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We believe real life only happens in a relationship with Jesus.  

 

The best decision we ever made was to follow Jesus.  We’re regular people moved by God’s extraordinary grace.  

We are a church eager to experience passionate worship, authentic connection, and to grow in our love of God.  

We love our local community and want to help every person take a NEXT STEP with Jesus.

 
 
 
 
 
our PURPOSE
 
 
WORSHIP GOD
We are made for this!
When so much competes for our attention, worshiping God
refocuses us.
Renewed, we’re ready for a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Life is better together.
Where life separates and isolates, Christ connects. Life change happens best in relationship.
We take our
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
SERVE TOGETHER
Our world is bigger than just us. Love listens and acts.
ServeTeams partner with local and global ministries
to love and take a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
REACH OUR WORLD
We have amazing news to share. Jesus opened the door to relationship with God. We were made for this! We can’t wait to
help others take a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
 
 
new SERIES
 
ThanksLIVING:
 
 Once a year we celebrate how grateful we are. What if Thanksgiving became our lifestyle? What if we lived every day grateful. Have you every witnessed a truly thankful person down on life? ThanksLIVING, making gratitude our lifestyle, could revolutionize our relationships, our work habits, our entire outlook on life…all for the better. Go from Thanksgiving to daily ThankLIVING. You’ll be glad you did!
 
This Sunday’s Message:
 
 
 
 
weekly BLOG
 

“Relational Vampires: Hypocritical People”

Week 4: How do I love a hypocrite?
 
How do I love a hypocrite?
-Why are they acting that way?
-Maybe they don’t really know God
-Maybe they don’t know better.
-Maybe they know better but still disobey God. (Hypocrite)
 
What to pray when lovingly confronting a fellow Jesus-follower:
-“God, help me to confront with the goal of restoration”
-“God, help me to confront carefully.”
-“God, help me to see when I’m a hypocrite.”
 
Bottom Line: Hypocrisy ends where repentance begins. Invite others to join you there.
 
Further Conversation
1. How do you define hypocrisy in your own words? What’s the opposite of a hypocrite?
2. Why is it important to not ask or expect non-Christians to live by Christian standards. What would it look like to practice this?
3. Read Galatians 6:1 What is a good example of confronting with the goal to restore?
4. Read Matthew 18:15-17 How does Jesus’ way help protect us from hypocrisy? How does it aim at restoration for everyone?
5. Read Psalm 51:10-13 Have you ever been a part of a healthy confrontation that led to restoration? What made it work?
6. Read James 5:19-20 How can or will you change the way you confront others. Are there any relationships you need to begin to restore? How can Christ Church help you take this next step?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – James 5:19-20
I remember the panic as I lost track of my mom in the supermarket. I was maybe 7 or 8. I ran up and down the aisles trying to find my family, certain that I would be lost forever. I am so grateful to the young lady who saw me, comforted me, and guided me to the Customer Service desk where my mother was waiting. Jesus followers sometimes get lost along the way. We make wrong decisions, we get caught up in sin that pull us away from the path Christ marks out. Who will have the courage to call us back? The challenge is that we don’t like being told we are going the wrong way. We don’t want our sin recognized for what it is. But we need it. Hypocrisy is claiming Christ but not fully following Christ. Who do you know that needs lovingly guided back? Where might you?
Pray: LORD Jesus, help me be honest with myself when I am not following you. And give me the courage to love others back to you.
 
Tuesday – Jude 1:4
Love everyone. Simple enough, right? But how do we love? People today claim that love means accepting and approving of someone choices and beliefs. That has never been true. I can love someone without approving of their beliefs or practices. In fact, we as a Jesus followers are called to protect the truth and teachings within the church. Jude calls out false beliefs. There is loving ways to confront. Love is always Grace + Truth. Grace welcomes. Truth corrects. May we do both well. Love cares enough to confront.
Pray: Almighty God, help me love others as you do. May I be full of grace and sacrifice while standing firm in your truth.
 
Wednesday – 1 John 2:1-6
What will you dress as for halloween? My son dressed as superman a few years back. He had the bright blue suit and the flowing red cape. He ran around with his fist extended pretending to fly. For a moment, in his mind, he was superman. But we know dressing the part doesn’t make you a superhero. In the same way, saying I’m a Christian doesn’t make me one. I can sit in a garage and say “vroom vroom” but it does not make me a car. A Christian is one who has surrendered to the lordship and authority of Jesus Christ. As Paul writes, “I no longer live, it is Christ who lives in me.” Who is your Lord? John challenges us to find forgiveness in Christ and to obey him alone. That is the sign that identifies a Christian.
Pray: Jesus, Son of God, you are my Lord and my Savior. My sin is forgiven by you and my life now belongs to you! I am yours.
 
Thursday – Matthew 18:15-17
I’ve not heard this passage preached often in my life. In our culture of tolerance, it sounds mean to confront someone. Its sounds downright unChristian to treat someone differently because of sin. Yet Jesus gives us this instruction. What is Jesus’ goal? First, its a reminder that sin has consequences. Sin separates us from God. Even when forgiven, staying in sin will keep us from growing in faith. Sin also harms the church. Love requires confrontation. But look at how Jesus instructs us to treat the unrepentant. We treat them like pagan or tax collector. We redefine our relationship with them and begin loving them back into the church. This is not hate but compassion. It is love! How have you seen confrontation done in the church? How does Jesus’ way protect us from hypocrisy?
Pray: Heavenly Father, help me aim for holiness and flee from sin. Help me love others enough to guide them to do the same.
 
Friday – Psalm 51:9-13
Sometimes I am especially grateful for a warm shower. Truth is, some days after some activities, I just stink! In moments like that, I don’t want to be out in public. I know I’m dirty and I would fear rejection. Sin has a similar stench within our souls. Deep down, we know there is a problem and we slowly pull away from those who might be sensitive enough to smell it on us. The problem is that if we stay in our sin long enough, we lose our sensitivity to it and no longer realize how damaging it is to our relationship with God and others. I love a shower because it cleanses me. Repentance does the same for my soul. This psalm captures the cry of someone desperate to be cleaned and restored. How is your soul? Are you in need of God’s shower of grace? Let this Psalm become your prayer.
Pray: LORD Jesus, create in me a clean heart. Forgive and restore me. Renew a right spirit within me. I need you.
 
Saturday – Galatians 6:1
I’m a father, responsible for three young children. I’m a husband and I have a responsibility to my wife. I’m a pastor with a responsibility to the church. I’m a neighbor with a responsibility to my neighbors. The list could go on and on. If we are in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to others. We must love them, guide them, and seek their best. This means loving others enough to lead them away from sin and danger. This is what it means to be responsible. How needs you to step up in their life today?
Pray: Loving God, thank you for those who exercised loving responsibility over me. Help me step up and love others the same.

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“Relational Vampires: Needy People”

Week 3: How do I love a needy person?
 
How do I love a needy person?
Remember – A chronic problem is not solved by a crisis solution.
 
We give strategically. – Aim to give a hand up, not a hand out
We serve wisely. – You can’t say “yes” often unless you say “no” occasionally
We trust God completely. – Don’t steal God’s glory by writing yourself into someone else’s story
 
Bottom Line: Its only hard to love a needy person when I forget how Jesus meets my needs.
 
Further Conversation
1. Dogs or cats, which are overly needy? Why?
2. Who are a few of the most life-giving people you know? What makes them different?
3. Read Acts 3:1-13a. What surprises you most about this story? When has a need of yours ended up serving a greater purpose?
4. What are some potential dangers when giving emotionally? How can helping sometimes hurt? How have you experienced this?
5. You can’t say ‘yes’ often unless you say ‘no’ occasionally. How does it make you feel to say no? What makes you feel this way?
6. Share a story about when you or someone else tried to play God’s role of rescuer/hero? What would you do differently now?
7. Read John 13:34-35. What do you need to change to better love people who have needs? What actions will you take to trust God with your needs? How can Christ Church help?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Acts 2:42-47
Evangelism and faith sharing terrify many people. We’re often so afraid we’ll say something wrong or look dumb. Maybe we’ve heard the bullhorns screaming judgement or been confronted by pushy people with pamphlets. But the early church practiced a different kind of evangelism. They shared in such a way that no one had need. Yes, preaching and teaching in public took place. But it was the love shared and needs being met that drew people into the community. Truth is, we all are needy. Jesus continues to meet our needs, often through the church. How have you been open to the church about your needs? How have you shared with others through the church? Who do you know that needs Jesus like this?
Pray: LORD Jesus, help the church become a place of incredible openness and sharing. And help me lead the way.
 
Tuesday – Luke 18:35-43
The people yelled “be quiet!” Can you imagine standing next to Jesus and telling a person in need to “be quiet!” I doubt the crowd was especially cruel. My guess is that Jesus was speaking and the crowd didn’t like the distraction. Overly needy people are often an exhausting distraction. After a while, our resources are drained and our patience has worn thin. But this story reminds us to not miss the opportunity for a miracle. Those that scorned the needy person almost missed witnessing a healing. When it was all over, everyone marveled at what God had done. It became another story to share. When we push needy people away, we risk missing seeing Jesus at work. Who do you know that really needs to be brought to Jesus?
Pray: Jesus, Son of God, please do let my eagerness for you or my weariness of others distract me from seeing you work in the world.
 
Wednesday – Mark 1:35-39
My son really wants me to buy a new Jeep. He loves those things! He points them out everywhere we go. I so wish I could buy one, but I can’t afford it. Many of us know this type of frustration. The truth is, we can not give what we do not have. Same goes concerning spiritual matters. If we don’t take time to allow Jesus to fill our souls, we won’t have the love or spiritual energy to share with others. Even Jesus took time by himself to be refueled through prayer. How is your spiritual gas tank? How generous are you being? How can you take time today to let Christ refuel you?
Pray: Almighty God, refresh and restore my spirit. I can’t give what I don’t have. I want to share you with others in need.
 
Thursday – Galatians 6:7-10
We don’t like watching people we love go through hurt. Yet, have we ever considered how our love can cause hurt. Its so important to know the difference between a crisis and a learning opportunity. A crisis requires immediate help. However, when we sow sin or continually make poor choices, the consequences may be the learning opportunity we need (and God will use) to bring change. Interjecting and holding back the full weight of those consequences could actually enable us to stay in an unhealthy pattern. We harvest what we sow. Hunger is a great motivator to cause us to consider sowing something different. How have your struggles taught you? Who do you need to love enough to let them hunger?
Pray: Heavenly Father, please give me the love and wisdom to know when and how to best to help those in need.
 
Friday – Psalm 70:5
Before & After photos can be incredibly motivating. I have a friend who lost over two hundred pounds. Her two pictures tell a tale of need, determination, and change. She is an inspiration because her story offers hope to others who have a similar need. We all have ‘before’ stories. We all are born into need. We are broken people who have made a mess of something in our lives. Hopefully, you are experiencing change and healing in Jesus. Whatever you do, don’t loose track of that ‘before’ story. The Psalmist urges us to remember our need. What is your story? Where is your need? How is Jesus changing you? Our story humbles us. It gives us empathy for others in need. And it gives others hope when we share it. Who do you know that could benefit from your story?
Pray: LORD Jesus, thank you for how you meeting my needs and healing my soul. Help me share my story of your power in my life.
 
Saturday – John 13:34-35
Sometimes helping hurts. TOMS shoes is renown for their buy one give one policy. For every pair of shoes you buy from them, they give a pair of shoes to a person in an impoverished country. The problem is that giving shoes away actually causes shoe-makers to go out of business in those communities. Likewise, studies show giving clothes away to poor countries in Africa harms the local economy. We must be thoughtful in our desire to help. We must see the people and their potential, not a problem or a project. Jesus loved us. How will we love others? Its worth doing right.
Pray: Loving God, may we model ourselves after the way you love and truly get to see the person and know their need.

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“Relational Vampires: Critical People”

Week 2: How Do I Love a Critical Person?
 
How do I love a critical person?
Reality Check: You will be criticized!
 
How can we respond to critical people?
Often we don’t respond. Sometimes, we respond carefully. Occasionally, we listen and make a change. Always work to guard your heart.
Bottom Line: I’m compassionate with others when I’m confident in Christ.
 
Further Conversation
1. What is the most ridiculous criticism you’ve ever received?
2. Think about some of the most critical people you know. What do you think is the root cause of their critical spirit?
3. Read 2 Peter 2:23 What is your take-away from this Scripture?
4. Of the ways listed to respond to critical people, what is your typical response? Which do you avoid? Why do you think this is?
5. Which do you struggle with more…being overly critical or being overly sensitive to criticism. How do you think this came about?
6. How has criticism stood in the way of God’s love and healing in your life? What is God’s truth about you that can replace these critical words?
7. Read Proverbs 12:18 What are the most common reasons you look down on others or cut them down? What will you do to bring healing instead? How can Christ Church help you take this step?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – John 13:34-35
Love like Jesus loved? That can seem impossible with critical people. Critical people rip us apart with their words. They steal our worth and dignity. How can I possibly love someone like that? We have to remember how Jesus loves us. Beaten and berated, he didn’t seek revenge. He possessed an inner confidence they could not destroy. He showed compassion to his attackers (without condoning their attack). When we are open to Jesus’ love, we gain a confidence that comes from believing we are who Jesus says we are. We are loved. We are valuable. We matter to God. Confidence creates compassion. We can love others because we are loved! Who is difficult to love? How can you trust in and show Jesus’ love?
Pray: LORD Jesus, help me have great confidence in your love for me. May it build a compassion in me that I am quick to share.
 
Tuesday – Proverbs 19:11
Love has a way of overlooking other people’s faults. Some parents believe their kids can do no wrong. Are they intentionally delusional? No, they just really love and think the very best of their kids. Great marriages are built on this same principle. We overlook wrongs by wearing love tinted glasses. Love doesn’t mean we condone wrong. It means we can forgive quickly and see the best of intentions. We hope for the best. Critical people miss this part of love. Maybe there is a critical person in your life who needs an extended reminder of love’s ability to overlook wrongs. Who can you love today? How can you trust Jesus and show compassion today?
Pray: Good Shepherd, when others seek to harm me, may I trust in your protection. Help me see the good and love others.
 
Wednesday – 1 Peter 2:23
At one time I was so quick to defend myself. When someone criticized me, my guard instantly rose and I would forcibly present my case as to why they were mistaken. I argued. I excused. Or if all else failed, I blamed or destroyed. I couldn’t handle someone saying I was wrong. It made me feel worthless. But over time, as I grew to know Jesus and gain confidence in Christ’s love for me, my ability to not respond in fear grew. I can love and overlook because I am loved. Jesus fills me in such a way that criticism can’t rob me. Christ confidence gives me the freedom to be compassionate. Are you quick to defend yourself or show Christ’s love to others?
Pray: Almighty God, you were so quick to love and forgive me even when I least deserved it. Help me to show others that same love.
 
Thursday – Proverbs 15:31-32
Let’s be honest, accountability is never a comfortable process. We try hard to present our best selves to the world. It stings when a weakness is pointed out or a failure identified. Yet, if we can get past the sting, we will be better off for the correction. I remember receiving my immunization shots as a child. Oh how I hated the needles. At one point it took four nurses to hold me down as a doctor administered the shot. The momentary pain frightened me. But what if I had contracted the measles, or worse. So it is with constructive criticism. Though it may sting to hear the critique, we are given the opportunity to better ourselves. Do you run from criticism? Do you quickly defend yourself against it? Or do you have an open heart for it? Who do you need to listen to today?
Pray: Heavenly Father, please help me gain the confidence in you to allow others to speak truth into me.
 
Friday – Proverbs 12:18
Consider this truth: Hurt people hurt people. Overly critical people, who quickly cut down others with their words, often possess a painful story. When we are in pain, we lash out. Unforgiven or unhealed hurt creates a heighten fear of vulnerability. Hurt people hurt others to protect themselves. But who is it that often speaks the kindest and wisest words to us? Is it not those persons who have experienced great pain, but have found healing? Healed people bring healing to people. Where are you good at sharing healing through wise words? Praise God for your healing. In what ways are you showing hurt through your cutting words? Seek Christ’s love and reconciliation. Allow yourself to hear wise words of truth and love…so that you might share your healing with others.
Pray: LORD Jesus, thank you that you are quick to offer healing to all those who seek you and trust you.
 
Saturday – Romans 14:10-13 & 15:1-7
Sadly, the church has been a critical voice to many. Sometimes the deepest wounds comes from friendly fire. We hurt and condemn our brothers and sisters in Christ. We play judge instead of doctor. A judge determines guilt. A doctor diagnoses and offers a path to healing. May we lean into the healing of Jesus and grow in our confidence of his love. Then we can be ready to bear one another burdens and share the healing we have found. May our church become a place for healing and hope to a hurting world.
Pray: Loving God, may we find our confidence in your love and grace so that we can offer healing and hope to a hurting world.

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