What if the church encouraged and supported one another to develop personal businesses? Let’s call them Ministries because what I’m suggesting are personal businesses whose main purpose is the church itself. In other words what if, we helped each other start websites and social media venues whose purpose for being was to Evangelize the world. These business/ ministries are not about making money there about making disciples. Many churches put out great material week in and week out. The building church model limits the exposure of the Gospel when we fail to take it outside of the walls.
I just preached a sermon entitled, “Don’t Wait for the Lost to Come to You”. In that lesson I labored to make the point that the world did not come to God. God came to the world in the person Jesus. There are ways we can emulate that example. God’s sovereignty set up humanity by having men gather in synagogues where Jesus and the Apostles went to preach the Good News. Looking back, it sure seems to me that God was setting man up for the Word to be preached. It was the fullness of time, tailor made for the Gospel to explode. I see that man once again is being set up by the digital world. People are gathering in communities all over the internet. Why can’t the church go to those communities and sow the seed that is God’s Word? One simple way of doing this is to open Facebook Pages; Twitter accounts and Websites that repost the great material that many churches already produce.
An individual may want to focus in on an aspect of the preaching and teaching that comes out of their congregation and spread it out to their friends. Then by multiplication through the audience of each member the seed can be broadcast out into the world. There are many approaches and variations of this idea for spreading the Good News. Creativity and a desire to share what many have already experienced in the love of Christ can make this a monumental effort which can be scaled to serve any congregations needs. Join us to see what you can do to evangelize your world.
The question needs to be asked about the future of the Church. Where will we be five, ten; twenty years from now? Also what role will we play in making sure it is a healthy prosperous future? Do the citizens of the Church of Christ consider Personal Evangelism to be optional?
Over the next several months there will be suggestions for participating in personal evangelism. There must be ways for us to insert ourselves into the workings of the Church. This viable lively body that belongs to our Lord functions well when her members participate in her being. Strong active members make for a strong body. As members of that body, ask yourself do you participate in the health of the body.
Let's begin this series of encouragements by taking a good look at ourselves and preparing for the opportunities that will be presented to increase the health of the Church. What is your answer, is personal evangelism optional?
Let me take this opportunity to clarify what the Church of Christ in Brookfield's Vision is for 2017 as far as it goes in choosing the book of Acts as a text for 2017. We will find the vision in Luke 1:4 (NIV)
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
We are presenting the Book of Acts that our membership may be certain of the things they have studied. Luke through inspiration of the Spirit lays out for us the work and mission of the Church. It is wise for us to heed this teaching of the Spirit of God and equip and edify the Saints in it's Doctrine. As we go through Acts there are several themes we will be able to present to the hearers of this oracle of life.
There are 8 themes I would like to share with you...
1. World Mission
2. Providence of God
3. Power of the Holy Spirit
4. Restored Israel
5. Inclusive Gospel
6. Faithful Witnesses
7. Relationship to the World
8. Triumph of the Gospel
Not to be overwhelming let me break these down once a week over the next eight weeks. I will post a blog giving you a little more information on each theme of Acts and you then can use it for your edification.
May we encourage the Church towards more faithfulness and fellowship in the community of His Saints.
Grace and Blessings,
Barry G Johnson, Sr.
In our journey through the Book of Acts we continue to learn more about the Church. You might ask what things are we to discover about the Church through the Book of Acts. Let me suggest a few things and if you have anything, share it with me in the dialogue box below.
1. We will discover that the Church was always in the mind of God.
2. We will discover that the Church has a job to do.
3. We will discover that the Lord desires for us to be added to the Church.
4. We will discover that the Church is the Lord's safe keeping place for those who belong to Him.
5. We will discover the workings and doctrine of the Church.
These are only a few of the things we will discover about the Church in Acts. What else do you think we will discover about the Church that should be brought out in our journey through this book?
God's Grace and Blessings,
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
Just a note to preview those things that are going on at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, Illinois. You can always check our website to go over the weekly bulletin and a great interactive calendar.
Wednesday the 27th Bible class continues the "Life of Jesus" dealing with His Baptism. Scripture text is Mt. 3:13-17; Mk. 1:9-11; LKMS. 3:21-22.
Brother Tony Padgett finishes this lesson and leads us into Jesus choosing His first disciples. Your scripture text are Jn. 1:35-51.
Black Friday Shopping
5 Tips for Saving Money
The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey
If Black Friday shopping were a game show, would you win? You would?
Well, first, consider us impressed! You must be a master of the mall and a Senior Sales Researcher. Oh, and second? This article is for you. You’re welcome.
Follow the tips below to save even bigger on Black Friday this year.
1. Leave your debit card at home.
Take the card from your wallet, close your eyes and ask your 4-year-old to stash it somewhere safe. You won’t be doing any swiping today. All you need is cash. Grab your Christmas envelope and hit the door with this mantra in mind: When it’s gone, it’s gone.
2. Give yourself a curfew.
If you choose to leave the comfort of home after your teenager crashes for the night, you’ve got more energy than we do. You can probably shop for hours on end—awesome deals are your battery juice and grabbing the last American Girl doll is your fuel. You, go-getter, need a cutoff time. Make plans to meet a friend for coffee or your family for lunch—and don’t be late!
3. Stick to the list.
Go all Santa on this one. Make a list, and check it twice. And for goodness’ sake, don’t toss it aside because of some blue-light special. Black Friday is all about the sales, so take advantage of discounts on items you already planned to buy. That’s it.
4. Bring a frenemy along.
You might call this person an accountability partner. We’re going with frenemy. This is the guy or gal who’s fun to have around, doesn’t mind schlepping from store to store, and won’t judge you for taking a cinnamon roll break at 4:30 in the morning. A frenemy is also unashamed to knock that diamond-studded Gucci bag to the ground before it becomes a permanent fixture on your shoulder.
5. Budget $20 for an impulse buy.
We’re not clueless. We know that despite your best efforts, something will call out to you and say, “You’ve worked so hard finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. Don’t you deserve a treat?” We know this because the average Black Friday shopper spends a whopping $130 on their own sweet self. Plan ahead so you can give in to the impulse without regret. Set aside $20 just for you.
Of course you could always just stay home, sleep off that turkey coma, and shop on Cyber Monday.
It is exciting to announce that the assemblies of the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL will be available on the Bible App YouVersion Live Events. When Brother Barry G. Johnson, Sr. is teaching or preaching you can follow along with scripture, answer questions, respond to polls, view videos; listen to audio messages and more all during, before or after the event. On your mobile device be sure to download YouVersion so that you can join the group "Brookfield on Sundays". The current topic of discussion is the book of Colossians, so look for that group.
Currently our "Colossians Study" for chapter 1 is available right now to view. From your YouVersion Bible App, click on the Live Events Icon and search for Colossians Study or Brookfield on Sundays or enter our zip code 60513. I am making it available now for those of you who like to study ahead. I look forward to this new tool which can help us deepen our faith and understanding of God's Word. Please send me your questions or comments on this effort and let us see where the Lord will lead.
Also try clicking on the link below which will take you to the Live Event group to register.
Blessings and Grace,
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
Years of preaching, becoming more familiar with each of you I've developed a wish list for your future. This is not just a wish list, it is hope for our future. Consider it a confidant expectation for those who faithful pursue God's Will and Way. There are seven areas which a balance can be achieved for a blessed life. Look at this list that comes from The teaching of Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller. They have a Biblical perspective and should challenge you in all areas.
This involves more than just being in the same room with your spouse and children. Schedule time on your calendar and talk to your family about what they want out of life, and how you can help them succeed. Let this time bring you closer together as a family.
Interacting with friends gives us great opportunities to talk to others, learn something new or just have fun. And we all need that. Set a specific number of visits with friends for the month or year, and list out some activities to do with them.
Whether it's getting your income up or your outgo down, you should have plans to change your financial situation this year. This should be one of the easier areas because you have numbers to guide you. Pay down $10,000? Write it down. Get an extra job to bring in some more cash? Make it happen.
In these next 12 months, take significant and measurable steps to get into your ideal career if you aren't in one you enjoy already. Take a class, read a book, or talk to someone in the field. Bottom line: build some momentum.
This is the area that puts everything else into perspective. Spiritual goals are important because sometimes the weight of everything in life can wear you down. These goals give you balance. Set aside some personal time, or talk to someone whom you admire on this subject for advice.
Many of us sit at a desk or are otherwise immobile during working hours. Exercising and losing weight helps you feel better, and that spills over into other areas of life. What are your physical goals for 2014?
They're called books, and reading them exercises the gray matter between your ears. You get new ideas from reading about material that interests you or that can help you professionally or personally.
Take the simple advice and direction from these areas to become balanced and blessed.
Grace and Blessings,
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.