We are living in a day when Christians could have some cause for concern over the state of the church in our country. Specifically, its health and growth. As Thom Ranier recently noted in an article entitled “Why American churches are at a tipping point,”
If current trajectories continue, American churches will pass a tipping point. Our congregations will likely begin an unstoppable path toward decline that will rival many European churches of the past century. If there is not a significant movement of revitalization, there will be an accelerated rate of decline and death.
Or consider a warning from pastor Mike Woodruff to his fellow pastors of churches in his home state of Illinois, in an article entitled “Churches brace for Illinois exodus,”
“…most Illinois churches are unprepared for [the decline] that is going to happen…in these challenging times.”
How do we reconcile such realities with the Biblical vision of an expansive and growing kingdom of God? Further, with the teaching that the church is to be the means for that expansion? I believe that Luke’s goal in writing, in part, is to provide both a picture and a confidence for how the kingdom will grow, no matter the opposition arrayed against it. And I invite you now to watch or listen to the sermon on Luke, where we learn that the whole book could be summed up this way—God’s Not Done Yet.
If you’d like some additional resources on Luke, head on over to the Bible Project page for this story. You’ll also be interested in a fascinating series of videos on both Luke and Acts, two books which are meant to be read together. You can find that here.
I look forward to gathering with you on Sunday.
This coming Sunday we move into a new section of our journey through the Whole Story. Namely, those letters written to the churches of the first century, in whom were the People of the Kingdom.
Most studies put the percentage of the American public in a church on Sunday morning at around 20%. Which means 80% of the population in our country—and likely it's the same in our community—are not in a gathering like this this morning.
The Whole Story
On Sunday, January 7th, we will begin a year and a half exploration of the whole story of the whole Bible...
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.
Helpful Resources for Living on Mission
This last Sunday, we gave a number of things away that I believe are really helpful resources as we live on mission at Calvary, making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. I thought it would be helpful to make sure you had access to them, in case you were unable to be there, or you were there but missed noting the ones we gave away.
The Great Secret
This past Sunday at Calvary, I preached a sermon from John’s story of Jesus, focusing on Jesus’ concern that we know and understand God as our Father, and all that follows from that cataclysmic reality.
This week we continue to look at Portraits of Jesus, painted with words, in the first five books of the New Testament. And we now turn our attention to John’s story, which will vividly display Jesus as the Son of God.