Inviting Others into an Inviting Family - Posted 8/31/2016
From Pastor Chris

On Sunday we began asking the question, "Why are we here?" and gave this answer:
We expect the Spirit of God
To use the word of God
To change the people of God
To engage in the mission of God
For the glory of God

This Sunday we will address the idea of engaging in the mission of God for the glory of God. We will cover the story of God's glory from Genesis to Revelation and see how our call to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) fits into that sweeping narrative.
Yet I also hope to present realistic action steps we can take to engage in the mission of God. Because one of them is time-sensitive, let me share it now: ask God to give you opportunities to invite 5 people (or families) to our church picnic on September 11th. It is a non-threatening way to welcome friends, neighbors, and co-workers to a church event.

As you think of this opportunity, think about what we hope people would experience at such an event. Families, companies, and other groups have picnics all the time. What would make ours different? What might make people want to be with this group of people more?
What should distinguish us is everything that is found in the gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for us: unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, and sacrifice. For many of our friends who do not know Christ, these are only words and foreign concepts. We, the people of God, must flesh out what these things mean in how we relate to one another. This would be easy if we did not still battle sins of selfishness and pride. But we do.

So even though inviting people to a picnic is easy, being a gospel people at that picnic requires the work of the Spirit in our lives. We must return to the first half of "Why are we here?" and trust the Spirit to use God's word to make us more like Jesus. When we are more like Jesus toward one another, we can show and share Jesus more clearly with our neighbors.
Please invite your friends, neighbors, and co-workers to our church picnic. And in the meantime, pray that God would give us increasing love for one another—­the type of love that will bring unbelievers back for more.

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