Starting on, October 11th, we'll begin walking through Acts 10-13. It's going to create the a lot of tension in every single person that will be in attendance. I'm partially excited and fearful to be honest. The scriptures I'll preach on are going to provoke us to ask and consider some very difficult questions about the way we view certain people, but the good news is that everyone of us will see the gospel work in our lives as God shapes us into His likeness.
I've called this section of Acts: Those People. Every single person, whether you are a Christian or not, has a group of "Those People" who you have resentment towards, hate, consider less human, or even a group of people who you despise the most.
Here's a little exercise for you, go ahead and confess to the Lord what you are really thinking about people who you are indifferent towards...it's ok, I promise:
- I really don't like black people...I'm actually afraid of them to be honest
- I really hate Democrats or I think Republicans are the worst people
- I really hate white people
- I wish hispanics would just learn English
- I think hipsters are idiots and should get a real job
- I'm uncomfortable around gay people
- I can't stand rich people or middle class folks
- I think Christians are the issue with the world
Here's the good news, you aren't in trouble for openly confessing this! What it means though, you've got some opportunity for the gospel to change your heart. The real problem is not being able to admit these things because of fear. I'd submit to you that simply acknowledging some things will open the door of freedom in your life for God to do a great work in your life and free you to love people as He does.
The gospel begins to eliminate our prejudices, hatred, and indifferences because the gospel unites all in Christ into a new family. Regardless of your past or present, when God brings you into His family He gives you a new name and identity. The early church in Acts struggled deeply with this, and I would submit to you that we still do today.
So here's a couple actions steps as you prepare for the launch of this series:
1. Read Acts 10-13, Ephesians 3, Philippians 2, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
2. Ask yourself, "Who are the people I disregard in life?" "How can God soften my heart towards my indifference?"
3. Pray for The District Church, that during this campaign God would unite us under the banner of reconciliation and redemption.
4. Pray for our church family to grow in diversity: racially, socially, economically, and generationally.
5. Pray for our staff as we prepare to lead you through this campaign.