What Do These Stones Mean?

Guest Speaker:  Todd Allen
Sermon Title:  What Do These Stones Mean?
Scripture Reading:  Joshua 4:21-24

Dr. Todd Allen, an incoming prof at Messiah College, founded The Common Ground Project, a community based non-profit dedicated to promoting an understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.  For the past 16 years, in partnership with the PNC Foundation, Dr. Allen has led the “Returning to the Roots of Civil Rights” bus tour, an educational tour which visits many of the key southern sites of the Civil Rights Movement. Listen as Todd speaks to us about the struggle for justice that still continues to this day, in a message entitled, What Do These Stones Mean?

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
August 13 bulletin
responsive prayer for racial reconciliation
small group discussion questions

The God Who Looks Like Jesus

Sermon Title: The God Who Looks Like Jesus
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:51-56; John 14:5-9, Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus is what God is like and what God has always been like. But unfortunately, many people have allowed competing portraits of God to negatively shape their lives. Current brain research has found that distorted images and negative concepts of God lead us to unhealthy patterns of self-defeating behaviors and toxic relationships. In The God Who Looks Like Jesus, Pastor David challenges us to align our thoughts about God to reflect what has been fully revealed in Christ.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
August 6 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Living with Joy

Sermon Title:  Living with Joy
Scripture Reading:  Matthew 6:19-34; John 10:10; 15:9-12; Philippians 4:6-8

Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life. He wants his joy to be complete in us. But what does that mean and how does that happen? And if Jesus offers us his life, why do many Christians continually live with fear, anxiety, and depression, instead of living with joy? In Living with Joy, Pastor David shares how we must discipline ourselves to abide in Christ and seek his Kingdom before everything else.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
July 30 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Dealing with Doubt

Sermon Title:  Dealing with Doubt
Scripture Reading:  John 11:16; 20:24-29; James 1:5-8; 2:14-17

There is a great misconception about faith that is fairly popular today. Many people think that their faith is only as strong as they are psychologically certain. Therefore, doubt becomes a threat to faith, even to our salvation. But is that really what the Bible teaches? Should we really just push aside our doubts and not ask questions. In Dealing with Doubt, Pastor David shares how doubt isn't the enemy of faith, but rather it's an opportunity to grow in our relationship with Christ.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
July 23 bulletin
small group discussion questions

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Sermon Title: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:14-25; Philippians 3:12-14; Hebrews 12:1-3

Following Jesus is hard. We often know what we should do, but we frequently find it difficult to actually do it. Sometimes it takes months or years to see the changes we know we should be seeing in our walk with Christ. Is that normal? Is the Christian life supposed to be this way? In A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Pastor David addresses the realities and rewards of pursuing Christ over the long-haul, and how our daily choices shape us for better or for worse. 

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
July 16 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Why Does Worship Need A Pastor?

Guest Speaker:  Doug Curry
Sermon Title:  Why Does Worship Need A Pastor?
Scripture Reading:  Psalm 78:70-72; Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 24:13-35

Most people understand that the church needs leadership. Gifted leaders are necessary for helping the church grow up into Christ, but not every leader is a pastor. Pastors are able to gently guide and shepherd people, ministering to their needs as disciples of Christ.

As a local congregation, we recognize our need not only to be led, but to be pastored through our engagement of worship and the arts. In Why Does Worship Need a Pastor?, Doug Curry shares about the purpose of worship and why it calls for a skilled shepherd to lead us.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
July 9 bulletin

Each One of You is a Part

Guest Speaker: Lynda Gephart
Sermon Title: Each One of You is a Part
Scripture Reading: Romans 12:3-5; I Corinthians 12:12-27

The body of Christ is made up of both younger and older people. We don’t have the same divisions that the Corinthian church had in Paul’s day, but age is one of the ways we’re divided today. Ministry to youth isn’t just for the youth pastor and a faithful few, but it’s for the whole church. In Each One of You is a Part, Lynda Gephart shares about the importance of youth ministry in the church today.

Worship Resources:
July 2 bulletin

Train 'Em Up (3 of 3)

Sermon Series: Train 'Em Up: Raising Children to Love Jesus & the Church
Sermon Title: They’re Watching You (3 of 3)
Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:1-6; Luke 1:16-17; 2 Timothy 1:5-7

According to Jesus, it’s a serious thing to cause children to stumble. What we say and teach is important, but more than that it’s how we live out our faith to our children that has the greatest impact. What do your actions and attitude teach them about God? In They’re Watching You (3 of 3), Pastor David shares how we must show them the God who looks like Jesus and the holy habits that build faith in him, so they too will join in on the building of the Kingdom of God.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
June 25 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Train 'Em Up (2 of 3)

Sermon Series: Train 'Em Up: Raising Children to Love Jesus & the Church
Sermon Title: Get Jesus Inside Your Children (2 of 3)
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 78:1-7 (VOICE); Matthew 7:24-27

There is a biblical precedent in the Old and New Testaments for teaching our faith to children. What does this look like for parents today? What does this look like in the church? And why is it so critical that we do this and get Jesus inside of our children? In Get Jesus Inside Your Children (2 of 3), Pastor David addresses the importance of instructing children in the way of the Lord.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
June 18 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Train 'Em Up (1 of 3)

Sermon Series: Train 'Em Up
Sermon Title: Let the Children Come (1 of 3)
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 18:1-6; 19:13-14

Why were the disciples rebuking the little children that rushed up to Jesus? And what then does Jesus’ rebuke of his disciples mean for us today? In Let the Children Come (1 of 3), Pastor David draws our attention to the love Jesus had for children, and how we have a ministry to love, protect, and raise children up in an environment at home and in the church that is conducive to building faith in Jesus.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
June 11 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Learning to Listen

Sermon Title:  Learning to Listen
Scripture Reading:  Matthew 13:3-9

Jesus emphasizes something that is often missed in the Parable of the Sower and the surrounding passage. If we're going to be faithful followers of Christ, our success depends upon how well we listen and what we do with the Gospel and the words we are receiving from God. Also, we need to learn to listen to others, for their sake and for ours. In Learning to Listen, Bishop Ken Hoke speaks about the importance of listening to God and to those arounds us.

Worship Resources:
June 4 bulletin

Jesus Heals (4 of 4)

Sermon Series:  Jesus Heals
Sermon Title:  Desperate Faith (4 of 4)
Scripture Reading:  Matthew 8:5-13; 15:21-28

A Roman centurion risks everything to be seen asking Jesus to heal his servant, and he believes Jesus has the authority to make him well with a simple word. A Canaanite woman, believed to be outside of God’s reach, shows the depth of her faith in begging Jesus to heal her daughter who is demonized. In Desperate Faith (4 of 4), Pastor David shares how God is able to heal those who are the furthest from him.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
May 28 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Jesus Heals (3 of 4)

Sermon Series:  Jesus Heals
Sermon Title:  Whatever it Takes (3 of 4)
Scripture Reading:  Mark 5:24-34; Luke 5:17-26; James 5:13-16

A woman with a chronic bleeding disorder stops at nothing just to touch Jesus and receive healing. A lame man’s friends can’t get through the crowd so they tear a hole in the roof and lower the cripple down to Jesus to be healed. What are you willing to do so you can get the healing you need? In Whatever it Takes (3 of 4), Pastor David talks about the sort of faith that makes it possible to receive healing.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
May 21 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Jesus Heals (2 of 4)

Sermon Series: Jesus Heals
Sermon Title: Living in a Warzone (2 of 4)
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:28; Acts 10:38; John 9:1-12; Matthew 4:23-25

Is God to blame for the pain and suffering we experience? If we think that God is the one who harms us, we will find it difficult to go to him for healing. Thankfully, Jesus reveals that God loves us and is for us. The evil we see around us is a result of a cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil. In Living in a Warzone (2 of 4), Pastor David shares how this perspective can change the way we view everything.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
May 14 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Jesus Heals (1 of 4)

Sermon Series: Jesus Heals
Sermon Title:  Healing is Here (1 of 4)
Scripture Reading: John 5:1-15; Matthew 8:1-4; 9:35-36

“Do you want to get well?” That is what Jesus asked the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. If you’re in need of healing, it’s important that you first recognize that need and have the desire to get better. As we see with the leper, Jesus is willing to heal those who want to be healed of their disease and affliction. In Healing is Here (1 of 4), Pastor David invites us to know Jesus as the one who still heals today.

Worship Resources: 
sermon slides
May 7 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Service with a Smile

Sermon Title: Service with a Smile: Serving in the Jesus Way
Scripture Reading: Mark 10:42-45; Romans 12:3-8; Colossians 3:23-24 

If you're a follower of Jesus, you're called to serve Christ through the church. We should see ourselves working for the Lord instead of people. Whether you're a paid leader or a volunteer, each member of the church has a vital role to play in carrying out the ministry of Jesus. We serve for the building up of the church and the furtherance of the gospel. We are all serving Christ and his Kingdom for an eternal reward. What does this look like in and outside the church? And what does it look like to serve Christ with a happy heart?

In Service with a Smile: Serving in the Jesus Way, Pastor David talks about the purpose of church staff and volunteers, and what it looks like to serve others in the way of Jesus. 

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
April 23 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Because He Lives

Easter Sunday 2017
Sermon Title: Because He Lives
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 12-14, 19-22, 58

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the risen Christ. Jesus died on the cross, and we believe that the Father vindicated his Son by physically raising Jesus from the dead. The apostle Paul said that our entire faith hinges upon the historicity of this event. So, what evidence do we have that Jesus was raised to life on the third day? And what difference does the resurrection make for us today living in the 21st century?

Listen as Pastor David shares about our living hope in a message called, Because He Lives.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
April 16 bulletin
small group discussion questions

The Horror & Beauty of the Cross

Good Friday 2017
Sermon Title: The Horror & Beauty of the Cross
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:21

Far too many Christians pass by Good Friday and don't think about what it must have felt like for the disciples to experience such loss, without any expectation of resurrection. Why did Jesus have to die? What does it say about God? What does it say about us? In The Horror & Beauty of the Cross, Pastor David tells the story of the crucifixion and invites us to watch Jesus die for our sins before celebrating Easter.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides

Roots (10 of 10)

Sermon Series: Roots: Exploring the Core Values of the Brethren in Christ
Sermon Title: Relying on God
Scripture Reading: Psalm 59:16-17; John 14:15-17; 15:5 1 John 4:15-16; Eph 3:16-21

Our final value is written in the form of a confession. We confess that in order to follow Jesus and faithfully keep our core convictions and values, we need to rely upon the strength he provides through the Holy Spirit. How do we walk in the Spirit? How do we access a strength greater than ourselves? We believe it is through prayer that we receive divine power to live faithfully as his disciples.

In Relying on God (10 of 10), Pastor David concludes our series with a message on the power of the Holy Spirit and the necesity of prayer in the life of the disciple and the church.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
April 9 bulletin
small group discussion questions

Roots (9 of 10)

Sermon Series: Roots: Exploring the Core Values of the Brethren in Christ
Sermon Title: Living Simply (9 of 10)
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 5:42; 6:19-21; 1 John 3:16-19

In the book of Acts we read that when people came to faith in Christ the impact was immediately seen in their individual behavior and communal practices. The early church was serious about discipleship and community. They were willing to throw off all that hindered their ability to love boldly, give generously, and serve one another joyfully.

In Living Simply (9 of 10), Pastor David helps us to see that simple living is about freeing ourselves up to give more for the sake of the Kingdom.

Worship Resources:
sermon slides
April 2 bulletin
small group discussion questions