Shifting Outward

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Small groups can sometimes become consumeristic and inward focused.  We start asking  questions like, “what do we want to study next?” “who’s bringing the cookies next week?”  And the focus shifts inward.  The question is, How do we get off the couch and into the community and start really making a difference?  Believing that Small groups  are the purest form of the church and the church exists for the world…why have we built our lifegroup ministry to exist for the church?

Neighborhoods, like ecosystems, are a complex set of relationships among the living resources habitats and residence of an area.  It includes plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, microorganisms, water, soil, and people.

When we small groups move into living rooms in neighborhoods around our community,  we have introduced new things to those ecosystems.  I don’t know much about science, but I do know that ecosystems can be easily interrupted. If you introduce something new into an ecosystem, you, on some level, disrupt it.  on some level you change that ecosystem.

So the question we have to ask about the interruption to the ecosystem is…was the change good or not?  Has it had a positive or negative impact?

Keep in mind that…

  • NEUTRAL IS NEGATIVE.  We get in our holy huddles and pray together, study the bible, and care for each other.  But our inactivity in our community and the fact that we aren’t getting outside… with our inaction we are showing indifference to lostness.
  • POSITIVE IS POSITIVE (profound, i know).  This this is great news.  If we make a positive impact we will draw people to Christ.

What is the cost?  What is a stake if we aren’t making a positive impact in our ecosystems?

  1. Christ’s Reputation.  Matt. 5:16 “…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” God’s reputation gets a boost when we get outside of ourselves and make an impact. Jesus said, if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself.  All we have to do is be obedient.
  2. Our Own Obedience.  Matt 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  We take this as a suggestion…but it’s the great COMMISSION!
  3. Eternity. Heb. 9:27 “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,”  We are going to have eternity to study the bible, fellowship and worship God… but we only have NOW to lead people to Christ.  Eternity is a long time.  and the judgement is final.  there is no second chance.
  4. Our Own Spiritual Formation. We wil become more like Christ when we get off the couch and live the way Jesus lived. We want to be like Jesus?  We’ve go to LIVE IT!  We are so far educated above and beyond the level of our obedience it’s disheartening. It’s time!

It’s time to shift our focus outward!  Our days are numbered…let’s not waste them.  There is too much at stake.

Listen to the entire training session from Jan. 25, click below.  3 sessions including Bill Leppo, Pete Shoger, and Jonah Easley

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About @jonaheasley

I serve as the pastor of Awakening Church in Bellevue, WA. It's been a blessing to have been surrounded by such great leaders and men of God who have invested in my life from such an early age. Being raised a pastor kid, I have been saturated with the word of God since day one. At the age of 7, God showed me that it was through a relationship with Jesus Christ alone that my life could be made righteous. From the mountain tops to the valleys, God continues to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to lead and guide those around me. Understanding that I am following the leadership of Christ. My wife and I have a passion and love for people and are privileged to be able to serve people for His Glory. Kathy and I were married on August 2, 2003 in Atlanta, GA. God has blessed us with three amazing children, Evan, Adele, and Elijah.

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