Last April, Phil shared during on 40 Anniversary month several prophetic words over our church from the past. One has stuck with me from a woman sharing in the early days during worship. She said she had to a very short simple thing being spoken in her spirit:

1) Seek first the Kingdom of God, Seek first the Kingdom of God, seek first the Kingdom of God
2) Make love your aim, make love your aim, make love your aim

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Love and Fear:
In many ways, for me, love cannot be talked about if we do not also address fear. It would be like telling you to begin taking a bike ride with two flat tires. Fear and Love are not compatible.

I John 4:16-19 – God is love; love never brings fear. We experience God’s love for us – which was long before we loved HIM (John 4:10). We live fearlessly toward the day of judgment. As Jesus is now – crowned king of kings, lord of lords – risen son of God who has overcome death and the grave – So we are in this world.

Love – it moves us to connection with others it believes, corrects, develops, and releases.
Fear – it moves us to disconnection with others as it judges, controls, demands, and restricts.

Love trusts and operates in the truth that I can only be responsible for me. Self-control to choose to love the other. This is a powerful life of choice.

Fear mistrusts and operates in the lie that I can control other people’s lives and punish them for not meeting my expectation. This is a powerless life of being the victim

Love responds. Love does not react. A response is about being responsible for your action. Responsibility is literally the “ability to respond.”

Love sees and moves and hopes. Love see people, creation, systems and the need of love inside each one of those. Love moves toward the need and levels the ground. Love gets in the ditch with the other. Love elevates up the other

Romans 14: 13, 15, 19, 21; Romans 15:1-7 – our goal is to empower others to what is right and good for spiritual maturity.

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Increasing Our Vision – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / March 10, 2019

Habakkuk 2:1-4

Why do we have these artists painting on stage? We gave them words and said use these words to paint a picture of vision. Use these words to reflect a dream. These pictures show how a vision, in the beginning, is undeveloped – a dream.

I want to read what was given to me by a newer, younger member of our church. I think it is prophetic:
“We have done the work to prepare the property and the plans. Now we prepare as the church, which is us. We know the church isn’t a building. The church is the Body of Christ. It’s people. So now, we step into preparing ourselves for what God is preparing for us. The launching pad is underway. Now we prepare what will be launched from there. And that’s us. This is the time to dream. To dream of what God will do with us next, from this new building. Dreaming is not always logical. It’s not always straightforward. God hasn’t given us the full & complete vision of what we will do next. I could dictate a vision to you but that is very one-sided. We all need to press into hearing from God in this next phase of preparation. He won’t give just one of us the vision & plan for our future. He will share it with all of us in parts and we will come together to see it from a complete picture.

This phase of dreaming is abstract. It requires the engagement of a different part of your brain, a different depth of your heart, the fullness of your soul. What do you dream that you will do once we step into the new building? What could we become? Who can we reach? Who will find a home with us in Christ? How many?
These types of dreams also require hope. Hope in God. Dare we hope for these things? Dare we believe God could use us in these ways? This action of dreaming will stretch you. It will require you to question & challenge what you believe about God and His abilities; what place you have in His plans. This is a time to stretch our creative thinking and imagine what more we can do as a church – for our time and the generations to come. Come, let’s dream together.”

This morning we launch ‘Increasing Our Influence’

Helen Keller said: “The only thing worse than no sight is to have sight but no vision.”

– Vision is a dream and an action.
– A vision is the difference between filling bags with dirt and building a dike in order to save a town.
– A vision is the difference between having a seat to sit in on
Sunday mornings and gathering to reflect the Kingdom of God on earth.
– A vision is the difference between going to church to get a spiritual fix and believing you can shape a city.

Vision forms in the hearts of those who know we have not arrived; who know there is more in God to enter. Vision says: Get in there!

Vision comes into existence through praying & preparation. More than speaking vision into existence, you pray & plan it into existence. Our prayer is to see and act on opportunities. Our prayer is for God to give us the people who have the faith and the passion, the resources, the skills, the influence, to bring a vision into existence. It is praying that God gives us favor with financiers and city planners; architects and engineers; designers and doers.

God ordained vision appears to be impossible. That is how you know it must be God. God does not ask us to do something we can do. He asks us to do something we cannot do. He asks us to do something He wants to do.

In a God-given vision, there are always more questions than answers; there are always obstacles and barriers; there is always a lack of resources; there is always a sense that this could be an epic failure; there is always a sense that we cannot let this thing go. And there is a sense of destiny – this gut-level, unquenchable desire to push on.

It is easy to trust God when you have the resources in your hand. It is easy to trust God when you have the means to do what you want to do. That’s not truly trusting God.

God has already given us the blueprint for this church. He basically said make plans for expansion of every side. He basically said to give what you have, and I will give you more. Don’t hold back.

What is the definition of success? We would say it is when we have reached a goal. But the Biblical definition of success is being found faithful to what God has placed before you.

Vision demands risk and sacrifice; to leave what is comfortable & familiar; to embrace the uncomfortable & unfamiliar; to be battling against fear, uncertainty, unbelief, and failure.

Here is a picture of a preferable future:
‘To be a dynamic hub of Christ-centered & Spirit-led thought, action, creativity, & community devoted to embracing and transforming our world with the message of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.’

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Justice and the Gospel – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / February 24, 2019

In the mid-1990’s I attended an international conference in England that had gathered leaders from across the world. The keynote address was given by a pastor from England who was leading a church in S. Africa. What he said was revolutionary to the listeners. This is what he said: God cares for the poor. Why was that radical and revolutionary? Because churches like ours had been pursuing a pure Gospel. We wanted to uphold a converting Christian message, not a social Gospel message. Churches like ours were not interested in social issues because our perception was that liberal-minded churches were doing a social gospel and they had lost the purity of the proclamation of the true gospel. But then these international apostles and prophets said: No, it’s in the Bible. Caring for the poor is everywhere in both in the Old & New Testament. God’s heart is for the poor, the least, the overlooked.

In that period a flood of ministry to the homeless & hungry developed across the U.S. and around the world. After the fad part of handing out sandwiches and socks to street people had peaked, you were left with those who said: This is not a fad. This is a key part of living out the Gospel.

And I can’t help but wonder if we are not on the verge of another revolutionary insight into the Gospel, and that is the idea of pursuing a just society – a just world.

We just finished a 3-part series on prayer, worship, & faith as warfare. I kept bumping into one verse again & again – It was Micah 6:8. Now I think we get: ‘to love kindness’ (or mercy) And I think we get: ‘to walk humbly w/ your God’ But do we get: to do justly? To do justice?

Is it possible that doing justice is just as much a part of the Gospel as caring for the poor? Is there a bigger, bird’s-eye view of the Gospel than just our personal spiritual development and progress?
I think the answer is: Yes.

Note, we are not talking about abandoning a Gospel by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone. But we are talking about a gospel that says: We are partakers of the Divine nature. Jesus’ public inauguration was about him lifting the heavy load of the brokenhearted, the captives, the oppressed.

The biblical word just, justice, justification is a powerful & hugely significant piece of the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a movement of God toward us in spite of us turning our backs on Him. And we are to do the same toward others.

This justice is not the usual tit-for-tat of crime & punishment. It is not a righteousness by the law; it is a righteousness or justice of fairness in the purest sense of the word. It is a justice that comes from the righteousness of God – a making things right.

We are not just seeking social justice; we are seeking Biblical justice. Justice for the defenseless is God’s own work – His justice.

It is about the care given by the community to its weakest members & even to those who are not its members in any way. We are to mirror what the Kingdom of God would act like.

Compassion means to suffer with. And the biblical picture of justice is more than individual justice; it is a societal justice; a global justice; a cosmic justice – (Peter) we look for his promise of a new heaven & a new earth wherein righteousness dwells.

Exodus 23:1-9

‘The Dangerous Act of Worship – Living God’s call to justice’

This kind of worship is an act of God’s hope in the world. It is a seeding & cultivating of hope wherever hope is lacking.

When you get a global picture of this it can be so overwhelming. But we must know the end game of God’s kingdom is the entire & ultimate transformation of everyone & everything. The Kingdom of God is a cosmic overhaul. No one is to be overlooked. And God has enlisted us into that end – this is how we reflect the glory of God.

The Kingdom of God is bigger than politics. So we need this justice acted out in every political party. We need Christians in every political party.

Here are the challenges I face as I give consideration to this:
1. To care vs. I don’t care
2. To act vs. I don’t know what to do
3. To gain awareness vs. living in a cocoon of isolation
4. To grow in compassion vs. to grow in a hardening of heart
5. To sacrifice vs. to seek my comfort

May God’s word & His Spirit guide our hearts in the justice of God

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Spiritual Warfare and Prayer – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / February 17, 2019

I would like to start off with a lesson on the proper way to say the word ‘W A R.’

Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

I want to tell you several personal stories of spiritual warfare.

The first story took place when I was 22 and ended when I was almost 25. The first time I heard that my dad had cancer I sobbed and sobbed until there were no more tears left in me to cry. I was cleaning house and watching the PTL Club when all of a sudden Jim Baker stopped what he was saying and said, “There is someone watching this program right now whose father was recently diagnosed with lung cancer…God wants to heal your father. Call out to God right now asking him to heal your father. I threw my dust mop down and started yelling, “Oh Lord Jesus, heal my father, heal my father.” I continued to pray all week. I was undone with gratitude towards God when He healed him. My heart was grieved that my dad couldn’t see God in it. A couple of years later he developed cancer again. This time his cancer, although it took from him his life on earth, it also was a tool God used to bring him into a knowledge of God and into eternal life. My father’s response, even though he had had a stroke that left him with only garbled speech, was to say, “Jesus really does love me!”

The prayer as warfare piece that we can take from this is to keep believing God even when you don’t know the outcome.

The second story is of The Sabbatical
A dozen or more years ago, we as a church, went through a very dark season. It seemed to be a season when the enemy was out to destroy us…it was a season when a couple hundred people left this church—this wonderful church—that Jesus loves so dearly. At that time, it seemed so much like we were fighting flesh and blood, but truly we were fighting demons in the dark places. I was concerned about Phil’s emotional state (which affected my emotional state) when he would say things about not wanting to live anymore. Phil went in to see Dr. Tom Breidenstein, a psychiatrist, who also happens to be our son’s, Matt, father-in-law, who told Phil that he needed to take a sabbatical, and it needed to start immediately. Slowly, God started putting us back together. Phil said that God spoke to him that He didn’t need Phil to run the church! However, God did want to use him to lead the church. For me, it was learning how to truly forgive those who hurt us. Jesus said to me, “I died for your bitterness. Now will you give it to me?” It still took a few months to continue processing this, but it was a moment that began a transformation in my soul.

Spiritual Warfare makes a new person out of us. All we could do was cling to Him. Cry out to Him. Rest in Him.

Story 3: Granny’s House
I was having a moment, as a mother grieving for her son who is not saved. God gave me the idea to do a cooking class for the teenage girls at Granny’s House.” Pam was so very gracious to agree to the idea so quickly! From cooking class, we morphed into a Friday night Bible study with the girls. The year I went to their summer camp, I roomed with some of the other counselors who were all black…about 20 of us. It brought me to a new level of compassion for those who are in a minority culture. God had begun to give me his heart for change and continues to give me ideas to help bring awareness and unity. This story began with me crying out for the salvation of my son and for me to be used in another child’s life to help dispel darkness.

The Prayer as warfare piece in this story is, where God moves you into action – where you never would have expected – God will enlarge your heart to love in a deeper way. Hebrews 11 gives us examples of faith revealed. So I used my own life to show examples of faith revealed. Do this as an exercise for yourself. It will encourage your faith and show you where God has been faithful to you.

The Faithfulness of God …
Knowing that in all of my failings, God is here, and He is the one who puts faith in me. By faith I remind myself even when I am faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) Philippians 3:10-14

These stories of prayer as warfare reveal that: Prayer is coming into awareness that God is in every scene in life.

Faith as warfare, worship as warfare, prayer as warfare is about discovering the majesty, supremacy, and sovereignty of God in Jesus Christ. It is about entering a strength – a power – beyond this world.

Do not underestimate the power of your prayers.

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How to Move Forward – A Momentous Move – Part III – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / October 21, 2018

How to move forward as a church. Continuing the sermon series, A Momentous Move, from last week, Pastor Michael Acock teaches this morning on what it looks like for our church to move forward, to grow.

Pastor Mike starts out today by revisiting the 7 progressions he spoke about last week.

There are 7 steps or progressions in moving forward:
1. A deep internal sense that in this present moment the past will not and cannot define the future life.
2. A dynamic vision of what the future could be.
3. A single act of obedience to yes to what could be.
4. A season of preparation in light of where you are and what you see as the future.
5. An active step toward the future.
6. A de-romanticized expectation of the journey.
7. A relentless seizing of the opportunity to create a future that does not currently exist.

What does this look like? Pastor Mike explains these points in more detail. In regard to the first progression Pastor Mike reminds us to honor the past, but stay loyal to the future. Then when talking about the second progression, Mike reminds us that who we are in God is not determined by what we do, but rather who we are in God determines what we do. Next, we look at what it means to say yes as an act of obedience and how saying yes acts as a guide in our journey. The next progression is a season preparation which is where it becomes the real thing, this is where we are right now in our church. Mike presents us with the analogy of preparing kids to move out and preparing to run a marathon. Then Mike goes into depth explaining the de-romanticized expectation of the journey. We are reminded that this journey will not be easy. We will have trouble, we will wrestle, we will have temptation, we will have trials, and we will suffer. These challenges are going to make us stronger when we reach the end of this journey. Then we will be ready for the seventh progression where we seize the next opportunity.

Pastor Mike ends with the explanation of Matthew 9: 14-17. We need God to give us new wine and new wineskins. If we try to do something new with what we have now, it won’t work, but we need God to give us new wineskins to expand where God would have us go.

In closing, Mike exhorts us to fall in love with the mission God has given us and not the method. Systems and processes will change, but who God is will never change. Our fuel is God himself, not the vision.

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How to Move Forward – A Momentous Move – Part II – Full Sermon

By Christian Fellowship / October 14, 2018

How do we move forward as a church? Continuing the sermon series, A Momentous Move, from last week, Pastor Michael Acock teaches this morning on what it looks like for our church to move forward, to grow.

Pastor Mike starts the sermon with some history about Christian Fellowship, and then he moves to encourage us and inspire us in our building project. But first, it’s important that we know who we are.

We are not called to do church but to be the church. We are called out the world and given a new identity and then we follow Christ and go back in the world to change it. Who we are in God is not determined by what we do! Who we are in God determines what we do. We must know who God has called us to be. We will never step into the life God has for us trying to live out someone else’s calling. As Jesus told Peter in John 21:20, we are to follow him. What is it to us what Jesus has called others to do.

There are 7 steps or progressions in moving forward:
1. A deep internal sense that in this present moment the past will not and cannot define the future life.
2. A dynamic vision of what the future could be.
3. A single act of obedience to yes to what could be.
4. A season of preparation in light of where you are and what you see as the future.
5. An active step toward the future.
6. A de-romanticized expectation of the journey.
7. A relentless seizing of the opportunity to create a future that does not currently exist.

What does this look like? Pastor Mike explains some of these points in more detail, and he ends with the explanation of Matthew 9: 14-17. We need God to give us new wine and new wineskins. If we try to do something new with what we have now, it won’t work, but we need God to give us new wineskins to expand where God would have us go.

In closing, Mike exhorts us to fall in love with the mission God has given us and not the method. Systems and processes will change, but who God is will never change. Our fuel is God himself, not the vision.

Subscribe to watch our live streamed sermons, events and even our versions of talk shows. We live to stream our sermons at around 9:50 am and 11:50 am every Sunday, and we hope you can join us here if not in person.

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