Sermon Series: Leading People

11/7 - 11/21/2021

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.  Having a friend to help along the way sure would help a lot.  Wouldn’t you like to get away?  Sometimes you want to get away…  People are all same. You want to go where everyone knows your name.”

As it says in the Cheers theme song, “People are all the same.”  Relationships, business, organizations, and churches all have one thing in common:  they are full of people.  People are great.  People are complicated.  How do we live with one another and keep moving forward?  It requires leadership, culture, and boundaries. 

Much of scripture is about people living together for a common purpose. Imagine a place much like Cheers, with one crucial difference: we are working for the Kingdom of God.  In the Old Testament, they were working for the Holy Land, “a land of milk and honey,” where they would worship the one God.  A land that would allow them to build a community and change the world together.

We aren’t any different than they were. People are all the same. We must learn how to live with one another, care for one another, and build the Kingdom of God together.

Messages

11/20 - 11/21/2021 | Exile

Destruction came. The land of Israel was destroyed. The people of God spent 80 years in exile. In the midst of this tragedy, we do not despair. We believe these truths of exile:

  1. God can redeem anything.  Even the destruction of the Temple can be restored, and so can your life.
  2. Moments of exile are clarifying. Much of our Old testament was compiled in these years.  The crisis of exile compelled people to reflect on the failures of the past and choose a different future.  Exile creates opportunities.
  3. Leaders emerge who can both thrive in exile and be faithful. Daniel, Shadrach, Mechach, Abendego, and others were able to be faithful to God and live holy lives.  They did not let the exile pass them by without inviting God to redeem it. 

Are we in an exile as modern Christians in 2021? There is temptation to complain about the decline of the church or a world that is hostile to our faith.  Daniel pushes us to ask a different question: “How do we thrive in the midst of exile?”  The people of God were still called to serve, live, and lead in exile. If Daniel could lead his people in such a crisis, surely we can lead today. 

11/13 - 11/14/2021 | Failed Kings

God did not want us to have kings but why? Because people entrusted with unchecked power will inevitably lead to sin and brokenness. Even Saul, who was anointed by God, failed.  David, the man after God’s own heart, failed with murder and sexual conquest.  Solomon’s children led to the destruction of the kingship and the splitting of the kingdom of Israel.  God did not want a king, but the Israelites insisted and destruction followed. 

The story of scripture not only shows us what is possible with God, but also what is possible if we rely on ourselves alone: broken cycle after broken cycle.  Two phrases stand out after the bold stories of Saul, David, and Solomon:

  • They did what was evil in the eyes of God
  • They did what was right in their own eyes

Power corrupts.  None of us are immune.  The instruction of scripture is clear: create accountability that stretches beyond human capacity and invites the presence of God.

11/6 - 11/7/2021 | The Law is a Gift!

The law is a gift.  It is not a burden, but a gift! 

Consider the rules that we place on children: they are an absolute gift to them!  Kids don’t always see it that way, but rules are generally designed to keep kids safe, happy, and healthy. For example, most parents teach their children to stay away from the stove, no matter how much fun it might be to play with. Children might not like it, but this rule helps keep them safe.

The Israelites were given a lot of rules.  And likewise, they are a gift.  The first five books of the Old Testament are called the Torah in Hebrew, which translates to “Law” in English.  This worship series invites us to reframe everything that we have thought about the Law. it was designed and intended as a gift. 

Too often, we see rules as constraining instead of freeing, but we all need rules in order to live a good life.  Our best life is not the one without constraints, but where we live with the proper constraints.  The same thing is true for families, businesses, friendships, and more. We live by unspoken laws, but laws nonetheless. As followers of Christ, leading people requires us first to be led by the law of God.

All Series