This past weekend at Eastbrook, Pastor Dan Ryan concluded our two-week MissionsFest. The visual theme for the MissionsFest is doorways that lead to faith. Dan spoke from Luke 10:1-9 where Jesus sends out the 72 on mission.
You can find Dan’s message outline and video below. You can also access more information about MissionsFest 2022 here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
Three Key words:
Peace (verse 5)
Stay (verse 7)
Heal (verse 9)
Take time to read the whole book of Acts, and take time reflecting on each story of a person coming to faith, of a church planted, and what that may mean for how you reach out.
Read the Missions Serve Guide to see how Eastbrook is Reaching Out and where you can get involved. If you’re already involved, still take time to read it to be encouraged & learn how you can pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are Reaching Out in these ministries!
All Nations International has wonderful resources to help equip you in areas such as storytelling, and other creative ways to share your faith simply and clearly. Visit their website to see what materials and/or online trainings might be helpful to you.
This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began our two-week MissionsFest with guest speaker Dr. Mary Ho, International Executive Leader of All Nations. The visual theme for the MissionsFest is doorways. Dr. Ho addressed how God both literally opens the door of faith to the least reached and is Himself the very Door to faith! Jesus opened the “door of faith” (Acts 14.27) for the first sending church in history, Antioch Church, which commissioned Paul and Barnabus, the first cross-cultural missionaries in New Testament history! Let us learn from Antioch Church about being a dynamic sending church that sends out workers as “sheep among wolves” (Luke 10:1-3).
You can find her message outline and video below. You can also access more information about MissionsFest 2022 here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
In the book of Acts we read about how the Holy Spirit set the early believers ablaze for the work of God. We encounter Peter, who courageously steps into the public square to preach the good news of life in Jesus Christ, and thousands come to believe Jesus is the Messiah. We see powerful people like Stephen, who speaks of Christ in the face of persecution, even though it ends up costing him his life. We hear about Philip, who shares across cultural and religious barriers to bring the Samaritans to Jesus. We even see an enemy of Christ and persecutor of the early Christians, Saul of Tarsus, become a passionate evangelist and bold church planter that we know as the Apostle Paul.
The book of Acts is an active book. The church is not stagnant, but moving. The church is engaged and alive, moving forward on mission by the power of the Holy Spirit. What does it look like when individual believers and church communities are activated by God for His work? Well, at the very least we can say that it is not easy to ignore a church that is activated.
But it’s important to give a little more attention to something we could miss here. While Acts is an active book, we also see two things in this story of the early Christians that clarify for us what does not fit with an activated church.
First, an activated church that truly follows Jesus cannot be apathetic. There are times when see find ourselves confronted with the many needs, challenges, and serious situations within the world, that we can become overwhelmed by it all. In the mass of it all, we sometimes shut down and turn away from the needs of the world. We may, instead, focus on our own lives and challenges without giving any thought to the world God loves. Essentially, we become apathetic. But activated churches and Christians are not apathetic. They are engaged with the needs of the world because God cares about people and the needs of the world. While no one church or Christian can address all the needs and challenges of the world, our faith will not give us permission to turn away. An activated church remains open-hearted to the world because God is an open-hearted and generous being.
Second, even though Acts shows us that an activated church is not apathetic but engaged, it also shows us that an activated church is not necessarily a busy church. There is a significant difference between being busy and being active. The early church was activated by the Holy Spirit to join in with God’s mission in a focused way. However, the early church was not meaninglessly busy, doing whatever came their way at any time. In fact, there were key moments where the early believers chose not to do some things or pursue some aspects of potential mission because of the Holy Spirit’s leading. Some of us misunderstand the missionary aspect of Christianity as a command to become busy for the kingdom. But an activated church replaces busyness with focused obedience. Some of us need to remember that God is not very interested in un-commanded work. Yes, God wants us to join in with His kingdom mission, but He does not want us to aimlessly rush around with whatever need or challenge captures our attention in the moment. In fact, what captures our attention may lead us away from the mission God has for us. As a mentor once shared with me: we may need to consider whether we are more in love with the work of the Lord than we are in love with the Lord of the work.
An activated church is not boringly apathetic to the world’s need nor frenziedly busy. An activated church is alive in the Holy Spirit, open-hearted to the world, and walking in obedience to the Living God.
This past weekend at Eastbrook we continued our pause on our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, in order to continue our annual MissionsFest. Last week Dr. Ed Stetzer was with us for a message entitled, “The Commissions of Jesus for a Post-COVID Church.” This week my colleague, Pastor Dan Ryan, spoke about where Eastbrook is headed with local and international mission through a message entitled “Seeking Transformation through Jesus.”
You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
Revisiting Dr. Stetzer’s sermon: a. We are Sent b. To All Kinds of People c. With a Message d. Empowered by the Holy Spirit
Busyness vs Transformation a. Losing sight of the end goal b. What is the end goal?
Transformation in Jesus a. Luke 4:16-21
Integrated Transformation a. Our mission is to Proclaim & Embody b. It is a mission focused on the Spiritual and the Physical c. Mission lives in the tension of these two d. Jesus was fully man and fully God, a whole human and a whole spirit e. As Jesus is, so is our mission integrated
Seeking Transformation a. What does it take to see transformation? b. Example: Milwaukee Rescue Mission c. Moving forward in Local Outreach i. Seek the Holy Spirit ii. Serve Together iii. Build Relationships iv. Seek Transformation
Afghan Arrivals a. Opportunity to support b. Building teams around each arrival c. Your chance to join us
Focusing on Transformation a. Stories from overseas b. How to join in – Perspectives & Short-term c. Prayer
Read Jesus’ Commissions again, particularly Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:16-20 and spend time unpacking the different parts of each commission.
Read Luke 4:16-21 and also Isaiah 61 and envision a city and a world where this takes hold.
Spend time away with God this week reflecting on the connection between His Commissions and His Transformation, and what part He is calling you to play.
To unpack the theological understanding of this transformation, read Surprised by Hope by NT Wright
Reach out to a fellow brother or sister in Christ who is serving in the city or world and invite them to a shared meal or over coffee to hear how they have witnessed God’s work of transformation.
This past weekend at Eastbrook we took a pause on our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, in order to begin our annual MissionsFest. We had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Ed Stetzer for this kick-off weekend of MissionsFest. Ed Stetzer is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books.