Looking Forward: Words and Deeds

Sermon Notes
Looking Forward
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Acts 11:22-26

“Looking Forward: Words and Deeds”

Theme: Communicating our faith is about words and deeds saturated in relationship.

We are all called to live out our faith in word and in deed. This is hard enough but here is the real kicker.

How do we communicate our faith in words and deeds when the primary form of communication is digital; emails, text, and social media?

How do we communicate our faith when a primary mode of communication is not in physical space (face to face) rather electronic space?

How do we be a Barnabas on Facebook? How would Francis of Assisi navigate social media?

As a church, we do not have any simple answers. But we do know this needs to be one of our priorities as a church for the next several years, figuring out how to truly communicate and leverage our digital age. For every challenge, there are opportunities not only for our church but the greater church for possible ways to leverage the new technological world we live in for the Kingdom of God.

Questions to Ponder:

How well do I express my faith in the way I live?

Do I have spiritual conversations with folks outside of traditional faith?

On social media am I more interested in fostering relationship or projecting an image of myself?

How do I have spiritual conversations with friends on social media?


Looking Forward: The True Foundation

Sermon Notes
Looking Forward
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Luke 6:46-49

“Looking Forward: The True Foundation”

Many of us can feel ill equipped to fully know how to fuel our faith. This is exactly why discipleship is one of the key priorities for our church. We want to equip you as followers of Christ.

So what does it mean to be a disciple? Or I will rephrase it, What does it look like for you to be a disciple?

Greg Ogden in the book “Discipleship Essentials” describes a disciple as one who responds in faith and obedience to the gracious call to follow Jesus Christ. Being a disciple is a lifelong process of dying to self while allowing Jesus Christ to come alive in us.

Dallas Willard describes discipleship as life of obedience to Jesus’ teaching and a life led by the Holy Spirit.

I want to focus on both as discipleship; life of obedience and life in the Spirit.

Discipleship as a life of obedience.

Discipleship as a life in the Spirit.

Some of us come from church backgrounds where all the emphasis on discipleship or following Christ is put on the person’s effort to work harder and try harder.

Others of us come from a church background that is on the other side of the pendulum, that where all the emphasis is not on any action on our part but purely on receiving God’s grace in our lives through the Spirit.

Discipleship is a combination of dependence on the Holy Spirit and obediently following Christ. This is a lifelong process. The two combined together allow Jesus Christ to come alive in us.


Looking Forward: Rooted and Engaged

Sermon Notes
Looking Forward
Rev. Mat Grover
Hebrews 10:23–25

“Looking Forward: Rooted and Engaged”

The Church is just like High School.

We need to live (make friends, hang out, be real), not only close to each other, but we must also be vulnerable with God and with our neighbors. Our relationships cannot just be horizontal, but also vertical towards God. 

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted
to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but
encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

“You teach a little by what you say. You teach most by what you are.” 
Henrietta C. Mears


Where is God calling you to connect with Him and with others?


Where is God calling you to fill a need in this congregation?


Looking Forward: God Dreams

Looking Forward
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
2 Samuel 7:1–13

“Looking Forward: God Dreams”

Today we start our new sermon series called Looking Forward. The hope of this sermon series is that we can look at it on parallel tracks. What does it mean for us to move forward as individuals and what does it mean for us to move forward as a church?

Theme: We are called as a church and as individuals to have God Dreams!

As a church and as individuals looking forward we have to be careful not to immediately assume that our dreams are God’s dreams.

Throughout Scripture there are stories after stories of characters like King Saul, the
Israelites, and other characters whose own dreams were more important than God’s dreams and eventually they ended up lost. But when we as individuals and as a church can sync our dreams into God’s dreams beautiful things are born.

Priority Action Learning Team Report (Kevin Oxnam)

Church Priority 1 -

Church Priority 2 -

Church Priority 3 -

What are some of your priorities/rhythms you want to chart this fall?

Spiritual life -

Family Life -

Work Life -

Exercise -