Engage Sunday

Series: Special Occasions

October 01, 2017
Brad Shockley

Episode Notes

Today is a BIG day in the life of our church. It’s what we call ENGAGE Sunday.

Now the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear the word engage may be (((VIDEO))) a guy getting down on one knee and proposing.

That’s not, of course, what Engage Sunday is about. 

The first thing that pops in my mind when I hear the word engage is (((VIDEO))) Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise saying, “Engage.”

That’s much closer to what we’re getting at!

The dictionary defines engage in a number of ways…

1 attract or involve (someone’s interest or attention).

3 (engage in/with) participate or become involved in.

4 (with reference to a part of a machine or engine) move into position so as to come into operation.

Engage Sunday is about all those things and more!

As Christians we are called to get engaged in ministry, in community, and in church life.

This engagement is clearly seen in the earliest church, and I know this because the book of Acts in the NT is an account of the church’s birth and what happened in it’s first 30 years or so.

Look with me at what I call a verbal snapshot, or a selfie with words found in Acts 2…

Acts 2:42–47 (ESV) — 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

No better word sums up what’s happening here than ENGAGED. They were engaged full steam in church life, and by church I do not mean a building or meeting place, but a group of believers gathered together.

The church was NEVER meant to be associated with a building, by the way.

We could spend much time unpacking that, but look particularly at verses 44 & 46…

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts…

Now that is what getting engaged in church life is all about. Being together. They were learning God’s word together, and they were living God’s word together. You might say they were growing together in grace.

One function of the church is to provide opportunity for everyone to come together and grow in grace.

Just as it’s part of human nature to seek relationships with other humans, it’s built in for believers to seek community with other believers. There has never been any such thing as a church of one.

What we’re doing this morning is a part of this, but there has to be more. Of course, there is.

On Engage Sunday you can find out more about ways to connect beyond worship and get engaged in church life. Three of those ways are highlighted at a booth I’ll host.

Sunday School - a class on Sunday morning for all age groups. We use a curriculum that focuses on teaching the Bible in a relevant way. Being part of SS will help you to grow deeper in your faith with others on the same journey.

LifeView  - LifeView is about doing life together from a Christian point of view; it’s about setting aside all the stuff that gets in the way and just being real. LifeView helps you grow deeper in relationships with others on the same journey.

20/20 - this is a great starting place if your new to us, and  even if you’ve been here a while.

20/20 helps bring PVFBC into focus by looking at …

•WHO WE ARE - Pastor Brad shares his personal story and the story of how God brought him and PVFBC together.

•WHY WE’RE HERE - Our vision, purpose, and mission.

•WHAT WE BELIEVE - Our biblical core values, what denomination we associate with, and how we cooperate with 40,000 other churches to impact the world for Christ.

•WHAT IT MEANS TO JOIN US ON THE JOURNEY -What is the Gospel? The importance of baptism & the Lord’s Supper and the three expectations of members.

At the end you have a chance to decide if PVFBC is for you or even let us know if you need more time or information.

Those are some ways to get engaged in church life at PVFBC, and I hope you’ll consider them if you aren’t involved in them already.

Before we go, let’s look in Acts again at another verse that tells us a lot about what was happening in the early church…

Acts 6:1–3 (ESV) — 1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, 

To understand this, we go back to…

Acts 2:47 (ESV) — … And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Just so you know, to grow, you must endure growing pains (I did!). 

a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 

One of the biggest needs in the community back then was a way to help widows who had no means of support. The early church organized a food ministry (imagine how many were saved by reaching out in the community that way). So they brought the office of deacon into being…

2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

We see two things here. They were heavily engaged in ministry and community.

We are still writing the book on that here at PVFBC, but our hearts’ desire is to get engaged in our community and get engaged in meaningful ministry.

There are booths highlighting all the ministries we offer here. 

*** And one where you can tell us what we need to start offering!

There are also booths showcasing community organizations such as the PVVFD that we can get engaged in. The one thing we cannot do is hide behind these four walls!

Conclusion: I’ve told this before, but it’s worth telling again…

“The late columnist Mike Royko writes about a conversation he had with Slats Grobnik, a man who sold Christmas trees. Slats remembered one couple on the hunt for a Christmas tree. The guy was skinny with a big Adam's apple and small chin, and she was kind of pretty. But both wore clothes from the bottom of the bin of the Salvation Army store. 

After finding only trees that were too expensive, they found a Scotch pine that was okay on one side, but pretty bare on the other. Then they picked up another tree that was not much better—full on one side, scraggly on the other. She whispered something, and he asked if $3 would be okay. Slats figured both trees would not be sold, so he agreed. 

A few days later Slats was walking down the street and saw a beautiful tree in the couple's apartment. It was thick and well rounded. He knocked on their door and they told him how they worked the two trees close together where the branches were thin. Then they tied the trunks together. The branches overlapped and formed a tree so thick you couldn't see the wire. Slats described it as ‘a tiny forest of its own.’

‘So that's the secret,’ Slats asserts. "You take two trees that aren't perfect, that have flaws, that might even be homely, that maybe nobody else would want. If you put them together just right, you can come up with something really beautiful.’”

And that is the secret of the church, with all her flaws and blemishes. When her individual members come together in ministry and service, using their unique gifts, something beautiful happens.

At the fair are multiple booths highlighting ministry opportunities at PVFBC, as well as in the PV area, that will allow all of us to intertwine together and be more, do more, than we could alone.

Chances are, you’ve seen room for improvement around here, whether it’s the need for more classes or groups, the need for more ministries, the need to get more involved in the community, the need for a little more polish in how we do things. Just so you know…

We know there are many areas for improvement at PVFBC.

It’s one thing to be blind to your faults. It’s another to be aware of them and do nothing. And yet another to be aware of them and committed to make improvement.

We are committed to moving forward  and adding all these things, improving all these things along the way. If you see something missing, that may be your cue to step up.

Regardless, I pray you will stay today enjoy a great meal, great fellowship, and a great opportunity to get engaged in ministry, community, & church life.

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