After having bronchitis and going on a mini vacation I am about a week behind on my service recaps. The following review is from Sunday, March 20.
I knew it was going to be an incredible morning the minute I heard RCBand rehearsing the Lenny Kravitz song Are You Gonna Go My Way. It’s not very often I stop my pre-service studying to go into the sanctuary to see and hear “what’s going on?!”
The AMPD Youth band led worship with the following song lineup: Loving, Forgiving, Saving (Lp – RCBand original), All For You (LP – RCBand original), More Love More Power (Lincoln Brewster version) and I must say I was quite impressed. A lot of churches don’t even have a band so we are blessed to say the least. RCBand finished the set with the Hillsong hit worship song (should worship songs be hits? Hmm…) Hosanna.
One of the lyrics to Hosanna says “I see a generation rising up to take their place.” I couldn’t help but think that’s exactly what our youth group AMPD is doing. Proud of them.
Like I mentioned above RCBand rocked the Lenny Kravitz song Are You Gonna Go My Way to lead introduce Part 3 of Sticky Relationships. Here are some of my notes:
Curing Cohesive Community
Opened message with hysterical Johnny & Chachi video. By the way, their song was still stuck in my head later that night even AFTER seeing Stryper in concert! Watch it HERE.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:18 (GWT)
God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships.
“If you want God’s blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker.” ~Rick Warren
Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his LOVE has made any difference in your life, if being in a COMMUNITY of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
- Fractured fellowship is a bad testimony to unbelievers.
- This is why Paul was embarrassed that members in the church in Corinth taking each other to court.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:5, “Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians.”
He pleads in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other.”
5 STEPES TO CURE COHESIVE COMMUNITY
(I gathered my information for these steps from the section of Rick Warren’s book Purpose Driven Life entitled Restoring Broken Fellowship.)
1. GO TO GOD
- James 4:2 says, …Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
- This is pretty simple. Go to God before you approach others.
2. MAKE A MOVE
- Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict or running from a problem or being afraid to talk.
- “Sometimes we need to avoid conflict, sometimes we need to create it, and sometimes we need to resolve it.” ~Rick Warren
- Peacemaking is not being a doormat either. Jesus didn’t back down.
- Matthew 5:23-24 (MSG) “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
- Don’t procrastinate. When it comes to conflict, time heals nothing.
- Matthew 5:9 (MSG) “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
3. SYMPATHY BEFORE SOLUTION
- Use your ears more than your mouth. Listen!
- To win an argument and lose the person is not worth it.
- “Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem.” ~Rick Warren
- Philippians 2:4 says, “Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.”
- Perry Noble Tweet: “If your “love for Jesus” means your “love for others” is only reserved for those who are just like u…then do u really have a love 4 Jesus?”
- In Psalm 73:1-2 David admitted, “When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal.” / Don’t be stupid!
- Proverbs 19:11 says, “…it is to his (man’s) glory to overlook an offense.”
- Cheesy but true cliche’: “People don’t care what we know until they know we care.”
- Romans 15:2 says, We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. / Not tear down!
4. FESS UP
- Admit your own mistakes. Ask for forgiveness.
- Matthew 7:5 (NLT) Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
- 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves.”
- Paul said, “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.”
- To say, “I forgive you, but don’t ever come around me again!” is not forgiveness.
5. ATTACK THE PROBLEM, NOT THE PERSON
- Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.”
- How you say it is as important as what you say!
- Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Additional highlights of the weekend of March 18-20:
- Friday – Pastor Ken Godbolt (aka Broken) from Crossover Church in Tampa, Florida rocked our church as RC went hip-hop for one night! The night also featured Momma’s Boy, DJ Ezra, and a local youth worship band. I was thrilled to see so many kids praying with each other around the altar.
- Saturday – Had a blast at the Kid Crusader Ministries & Team Xtreme Trivia Night fundraiser.
- Sunday Night – Slipped out of church as Kristie Sparling was closing the 11AM service in prayer, jumped in my van with Annette and Mike & Leann Crall, and zipped straight to Chicago to the House of Blues to see Stryper (80’s Christian hair band that’s making a strong comeback)! Yep, it was the perfect day.