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Engage: Session 4

Series: Engage

Speaker: Doug Linville

October 1, 2020

Doug Linville

Missions Pastor

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Follow Along with the Message


Madison Park Discipleship Class

Living As Followers of Jesus Christ- Session 4

 

Recap from Session 3…

Our Relationship with His Family (The Church)

  • Community…Blind Spots/Handling Conflict Biblically
  • Generosity…Never are we more like God than we are when we give
  • Service…How are you wired? Where is God calling you?
  • Practical tools…Questions? Thoughts? Anyone explore some of the tools?

 

MISSIONS: Relationship with the people God misses most

 

What do you think when you hear Missions?

 

 

Who do you think of as a missionary? (Who is a missionary?)

 

 

Foundations of Missions at Madison Park

3 core disciplines associated with Missions are:

1) Active participation with God in His work of reconciling the world to Himself.

What are some examples of Mission?

 

2) Authentic personal engagement with people God misses most in order to share His love with them.

What are some examples of Story?

 

3) Making disciples who make disciples

 What are some examples of Multiplication?

 

Madison Park’s vision is:

 

 

Describe in your own words what it means to love people back to God.

 

Based on Pastor Doug’s teaching in the video, how do we at Madison Park love people back to God?

 

When we connect the 3 core disciplines (Missions/Story/Multiplication) to being Jesus’ representatives in my world, the result is intentional engagement in the vision of Madison Park.

Our foundational scripture is:

(2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.  So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

 

 

Here is how we summarize this scripture:

 

  1. God’s mission is ______________________.
  • Defined as the restoration of all creation to His original intent summarized in relationship (perfect relationship with Him); unity with God in the communal context.

 

  1. God has entrusted the message of His mission to all believers.
  • We are the agents and ambassadors of reconciliation.

 

Therefore

  1.   _______ believers must carry the message of Reconciliation
  • Where? To where you ______, ______, and ______.
  • How? By telling your _____of reconciliation.
  • Why? To accomplish the vision – loving people back to God.              

 

Being Jesus’ Representative In My World

It’s easy with Missions to get focused on the ________. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ.

 

If we look at the passage in 2 Corinthians, it’s important to understand what Paul says before “God has given us this task…”

 

Look again at the passage. What 2 things does Paul say about us in verses 17 and 18a?

 

At Madison Park, we have two goals happen simultaneously and are inseparable:

 

  1. ________God’s good in the world
  2. ________people to do God’s good in the world

 

One cannot happen without the other. We have to be obedient in doing God’s good in the world. Carrying the message of reconciliation is active. At the same time, we are intentionally equipping Jesus-followers to be His representatives in their world through training and laying Biblical foundation for missions. The result of both of these goals is fruit – other people coming to know Jesus and experiencing life transformation with Him (our vision).

 

Titus 3:14 (CSB) says “Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works for pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.”

 

Paul tells Titus the fruitfulness of believers is in doing good works and being equipped for pressing needs.

 

Why is it important for followers of Christ to do God’s good AND be equipped for doing good?

 

Opportunities at Madison Park Church

 

Now that we’ve laid the foundation of Missions, let’s look again at the 3 core disciplines and outline some practical opportunities for anyone at Madison Park Church to engage in these areas.

 

MISSION: Active Participation

 

Through prayer, we have determined that our focus for all missions-related opportunities will be in the following 3 areas: women in need, kids at risk, and community development.

 

You have something important to offer in sharing God’s love by serving your world in practical ways.

 

Opportunities to Serve:

 

  1. NOW Text: Once a week text subscription with specific action steps for serving in the community or ideas for loving others in your world. Opt-in by texting NOW to 765-347-7707.

 

  1. All Church Service Opportunities: Opportunities to serve alongside your fellow church body. Find these opportunities on the Madison Park Church of God Facebook page and in our weekly newsletter email. You can subscribe to that on the homepage of our website: youareloved.life.

 

  1. All-Church Initiatives: We have identified three specific initiatives to focus on and make a difference.
  • Hunger Initiative – We have a God-size goal of eliminating chronic hunger in Anderson and Madison County. We often play a role of connecting resources with needs. The Anderson High School Food Box Collection is our primary ministry with hunger. These boxes help feed students during their extended breaks from school. Pick up a yellow bag at the church and fill it with items from the list inside and return to the church.
  • Foster Care and Adoption Support Ministry: In partnership with Hands of Hope, we have implemented a model to provide Care Communities for families who are licensed Foster Care homes or who are in the process of adopting a child. Everyone can do something; from preparing meals, helping with yard work and spending time with the kids. If you are interested in being a part of this ministry, contact: Casey Getzin at
  • Dove Harbor: A ministry focused on providing rent subsidies and supportive services to women by using 3-person Care Teams. The goal is to provide women a minimum of 6 months support leading to long-term relationship change. For more information about being a part of these Care Teams, contact Doug Linville at

 

Opportunities to get Equipped:

 

  1. Community Conversations: Group conversations gathered in person, or on a Zoom call to talk about topics related to current events or the current sermon series. At times we provide additional resources to help us understand the topic (podcast, blog, articles or other sources).
  1. Individual Study: Independent modules on Missions related topics that can be completed by yourself, with your family or in your Madison Park Community Group. Modules can be found on the church website under the tab ‘Equipping’ on the Mission page.

 

  1. RightNow Media: Access to RightNow Media, a hub of resources for Bible study, book series, and video devotions. Get connected by going to the link on the Mission page.

 

  1. Equipping Sessions: Group sessions led by MPC staff or volunteers where we cover a variety of topics about issues related to Missions and serving on one of our Care Teams.

 

Why is it important to balance “doing’ God’s work in the world and being “equipped” to do God’s work?

  

STORY: Authentic personal engagement with people

 

Your story matters! It is about how God has given you hope, restored what has been stolen, and made right (reconciled) areas of your life. Jesus is the hero of our stories. Telling our stories points others to Him!

 

There are people your story can reach that ours can’t.

 

Who might need to hear your story of reconciliation with God?

 

 

Rev 12:11 (NIV) “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; …”

 

Based on Revelation 12:11, what happened as a result of Christ and the testimony of the saints? You may need to look at the verses before 11 to know who John is referring to when he says ‘him.’

 

 

The goal is to take your story into every area of your life; where you live, work and play. God has placed you in all three of these areas based on your unique abilities and interests.

 

Where can you take your story? Where should you take your story?

 

The following resource is an example of how STORY can be used. Use the worksheet at the bottom to outline your story and help you prepare in sharing it!

 

PART TWO:

STORY

“Because God gave you your makeup and superintended every moment of your past, including all the hardship, pain, and struggles, He wants to use your words in a unique manner. No one else can speak through your vocal cords, and, equally important, no one else has your story.” – Charles Swindoll

 

Imagine for a moment that you lived in the first century and had the opportunity to talk to some of the people who had actually met Jesus. What might they say if you asked them about that encounter?

 

“I was blind, I had been since birth. Most of my days were spent begging and feeling rejected by others. I wasn’t able to go to school or work like the rest of my family. People would talk about me and how worthless I was. It was like they thought I was useless. One day I met Jesus. He didn’t dismiss me. He stopped. He made a paste and put it on my eyes and told me to go wash it off and I did. I opened my eyes and I could see! I was blind one minute, and then I could see the next! I could see everything I had been missing I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it. Some people couldn’t believe it. They didn’t even believe I was the same guy they saw begging all the time. But it is me! But it’s also true that I’m different now. I know I’m not useless. Not because I can see, but because Jesus, the Savior of the world, loved me even when I was blind. He didn’t think I was worthless, He cared about me and He healed me. Nothing can hold me back from showing others that same compassion. I know what it feels like to be down and out, and I know that showing someone you care about them when they’re down and out can change his life. I met Jesus and He changed mine!”

 

“One afternoon, I went to the well to get some water. I always waited until the other women were gone because they would shun me and speak badly about me – not that I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. I was no friend to women, I had slept with some of their husbands, and they knew it. My reputation was pretty awful, and everything they said about me was true. There was a lot of brokenness in my life. I tried to fix it by turning to men and sex, but it didn’t fix anything. In fact, it caused more harm to more people, including me. When I got to the well, there was a Jewish man sitting there. He asked me for some water. I knew something was different about Him since normally a Jew wouldn’t talk to a Samaritan – especially a woman – but He did. In fact, He knew everything about me and the things I’d done that made me so ashamed. He told me He was the Messiah I had been waiting for. He spoke about water He could give me so I would never thirst again. I wanted that water. I ran to town to tell everyone about what had happened, and a whole crowd went with me to see Him. He stayed in town for two more days and told us more about this living water, abut His Father, and about how we could follow Him and our lives would be different. I chose to follow Him, and so did many in my village. We knew we were following the Savior of the world, and our lives never were the same. Jesus left our town, but I continued to live differently. I no longer lived in shame. I tasted His living water, and I will never thirst again.”

 

“My name is Zacchaeus. I was a big man in the community, and I was rich – really rich. As the chief tax collector I had people working for me, and, as long as we gave the government what they wanted, we could take whatever we were able to wring out of the taxpayers and keep it for ourselves. It looked like I had it all…big house, nice chariot. But I was lacking something. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew it wasn’t anything I could buy or extort from someone else. I heard Jesus was coming to town, and I had a deep sense that I needed to see Him. I may be a “big man” in town, but I’m not very tall, and no matter how I tried to maneuver through the crowd, I couldn’t see Jesus. So I ran ahead of the crowd…yeah, I know men of my position don’t run, but I ran.  I climbed a sycamore tree in the path ahead of Jesus…yeah, I know men of my position don’t climb, but I climbed, high enough to see Him. And there He was, walking right towards me! The next thing I know, I hear Jesus call my name. I couldn’t believe my ears! He called me by name and told me to come down from the tree because He was going to my house! I don’t know who was more confused…me, or the people in the crowd who began grumbling about me being a sinner and all.

I don’t blame them…they were the same people I had extorted money from, and I knew they hated me. When Jesus spoke to me, I knew my life could be different. I came down from the tree and told Jesus I didn’t want to live the way I was anymore. I was going to give half of everything to the poor, and I was going to pay back all those I stole from – four times over what I stole! My heart felt overwhelmed, and it was as if I couldn’t give enough away! Jesus told me that salvation was mine. He said He came for the people like me – lost. I had put my hopes and dreams into money and what it could do for me and found nothing but momentary gratification that left me feeling empty. By now, I look at the people around me, and I know I can make a difference in their lives. I am not the man who climbed that tree. I can be part of what Jesus is doing, here and now. I know what it means to be loved, and now I can show that love to others. I may be a small name, but I can do big things for my friends and neighbors.”


These three individuals encountered Jesus and their lives were changed forever. You can read the actual accounts of these particular meeting in John 9, John 4 and Luke 19, respectively. While the testimonies as stated here are conjecture, the evidence of life-change and the results of personally meeting Jesus are very much true.

 

As we learned earlier, we, as followers of Jesus, are commissioned to spread the Good News of the gospel. The Lausanne Covenant, the result of a convention of over 2,700 Christian leaders from around the world, states “We believe the gospel is God’s Good News for the whole world, and we are determined by His grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it all mankind and to make disciples of every nation.”

 

Proclaiming or preaching can be intimidating…even scary. But what if you could just tell your own story about your encounter with Jesus and how He changed your life like the people in the three stories above? The fact is that Jesus and His redeeming love are best revealed when they are at work in us. Your life is a representation of the gospel and your story is good news and needs to be told!

 

The apostle Paul knew this to be true, and he took advantage of a “captive audience” when he had the chance. Here is his story…

 

Paul was in prison awaiting trial on charges that had not yet been specified. He had appealed his case to Caesar, and while he was waiting for the appeal, King Agrippa came to town and asked to hear Paul’s testimony.

Let’s pick up the story in Acts 12:

So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee. And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly service God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me. Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s People in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

 

This is only the beginning of Paul’s story. We’ll look at the rest of it in the next lesson, but let’s stop and look at how Paul set up his testimony before King Agrippa. He talked about his past, his “before” if you will. This is the promiscuous Samaritan woman, and Zaccheus, Paul had a dramatic encounter with Jesus which changed the trajectory of his life forever. These first 11 verses contain highlights from his life that are meaningful to the audience and important to his story. 

 

Some specifics he included:

  • He was an educated Jew.
  • He was raised in the Jewish culture.
  • He was a Pharisee – meaning he had distinction for knowing and following the law.
  • He was opposed to Jesus, even having His followers killed when he could.
  • He tortured and coerced believers to turn from Jesus and chased others out of town.

 

Paul was specific, yet brief. He knew his audience would have a good understanding of his past, which is crucial to the rest of the story. 

 

Your Story Matters

Worksheet

 

Life Turn: A moment where you learned something new about yourself, your world or about God. It is a moment where your life took a turn that you started living differently as a result of the experience.

 

Life Turn:

 

Characters: (Who else involved in this turning point? This may include those who are not directly involved but in-directly.)

 

Plot: (Set the stage, where does the story take place? When was the darkest moment in the story? Did the story end or is it still going?)

 

Lessons Learned: (What are some possible lessons learned? What awakening did you experience? Was there any redeemable moments? Did you receive any moment of clarity or insight?)

 

Using the information from above, create a summary of your story that you can share in 3 minutes.

 

  

MULTIPLICATION: Making disciples

 

This is the natural outcome of you being Jesus’ representatives in your world.

 

What does that mean to you to make disciples?

 

Are you actively making disciples? Why or why not?

 

 

When we put together God’s heart of reconciliation, your unique gifts, talents and interests with where God has placed you (live-work-play) you will find your sweet spot – the place where you can live out

 

BEING JESUS’ REPRESENTATIVE

                                                          IN MY WORLD

 

God needs YOU in His mission of reconciliation with the people He misses most! Join Madison Park Church in sharing God’s love by serving your world in practical ways.

                                      

The next step to take is to text “SERVE” to (765) 642-2000 and we will help you engage with those Jesus misses most.

 

Are you compelled to be Jesus’ representative in your world?

 

What practical steps will you take TODAY to engage in God’s mission to reconcile people back to Himself?

 

  

MISSIONS PAGE QUIZ

 

We have more information on our ministry partners on the website. Go to youareloved.life/outreach2 to learn more.

 

Name one of the Global ministry partners:

 

Name two of our missionaries and where they are serving.

 

Name three local ministries that Madison Park Church supports.

 

 

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