Is this what Simple Church looks like? 2nd Edition…

November 16, 2014

Capture

Worship in the “Living Room”

As we do each Sunday, we gather to worship in the Living Room at 10 AM.  This week, we are singing:  Pour My Love on You, Give it All, When You Walk into the Room, and I Love You Lord

Some sit, some stand, some play instruments, and some sing.  Worship is defined by our heart posture.  Nothing more, and nothing less.  There are no “junior members” of our church.

After worship, we ask for an update from our Congregational Sharing and Prayer Time last week.  God has answered our prayer.  There is growth we can see!  We invite others to share about how God has been working this week.

We talk about hip surgeries and losing loose teeth.  About job opportunities and a 9-year old’s prayer in faith that medicine go down easier with Cherry Kool Aid. Our God hears every prayer.  Our God answers every prayer.  There are no “junior members” of our church.

Communion is served by the 3 kids in worship today.  One boy and two girls.  One white and two African Americans.  There are no “junior members” of our church.

During announcements, we point to the basket for offerings.  After the service, there are 4 envelopes in the basket—two are from kids, and two are from adults.  There are no “junior members” of our church.

The Teaching Notes

This week, Donna will be leading the discussion on Mark 2:13-22.  Participating in this group today:

  • 2 ordained pastors,
  • 1 lay pastor,
  • 1 ex-Sunday School Teacher
  • and a Teenager.

Although Donna may have less “Bible knowledge” than other experts in the circle, she loves God and she is hungry for the Bible.  Donna has a template that allows her to lead this diverse group effectively.  Its an inductive study method, and the top of the page looks like this:

Who is Jesus

As we are studying Mark 2:13-22 today, the rows continue down the page, from 16, 17, etc., all the way to 22.

Having a Conversation about the Bible

For starters, we read through the passage of the day together.  Today she has us go in a circle, each person reading one verse from beginning to end.  Then she asks each person to pause on verse 13, and write down any question that we have about that verse that we DON’T know the answer to.  Donna then asks us to share our questions, which leads to a great discussion.

Every single person in the room has questions that we don’t know the answer to—including teenagers and professional pastors with doctorates in ministry.  We are all on a level playing field.  We are all starving souls in search of spiritual food.   There are no “junior members” of our church.

We continue this process, one verse at a time, pausing to discuss and explore previously unfound facets of the light of scripture.  We are all “pupils”.  We are all on pilgrimage together.

Our facilitator for the day has chosen to take one of the word from the passage (wedding) and print off what it says in Strong’s Concordance to share with the group.  She shares a few application points that she has learned. There are no “junior members” of our church.

Next, Donna asks us to go to the top of the 2nd column of our worksheets.  She asks us to identify 1 attribute about Jesus that this verse reveals.  And if there simply isn’t one there, she asks us to default to this question: “what does this verse teach us about God’s character”?  Each participant contributes something meaningful, from High School student to lifelong theological student. There are no “junior members” of our church.

Sharing a Meal

Donna asks someone to pray over our group and the meal and we share lunch.  The pre-teen kids come up from downstairs and mingle with the adults as we share lunch together.  When we share a meal together, intermingled like this, we share life as fellow people, and our hearts are mysteriously brought together by sharing conversation over food.  There are no “junior members” of our church.

We ask someone else to facilitate the discussion next week.  Someone who hasn’t led a Sunday School or a Bible Study in many many years….maybe even never!  “I am not sure I am ready for that.”  “Ok—maybe in a few weeks”.  “On second thought, I can do this.  I can facilitate the group next week”.  Yes, she can!  There are no “junior members” of our church. 

Good Byes

Most people are gone by 1 PM…but we have never “kicked out” anyone.  We leave and go about the rest of our Sundays…on the way out, many hugs and “keep in touch”.

Is this a “successful” Sunday morning church service in a Simple Church?

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What is God Doing in Europe?

October 26, 2014

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We were happy to welcome back the Tendon family.

They have recently returned from a one year term in France, and shared what the Lord is doing in Europe and in their lives.

Please listen to the Tendon’s comments here to be encouraged!


Worshiping through the Psalms–Psalm 118

August 3, 2014

psalm 118

This week, we took a look at Psalm 118 and received a message on Worshiping through the Psalms.

If you would like to listen to the message, just click here.

Here are the main thoughts we explored together:

  1. Would God like to meet with you today or tomorrow?
  2. When?
  3. Will you accept the appointment?
  4. Reasons that people read the Bible
  5. God gave the Bible primarily to share His character and personality with us.
  6. God’s steadfast love is known as his “chesed“.
  7. God has made every day. We respond by rejoicing and being.
  8. God is MY God—the personal God.

What is God saying to you through this message?

What is God asking you to do?

What are you going to do about it TODAY?


We ALL Need Healing…We ALL Need a Savior

July 20, 2014

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Dean Greer shared a very significant message with us today.

Here are some of the key points:

“Each person has a story to tell”.

“There are very few voices in the world that will call forth the truth”.

“Our authority comes as we allow ourselves to be identified as having a need for a Savior…and the truth is that we ALL need a Savior, every single day”.

To hear the whole message, please download here.

Dean Greer is the National Coordinator for Living Waters, USA. Having been involved in healing ministry for the past 20 years,Dean has trained leaders around the world to incorporate the healing programs of Desert Stream Ministries within the local church community.  His ministry to the sexually and relationally broken has come as a result of his own journey out of homosexuality. A native of San Francisco, Dean now lives in Kansas City, MO with his wife Chrystal and 6 year old son, Jeremiah. They are active members of the Vineyard Church of Overland Park, KS.

 


God is Jealous.

July 13, 2014

Jealous

 

This week, we took a look at Psalm 79  and received a message on Worshiping through the Psalms.

If you would like to listen to the message, just click here.

Here are the main thoughts we explored together:

  1. God is jealous
  1. God knows the old man is at war with the new man
  1. God will say to many “depart from me. I never knew you”
  1. God uses anything, including the ungodly, to get our attention
  1. God urges us to “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”

What is God saying to you through this message?

What is God asking you to do?

What are you going to do about it TODAY?


God Bless America! A Message on Psalm 33

July 6, 2014

Trust

This week, we took a look at Psalm 33 and received a message on God Bless America!

If you would like to listen to the message, just click here.

Here are the main thoughts we explored together:

  1. God says:  we are at war for our nation
  1. God says:  our battle is not against flesh and blood
  1. God says:  many of us are carrying extra gear
  1. God says:  trust my leadership
  1. God says:  move in worship

What is God saying to you through this message?

What is God asking you to do?

What are you going to do about it TODAY?


Happy Father’s Day!

June 17, 2014

Capture

This week, we took a look at Psalm 127 and received a message on Fathers Day

If you would like to listen to the message, just click here.

Here are the main thoughts we explored together:

#1

Man says:  It all depends on me.

God says:  None of your efforts will be successful without me.

#2

Man says:  Working harder brings better results.

God says:  Working and resting in Godly rhythm will bring more satisfaction.

#3

Man says:  Children slow you down.

God says:  Children increase your effectiveness.

#4

Man says:  Kids don’t need me that much.

God says:  Kids desperately need you.

#5

Man says:  My impact ends with me.

God says:  Your legacy goes on for eternity.

 

Reflecting on Today’s Message

What is God saying to you through this message?

What is God asking you to do?

What are you going to do about it TODAY?