August 11 | Sermon Notes
WE are participating in a CITY-WIDE initiative! In less than 40 days, the greater Austin region will be the site of more spiritual conversations than ever before! You might have seen them on facebook or on billboards.
- PromiseLand San Marcos is a Safe Place (spiritual growth)
- We want to Explore God With You
- We want to Help you Help Others Explore God
In a recent survey of 18-29yrs olds – First word descriptors for Christians:
47% of Americans see no difference in the Bible, Koran, and Book of Mormon
52% of Adults consider that Christianity can not be considered the religion of the people
20-30% no longer associate with any religion
When Jesus came to the earth, he DID not say “you shall be known as anti-homosexual”. “you shall judge all non-believers and not live the way you preach.”
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
BUT At what point does a conversation happen?
It seems like in the last few decades the process has gone like this:
- Go up to complete strangers and convince by rational/intellectual/critical thinking
- Talk to friends and push or sale your specific religious points on them. There’s a heavy weight on your shoulders that if you don’t, it won’t happen.
- Live the Life. Be the example
- Engage in actual conversation: come to church, conversation starters
ONE ON ONE CONVERSATIONS
During “Explore God”- the Central Texas GOAL is to generate 400,000 conversations
Our task, then, is to make sure we are prepared.
Go Start Conversations!
We used to call this ‘witnessing’ in the old days. It was all about you getting up enough courage. Because you were afraid of confrontation and you were afraid you didn’t know enough.
This is a new SEASON.
In the old days the entire basis of the conversation was eternity.
Today, People are not wondering where they will go when they die. They are wondering what will happen if I wake up tomorrow. Do I have a role to play in the world? Is there a purpose in life? How can I find solutions to life now?
We are looking for SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS: I read some difficult stats earlier about what society is like. However, even those are tough,
the statistics also say that almost EVERYONE has had ‘religious’ experiences, most are looking for more themselves/significance.
TAKE SOME NOTES. SET A GOAL FOR NEXT 3 MONTHS.
We want a natural conversation between you and 1 or more others that is spiritual in nature. Religious background, needs, questions, purpose in life.
Hear their point of view, questions, dialog, give your opinions.
It is 2 way. Talk and listen!
WHAT THEY ARE NOT:
- They are not a lecture. You are not trying to pinpoint your beliefs. You are not the teacher and they are not the student.
- You are not a salesman. You are not trying to push them. You are trying to engage them.
- A debate. Your attitude SHOULD be accepting, loving, listening. Look for times when you feel combative. Your goal is to absorb. Listen. You can interject at the appropriate time. Interrupting and not listening at the appropriate time, cutting in, etc is NOT the best tactic.
They should be: Intentional God centered conversations
- We don’t have all the answers
- We are not presenting the perfect Christian answers
- Needs to be ordinary/relaxed/light
- Not forcing anything
- Listening to their story
- Ask questions
- Care about them
- Be present, be vulnerable
THE HOLY GHOST is the determining factor. You are not. You don’t convince. God shows up.
Not every conversation will wrap up with an altar call at the office. You are here to get the ball rolling.
The Bible said it like this: sow seed! We sow and water and GOD gives the increase.
Starting Sept 8th, we will be having the Explore God sermon series where we will be answering the questions: Does life have a purpose? Is there a God? Why Does God allow pain and suffering? Is the Bible Reliable? Can I know God personally?
This will be a wonderful time to invite folks to church. We are designing the services to help you AND to help you help others.
We already have a great group of discussion groups in our church.
We are in desperate need for them to multiply into more groups. 15-20 adults is not a small group. In fact, when all our kids show up and there is 35-40 that is half the avg church size in America! Our optimal size is 6-8 adults with 4-6 kids. That’s doable/comfortable/intimate. Most people can fit that into their home/apartment.
This is a GREAT opportunity for some of you already in a group to START an “Explore God” PromiseGroup that will meet for 2 months!
You will facilitate a group. That has all the questions and videos prepared. All you need to do is have a space to meet. Could be at a home, park, pool, church foyer, etc.
It can be kid friendly or no kids. It could be on any night or morning or afternoon of the week.
If your group is terrible and you don’t like it, then when the 2 months is over, you can go back to your old group. No questions asked.
PROMISEGROUP TRAINING – Sept 20, 2013 7pm (childcare provided)