This month, pastors Luke Uran and Josh Pardee are wrapping up a 17-week sermon series on the book of Acts. Today they look ahead to where this leads our church family next.
So, there’s one more sermon from Acts. How does it end?
Luke: This week, Josh is going to be driving home the idea that we are now the 29th chapter of Acts. The book’s ending was left unfinished. We have this mission that we have been given, to go and make disciples.
That sounds like another good jumping-off point.
Luke: Yes. As we look to this spring and the launch of our Life Groups, the sermon series we will be doing next is based partially on another book by an author we looked at last fall, Dustin Willis. This book is called The Simplest Way to Change the World.
What the series is going to focus on, and the reason we’re doing it next, as a follow-up to Acts, is because if we want to see all generations go, tell, and show the love of God here in the city of Rockford and around the world, then we need to be ones who are willing to be out and present in our community. We’re going to focus on that idea of being present, being active, being involved, being available and out in the community. Our primary purpose behind that is, let’s put hands and feet to this now. Today, not at the time of Acts. What does this look like? How do we apply it?
(The book, and related books, are available in The Scroll Resource Center.)
Josh: And then later this spring we are going to be doing something called kairos training. How do we hear from God? How do we know that it is God? How do we discern what that is? What is he trying to teach us? What does it mean that he is always present and at work, and how do we respond to that?
So to me that’s the next step. Bringing it down a level lower, where we have some common language and ideas that we are all operating out of. So we don’t just address this now and then move on to the next topic.
As we finish the Acts series this week, do you have an over-arching thought or two?
Luke: I know as we talk about the Holy Spirit, people may get a little uncomfortable. Trying to figure out, what does this mean for those who believe those charismatic giftings have ended vs. those who believe they have continued? Regardless, the Apostle Paul says in Galatians that we should live by the Spirit. Keep in step with the Spirit. And so for us, ultimately that is what Scripture has told us to do. The Holy Spirit is where we get our giftings, the Holy Spirit is where we will continue to see that fruit produced. Those are the tools that God has given us through the Holy Spirit to be able to advance the gospel, to live on mission, to change the world.
So I think the final call as we are closing out this Acts series is really that. How do we go about continuing to fulfill this Mission we have been given? Well, we continue to yield to the leadership of the Spirit, and we continue to live by and walk in accordance with the Spirit.
That’s an encouraging thought, going into the next series, that my part in changing the world might be something small and something very local.
Luke: Even that is a shift in thinking. Change someone’s world. If everyone is living on mission, and if everyone is going, telling and showing the love of God, well then eventually you are going to see the whole world change. It’s not going to be by our power that it’s done. In the same way that it wasn’t done by the apostles power in Acts. It was done by the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus Christ.