– what God began five short years ago has grown significantly. During that time frame, over 50 churches in Kansas City have participated in “What if the Church”.
– this year, our Big Idea focus for this series is “Because Jesus is Lord, the Church comes together, barriers come down, and the city is transformed.”
– as the Israelites are taken captive and relocated to Babylon, God gives one of his prophets, Jeremiah, this message from Jeremiah 29:1,3-7
– how would we respond today if we were put in that same situation?
– Jesus tied this together when he taught we are a city on a hill: Matt. 5:14-16
– we can feel like exiles in our own land, when the world around us is wrong or evil or whatever. So how do we live well as Christ followers?
– we, like the Israelites, have one of three options:
1. we can assimilate (the Babylonian way) – just like everyone else in every way – intellectually, socially, culturally, and spiritually. Christians lose our ability to be distinctive and become just like everyone else.
2. we can isolate (Jewish way) – develop a culture of tribalism – we exist within the culture, but as minimal as possible. Whatever we do is only for personal gain.
3. we can integrate (God’s way) – build homes, move in, raise our families, and passionately and persistently seek the peace and prosperity of all parts of our city.
– when it comes to our communities or cities, we have the opportunity to live this out locally as we partner and serve our local schools.
– if we together collectively take the rist, we can see dramatic, supernatural things happen
– how do we gain influence in our schools by absolute service? Not with our agendas, or for personal gain, but in service to those in leadership – in service to those in need.