The Church that Connects

Sunday I began a summer-long sermon series on “The Church that Connects”- as in connecting Christ to culture. The intro lesson served as a framework of the messages to come and was entitled “The Connecting Challenge”. In it I discussed the need to better understand current culture and briefly previewed some ways we can. The upcoming sermons will, of course, go into more detail.

The purpose of this blog is to introduce my four loyal readers to this series through the titles and ask for your input as a way to assist me in developing this material. I always enjoy learning from you.

Here they are:

Transforming Transparency– obvious reference to Romans 12:1-2 with an emphasis on how culture will not accept Christ’s message from a conformed people and how real transparent faith can connect.

The Atmosphere of Belonging– A look at Matthew 11:28-30 as a new paradigm for belonging and connecting.

Authentic Oneness– How division destroys any hope of connection- how we must model the spirit of Christ’s prayer for oneness in John 17.

Genuinely Relational– Our focus must be on people- not issues- again using the model and example of Christ in dealing with people while deflecting issues.

A Passion for Compassion– There is a reason why mission work to third world countries and the hot, dirty work of hurricane relief draws so many to be involved today. It connects. The church must be a center for compassion- just as Jesus was.

Offers An Exciting Faith Journey– The church in Acts is the backdrop here. To a remarkably similar culture they were able to cast a vision of an alternative, attractive and exciting worldview that captured the hearts of thousands. Why can’t we do the same?

A True Hope Focus– The “hope” teaching of Hebrews 6 still resonates. In a culture based on shaky values if we can demonstrate to them a true “anchor” then we can connect.

Embracing Healthy Traditions– An examination of our orthodoxy and what about it still connects and how we can use healthy traditions in positive ways.

Models Jesus– Really in a sense this is the subtitle of the series. Connecting is about true discipleship. Culture will only pay attention to us when they know our devotion is in line with our dialogue and that like Jesus, we are willing to take up a cross.

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7 Responses to The Church that Connects

  1. Stoned-Campbell Disciple says:

    I like the direction of that series Danny. I sounds very good.
    Many of our churches are not “connecting” however.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  2. DJG says:

    I am reading Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart. He issues many challenges for us to truly be transformed. I know this is where we fail the world at large the most….we are just like ’em.

  3. JD says:

    Hey Danny, I suggest you remind us each week of the coming Sunday’s topic and use it as a springboard to the week’s discussion.

    I suppose this coming Sunday is:
    Transforming Transparency- obvious reference to Romans 12:1-2 with an emphasis on how culture will not accept Christ’s message from a conformed people and how real transparent faith can connect.

    True transformation is rare… and I think it is easier for some Christians to attempt to ‘fake it’ rather than let Christ re-make them. It’s a misery, though, to attempt to fake it. I think we’ve all been there. Have we been forced by evangelistic methods to promote our own goodness rather than Christ’s? In terms of reaching our culture – are we trying so hard to reach them that we do not pay attention to our own spirituality? Or have we given up on reaching the culture and paid so much attention to ourselves that we have squashed the spirit of evangelism? I’m just thinking out loud here … transparent spirituality is intrinsically positive in the sense that it believes in what God can create and is creating in our lives. That’s a hopeful message for a cynical culture … maybe too hopeful. On the other hand, we could downplay our hope and overplay our own sinfulness. I’ve seen that happen as well. Can it be that we just do not know how to be ourselves anymore?

    I need coffee.

  4. sonofolred says:

    Danny,
    Sounds like your summer will be full with great content for people to ponder on Sunday morning. Connecting our church to culture and community has been our mission at Davis Park for the last six years(and before I came here I am sure). Connection with Christ and the Cross seem to be a good place to start. I love the Romans 12 passage. 30+ years ago in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston,TX my life was changed when I encountered Jesus in the watery grave of baptism. I pray that your messages will touch hearts and change lives.

    Buddy

  5. Stoogelover says:

    Danny: I just found your blog site through the blog of a blog sort of thing. I relate because I, too, feel very much the reality of being an old preacher. I will complete 30 years this year and am working toward a completely different career in the final chapter / pages of my life.

    I am blessed w/ a great church family in Southern California, but am just ready to let someone else take the lead. I’m going into business with my son.

    I preached in Florida for 8 years and often heard a lot of good things from the Gateway church. Love the series you’re starting and will come back often to see what’s going on in your mind and ministry.

    Greg England

  6. Danny says:

    I find myself playing catch-up again on the blogging end. I appreciate your comments and encouragement on this series. So far it has gone very well.

    Sunday I preach on the Atmosphere of Belonging and will encourage a re-imagining of Matthew 11:28-30 from our institutional approach of behavior-belief-belong to Christ’s approach of belong-belief-behavior. I am excited about it!

  7. Danny says:

    Hey Greg, I registered on your new blog but could not get your page to open. I will try again. Thanks for dropping by!

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