Share God’s Story (Pt. 3 of Open)

Intro:Today: Act on it or Accept it

  • Review Series / Sharing God’s Story
  • Why?
    • The power of 1 Invitation <>
    • 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. Do this with gentleness and respect.” <>
  • We are at table (where)


  • Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)
  • Wages
    • Wage = Earn
    • You did something to so you have earned something
  • Sin
    • This is what you did- sin.
      • Missing the Mark (Broad) >> Fall short of God’s glory
    • ILL: Eagle catching a fish <>
    • APP: Sin promises a great meal but down the line, when you want to get rid of the shame and humiliation, you can’
    • What did you earn?
  • Death
    • Death = Broadly: Soul, life, marriage, relationships, financial, disease, all of it.
    • What causes struggle <> sin does.
  • But…
  • Gift
    • A gift is free- no strings unattached
    • It is the opposite of wage. You do not earn a gift.
  • God
    • God gives you this gift, you did nothing to deserve it.
    • What is God’s response to your sin? Hate <>, no! love!
  • Eternal Life
    • A relationship with eternity- God.
    • “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
    • Eternal life is a relationship with God
    • ILL: Vine > Branch, Breaking Bread, Shepherd to sheep
  • Vertical Line in middle- Our blocks us from God’s gift.
    • How do you overcome the divide?
  • Jesus Christ (Cross bar)
    • John 3:16
    • When we accept what Jesus did for us by faith we cross the divide.
  • APP: You can do this on a napkin (get out napkin)
  • APP: What do you do if they accept Jesus and this teaching?
    • Acts 2:41, ““Those who accepted his message were baptized.”
    • So we do the same. If somone accepts this message they are to be baptized.
    • What is baptism?
    • Video: Baptism- a simple theology
    • 12/6- Baptism Sunday


You need to either act on this or accept it.

  • Act On it: 5 people business card handout <>
  • Accept It: Sins wiped away >> eternal life >> gifts of the Spirit >> could you not use some more of that in your life?


PRAY (For people on the card and those thinking about accepting it)



God’s Work Done God’s Way…

This past month we did a series on how Christians can share their faith with others.  Do you realize that giving is related to a church’s success when it comes to evangelism?

Often when it comes to our giving we ask, “How much will it cost?”  Wrong question. The right question is, “Who will it reach?”  Next year, if we are going to get serious about the Raise the Bar campaign and reach people with Jesus we need to understand it will cost money.  Our 2016 is geared to reaching and making disciples as Jesus commanded us.  Our budget represents people and their souls, not dollar signs.  With that in mind here are a few observations to consider:

First, money spent on reaching others for Jesus is never an “expense;” it’s always an investment.  Jesus said plainly that we are to use our resources to win friends in heaven. (Luke 16:9) I say that is quite an investment, an eternal one!

Secondly, your giving helps make God’s vision for the church come true.  When the church family gives to the needs of the church instead of going and making disciples money is usually tight- and rightly so.  God did not design His church to exist for it’s own sake.  Give so God’s vision of souls won to Christ might be realized.

Thirdly, when a church family gives meagerly you get meager results.  Do you remember the story when Jesus told Peter to find money in the mouth of a fish to pay Roman taxes?  He told Peter to throw out a line and said you’ll catch a fish with some money in it. Would you believe Jesus if you were Peter? But hat’s exactly what happened.  There is a lesson in that story. The coin is in the mouth of the fish! Peter had to go fishing to get the needed resources. When we are faithful in giving to reach the lost, God will be faithful to us.

Lastly, I remember this old quote, “God’s work done God’s way will not lack God’s support.”  Hudson Taylor, the great missionary, said this as the motto of his ministry.  This is our ultimate goal at C3- to do God’s work God’s way.

Have Yourself Committed!


Part 4 of Open: Follow Me as I Follow Christ


My dream is for every Christian to help someone have a life changing connection with Jesus

  • Review series / Paul /
  • Go Group = Follow Jesus
    • Jesus invited people to follow him b4 they believed in him <>
    • “Follow Me” was not a game of “Jesus says” but an invitation to a relationship
  • Me growing up in church
    • Cynical (room full of the Spirit)
    • High School- My game of Jesus says <>
      • Made me miserable (See other people doing it right)
      • Made me angry (cause I wouldn’t see other others playing that game)
    • Problem playing “Jesus says” – you never win.
  • If you could take away the TV preachers, books, Christian music and read Jesus’ story you see something remarkable- It is so relational, not a bunch of guidelines.
    • Jesus came so we can understand God
    • He gave highly relational pictures
      • Vine and the branch
      • Bread of Life
      • Shepherd and sheep (voice)
    • “Follow me” is not playing Jesus says. It’s entering into a life changing relationship with Jesus.
  • You don’t have to believe everything about Jesus to start following Jesus.
    • Go Group- He said “Follow me” over and over again.
    • Following Jesus was decidedly personal.


  • Peter, Matthew 4:18-20
    • Jesus says to Peter, “Follow Me.”
    • You see how the command was understood by how Peter responded.
    • How did Peter respond?
      • Did he ask, “What must I do to be saved? What commands? What’s your position on…?”
      • He simply got up and started walking with Jesus daily (relational)
      • Note: Peter didn’t respond by just dropping everything (Luke 5)
    • Later, we see Peter doing the same thing with Cornelius
      • Acts 10, Cornelius
      • “They asked Peter to stay with him for several days.” Acts 10:48
    • Mark (The Gospel is Peter’s acct. of Jesus’ life)
      • Peter calls Mark his Son. (I Peter)
      • We know from the book of Acts that Mark was a constant companion of Peter’s
      • After Peter died in Rome Mark went on to start a church in Alexandria, Egypt. Following the example of Peter.
    • You sit here today because Jesus said follow me to Peter, then Peter said follow me as I follow Christ to Cornelius and Mark. And today you sit here because of Cornelius. You have the Gospel of Mark because of this.
    • Notice it wasn’t about a playing Jesus says, but about having relationship with each other. <>
    • Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
      • “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1  And again, “I urge you to imitate me.”  1 CR 4:16
      • “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” PH 3:17
    • Helping someone become a Christian is so much more than getting someone to admit they are a sinner and getting them to sign off on some contract or set of new rules.
    • It’s about following, being n a great relationship with each other and with Jesus.
    • Jesus, Peter, Paul all said follow me as I follow Christ (relational)
      • Why can’t we, as Christ followers, do the same? 


  • Perhaps the first step is not church attendance, or playing Jesus, but merely inviting them to follow you as you follow Jesus.
    • Invite over for dinner, barbecue, friends, show the love of God
    • Out for lunch at work or coffee, or playing a game
    • Spiritual twist in your conversation
    • What if you shared your faith in the context of a caring relationship instead of some forced moment?
  • What if we followed Jesus example, Paul’s example and said follow me.
    • Peter and Paul were not perfect.
    • You will not be perfect either, that’s ok.
  • “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble (Notice the “follow” motif here), whether Jews, Greeks (non-Christians) or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 CR 10:31-11:1
  • What if we lived out this verse of scripture?
    • Our culture needs to see Christians worth following (not cliché or platitudes), marriages, singles, students,
    • Christians seeking the good of many
    • Xians who dare 2 say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
  • Paul talked about sharing your story and your story has greater impact when you allow your story to interact with other people’s story and say, follow me as I follow Christ.



TIME OF COMMITMENT:            I invite you to follow me as I follow Christ.


Raise the Bar Campaign Team / 2016 Budget

Two big announcements were made yesterday during the service.

First, we announced the Raise the Bar Campaign Team.  This past summer we listened to your dreams for C3, and we also listened and prayed to God for guidance, and came up with a 5 year vision for our church family.  It will be the task of this team to start significant progress for the vision in the first 2 years.  Your RtB team is:

  • Campaign Team Manager: Paul Vaughan
  • Team Administrator: Jose Pieria
  • Be the Church (Discipleship): Chris Ringler
  • Activate a New Campus (Relocation): Tyler Gross
  • Reach Out to the Community (Outreach): Tameka Watkins
  • Prayer Coordinator: Mikaela Watkins

Also, Danny, one of our Elders, announced the 2016 Budget.  In his talk he mentioned how there was a new approach this year. In the past the approach was cautious but this year they decided to believe in faith that God could and would fully fund the ministry God has placed before us.

The 2016 budget is up for your review and barring any changes or if there need to be more time to address raised concerns, the budget will stand approved on December 13th.

You can get a copy of the church budget from our web page.  Just follow this link:

Tell Your Story (Part 3 of Open / Message Outline)

This message was given by Paul Vaughan.

Share Your Story


  • Sharing your story of faith involves words, your words!
  • Often, we get intimidated putting words onto our faith story.

Text for Today: I Corinthians 2:1-2

  • Paul was a brilliant scholar, but chose not to use it and preached Christ.
  • “I preach noting but Christ crucified.” – Paul

How to Tell Your Story

  • Earn the right to be heard by sincerely listening.
    • We may not all be evangelists, but we all can be a friend.
    • ILL: Google Search result: Why are Christians so mean?
  • Stress the Love of God: Luke 4:18-19, IS 61:2
    • Transparency is critical.
    • When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 in Luke he left part about God’s vengeance out.
  • Present the Person of Jesus, 1 Corinthians 2:3-4
  • Keep it Simple
    • Acts 9:22, We will have opportunities to present out arguments for our faith.
    • It is hard to argue with your personal story.
  • Use your own story. The more your story overlaps with Jesus’ story the more relevance your faith will have.

Conclusion: Can you tell your story in 3-5 minutes?

Join the Circle of Love

The “Circle of Love” is a Christmas event in partnership with Oakland Elementary School we started last year for families needing help during Christmas who live in the Chuckatuck area.  During our “Feast” this Saturday we will have a Christmas tree set up with Ginger Bread men on it representing each child.  On the “cookie” you will find a child’s name and gift suggestions.  Please bring the gifts you have selected to the church on December 13th and we will deliver them.

This year we have 10 families represented with 35 children.  The following is a note from a mother we helped last year:

“I’m a single mother of 3 and could use any help that’s possible.  Anything is better than nothing.  I am highly grateful that I have this opportunity.  Last year help from you guys really made my kids Christmas morning a success.  Thanks.”

You are making a difference c3!

When it comes to sharing your faith, do this first.

Message Notes from Sunday Message, Nov. 1, 2015


  • I believe every Christian should have the thrill of introducing Jesus to someone.
  • Not a Christian <>
    • Lie: High pressured, bully, that faith is a contract
    • Emotional: No thought or intelligence
  • Jesus said, “Follow me..”
  • Review: Sparrow, Everyone matters to God whether God matters to them or not.
    • Jesus gave his life <>
    • This church being a place for people who don’t like church
    • Why: Jesus did not come to for himself, but for others. As his body we are to be no different.
  • Problem: Christianity reduced to some kind of formula: 4 Spiritual Laws, 5 Fingers of Faith, or prayer, or baptism. <We reduce faith to a formula, an equation, a contract>
    • All important
  • They elements of a committed relationship with God- a covenant, not a contract.
  • James (background)
    • “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
    • Often when sharing the faith we do the opposite of James instruction.
      • Proposition >>> listening get is the way
      • Their concerns discarded >> I’ve got good news
      • Their values different >>> we get angry
      • Result >> we do not produce the righteousness God desires, faith in Jesus
    • What if Christians practiced this verse when it came to sharing the faith?
      • Quick to listen (Christian cliché’s and judgements)
      • Slow to Speak (Think how our word represent Christ b4 we speak)
      • Slow to anger (When views of others are contrary to scripture)
      • Produces righteousness God desires- through Christ’s sacrifice.
    • Evangelism: Listen first, speak second. Listen to their story first.


  • Background (Peter >> Persecution >> Philip)
  • Philip the Evangelist (Not the Apostle)
    • Acts 8
    • Background (Peter >> Persecution >> Philip)
    • Acts 6: Philip the Disciple anoints Philip the Evangelist as a Deacon
      • Deacon: Full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom
      • Philip: >> Samaria >> public speaking >> close attention to his words and brought joy to the city.
    • Acts 8: Angel tell him to go towards a city called Gaza >> Ethiopian Eunuch
  • Acts 8:26
    • Insight #1: Go near non-Christians
      • God sent Philip away from the church
      • Church is called by God to “go and make” not “come and wait”
      • Go near to those who have faith in Jesus.
    • Acts 8:27-28
      • He heard the stories about Jesus
    • Acts 8:29
      • Philip didn’t tell the Good News right away <>
      • Insight #2: Hang out with people who need to hear it.
        • Stay near him.
        • As a Christian gets older this has to be more and more intentional.
        • Limited programming at C3
          • Example: Wednesday Nights Use it to be near non-Christians
          • Don’t settle on this idea that when we build it we become a “come and wait” I’ll come to church and wait for non-Christians to come.
          • Jesus didn’t do that with us so we will not do that either.
        • You cannot listen to someone unless you go near them.
      • Acts 8:30
        • “Heard”
        • Insight #3: Yu cannot hear the other person without listening.
        • Why? Build trust. Show God’s love.
        • You are an ambassador of Christ, you represent his love.
          • “We are Christ’s ambassadors” 2 Corinthians 5:20, “as though God were making his appeal (to follow Jesus) through us.”
        • No trust / No relationship
        • Once you listen then you need to listen some more
          • Philip asked, “Do you understand?”
          • Ask more questions. <types of questions>
          • ILL: Jesus > 135 questions
            • “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” MT 5:46
            • Who of you by worrying add a single day to his life?” MT 6:27
            • “What do you think?” Matthew 18:12
            • “What is it you want?” Matthew 20:21
            • “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” Luke 24:17
          • Acts 8:31
            • Notice: He asked for the explanation…
            • But this scare a lot of Christians (Yea, did you know that when you were not a Christian. They were scared to share this with you.)
            • What do you say? (Next week: Share your story, Share God’s story)
          • Acts 8:32-34 (Read it)
          • Acts 8:35
            • He connected the question with Jesus.
            • Like a great spider-web (It is Halloween) everything is connected to Jesus at the center.
            • Every question of faith ends up on him.


  • For today: The step into sharing your faith is to listen first, speak second.
    • The first step is not to speak up, but to shut up.
    • ILL: Jesus > Nicodemus, Paul b4 Agrippa
  • Why? , “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
    • Not our righteousness, but God’s righteousness through Jesus
    • Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry
  • “Go and make” not “come and wait for disciples”
  • We have to go near them so we can hear them.



  • The Good News: God came, God dies, God Rose, God Reigns.
  • Through him, you will have peace, freedom, and a new outlook on life and death.