It invades our favorite television show. It catches us as we drive down the highway. It pops up while surfing the internet. It invades our lives so much that we aren't often even aware of its pesky presence. It's the compulsion to compare ourselves to others and feel inadequate or discontent. Should we accept discontentment and its subsequent J.O.Y.-lessness, or should we learn from the Apostle Paul how to become content and J.O.Y.-filled? Join us as we see that contentment cannot coexist with a compulsion to compare.
The mind is far more powerful than we may realize. The Apostle Paul instructs us to choose certain disciplines of our mind which serve to keep us from the downward spiral of negativity and misery. Join us as we learn which disciplines of the mind can minimize chaos and stimulate J.O.Y. in our lives.
Don’t you hate it when the perfect photo is sabotaged by a “photo-bomber”? The J.O.Y. God created us to enjoy gets sabotaged by our own selfishness and attempts to pridefully look down on others. Join us as we see that focusing on Jesus inspires us to become more like him and experience the J.O.Y. God wants us to have.
We've sent teams to encourage and minister alongside Pastor Jackson and our partner church in Cabaret, Haiti for several years now. This Sunday our partner pastor is coming to encourage and minister to us! In addition, we will hear from Jaelyn Himes and Emily Temple, who just returned from serving in Haiti for several weeks this summer. Join us as we celebrate together the J.O.Y. of partnership with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ.
You were made to experience J.O.Y. in your life. Why is it absent at times, or even all the time!? Because you don't know how God made you. You cannot have lasting joy when you live selfishly for your own desires and wishes. Join us Sunday at 10am as we discover that Jesus is the key for how we become the most authentic, joy-filled version of ourselves we could become.
Joy is different than happiness. Joy is a state of mind while happiness is a feeling. Joy doesn't depend upon circumstances, feelings, or good luck. Joy comes when we put life in context: Jesus, Others, then Yourself. Join us as we see that joy is possible when we are confident that Jesus will complete the work He has begun in us.
Sometimes doing things God's way hurts and doing things our own way turns out just fine in the moment. Moses and Aaron learned the hard way that just because disobedience "works" in the moment does not mean there aren't serious long-term consequences. Join us as we learn from these two men that integrity and obedience to God will always get you further in the end than deceitfulness or disobedience.
In the stress of the moment, we often struggle to see the forest and not fixate on that single tree! When we are hurt by others, we often desire to retaliate. What's the alternative? To see those awful experiences as God sees them, to refuse to pay your pain forward, and to miss what God is doing in you and through you.
The gap between young and old widens more by the month, it seems. How do we disciple the next generation without abandoning the gospel? It is possible to win the next generation for Christ but it will be an uncomfortable, but necessary, journey for us. But we can do this! Join us as we see how young people today don’t care about what you say is true; they care about what you show them is real.
King Josiah is remembered for initiating the greatest spiritual reform since Israel became a nation. As we study his life, we’ll see that lasting outward reform begins with a sincere heart commitment, is sustained with the help of others, and keeps God’s Word central. As we continue to ask God to help us follow him into what’s uncomfortable, let’s revisit and cherish what he has already communicated to us.
Some stories in the Bible make you think, "I can relate to that person!" The story of Gideon is one where we see Gideon's very human response to God's superhuman request. Join us as Mike Tabor from The Happy Church officially "Double-Dog Dares" us not to learn something about discounted leadership.
Equal commitment. Equal sacrifice. What does that look like when each of us has different gifts, levels of experience, and resources to offer? Our desire as a church is that each person would contribute to what God is calling us to as His hands and feet in a broken world. Join us as we look at the story of Nehemiah. We'll discover that when we all believe in the calling God has given us we will each choose to take a leap of faith into the uncomfortable, equally contributing according to what we are able.
It is daunting to step into a new territory, a new challenge, or a new normal. But what if God is calling you toward that unseen, unrealized destination? What makes the difference is whether we are fully convinced that God has called us or not. Join us as we discover from the nomad Abram that when we truly know our God-given purpose in life we will choose a leap of faith into the unknown, precisely where God calls us to be.
Ever felt like God was asking you to do the impossible? The truth is God doesn't expect you to do the impossible; He invites you to do the uncomfortable. As we begin a new series on Mother's Day, we'll see from the biblical story of Esther that God is always at work around us even when we cannot see evidence. Join us as we learn that when we know whose we are, we will choose to take a leap of faith into the uncomfortable, right where God wants to use us.
The Bible is clear that we are adopted into God's family through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. But how do we stay in the family? Join us as we hear Paul's colorful response to this controversy that divided one of the first churches.
Most of us tend to find ourselves either wanting more stuff or hoarding the stuff we already have. There's nothing wrong with stuff, but if we aren't careful we end up serving our stuff rather than our stuff serving us. What we need are financial guardrails in our lives! See a powerful guardrail Jesus gave us to ensure that we enjoy and use our resources as God intended them to be used.
Have you ever wished you didn't have to make hard decisions in the heat of the moment? We all do. Guardrails are intended to help drivers spot potential danger and protect us when we veer off the road. In life, God calls us wise when we are willing to put guardrails in our lives which do the same. Join us as we see that some of the best decisions we could ever make are the ones we never actually knew we were making.
Easter is the celebration of how Jesus was once dead and is now alive! But theEaster story can be our story as well. Though we find ourselves "dead" in our sins, Jesus can make us "alive" again. And when we are at the end of our rope, God graciously pursues us and rearranges our life in a way we never thought possible.
Our children's ministry is growing, and we want to grow with it! As we revamp and grow our capacity to show the next generation real relationships with people and Jesus, we have exciting things to share with you. Join us as we invite you to participate in the next wave of shepherding our kids in the name of Jesus.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd protecting His flock. But in a change of the metaphor, he also told us he laid down his life on our behalf and took it up again. Join us as we see that the Good Shepherd became the lamb slain so that we could rejoice as His redeemed people forever
Sheep know the voice of their shepherd. They don't ever follow the voice of a stranger because they do not trust strangers. What if we Christians chose to only listen to the voice of God and never followed the other voices who want to lead us to destruction? Join us as we identify the difference between the voices that want to destroy us and the voice of the One who wants to take care of us.
It's easy to forget that we are continually on a journey with our Shepherd to our final resting place. Join us as we learn that all of Scripture is an account of God leading His flock from their first pasture to their final resting place. We will also see that He uses people to shepherd His flock, and yet, His sheep are able to say that they truly lack nothing.
Do you ever feel like you just can't ever seem to have enough? Psalm 23 reminds us that the Lord provides more than enough for us. We see that having "enough" is more a matter of knowing where to find what we need than achieving what we think we need.
There are good reasons why God is likened to a shepherd and we to sheep in the Bible. When we understand how we are like sheep, we'll better trust that the shepherd will take care of us. There's no better place to be than in the care of one who never stops providing for His own. We continue our study of Psalm 23 and see that the shepherd knows what each sheep needs.
Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than 500 times. The picture of a shepherd with sheep was a routine part of life. Perhaps the most famous psalm is a comparison between God as the Shepherd of His sheep, namely us. Join us as we begin to venture on a journey this year of discovering how to experience what it means to say,
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing."
Partnership. We don't just talk about it; we live it! The team of 14 we sent from our church has returned from a week with our partner church in Cabaret, Haiti. Join us as we hear what God did while they were in Haiti and share in the joy of how God is blessing our partnership with Pastor Jackson and the church in Cabaret.
How does God handle bullies? We may be surprised to see how God goes on the offensive to deliver His people from oppression. Join us at 10am as we learn from the minor prophet Nahum.
Why do some people always find ways to rejoice even when life is hard while others can't seem to ever rejoice in any circumstance? A few simple disciplines make the difference between deep, spiritual change and deep cynicism. Join us as we see the power in choosing to focus on what is within our control and letting go of what is outside of our control.
Why is deep spiritual change sometimes so hard to experience? What are the secrets to changing our behaviors and our hearts? As we begin a series of conversations, we invite you to join us for part 1 as we see that your behavior ought to reflect your redemption because your Redeemer wants what is best for you.
The Christmas story is a reminder that God is for the underdog. It was the lowly shepherds who received the good news of the birth of the One who would rescue us from sin and death. Furthermore, God invites each of us to come to Him as we are so that He can change us into who we were created to be. We'll see how we have a "Good Good Father" who welcomes us with open arms into His family, no matter how lowly we think we may be.
We have all heard the story. An angel interrupts a young virgin engaged to be married and tells her that she will supernaturally conceive a baby who would be named Jesus. It's the stuff of household decor. But there's more to this story, both for our understanding of Jesus and for our own lives. We'll see that a heart that truly desires God will never regret God's wonder-full plans.
Waiting. Waiting in traffic. Waiting at the checkout line. Waiting for your tax return. Waiting for the family to get ready for church. It's part of life. But then there's waiting for the BIG stuff. You don't know what to do and God seems silent. Time is running out and you are losing faith. What do you do? God might not give you the full picture of what's going to happen in advance because waiting is part of his good gift to you!
The Christmas story is the same every year. Mixed with exciting commercials of the latest "gotta have" toys for children and adults alike, it can get a bit...boring. Same story. Same nativity scene. Same Christmas season festivities. What we need is to rediscover our God-given sense of wonder. Join us as we see that Jesus came to earth awaken us to the wonder of God.
It is a wonderful week to be thankful for the abundance of God's provision and the ways He has been at work in His Church! This Sunday will be a special spotlight upon our church partnership in Haiti. Dan O'Deens, founder and Executive Director of Breathe Partners, will share with us.
We've spent the last 9 weeks talking about "loosing the chains" of injustice for many groups of marginalized people. We've heard many different voices addressing the topic. What do we do now? Is this a passing fad; a topic we'll put in the archives to be forgotten? Or will this be a defining point in our church? Join us as we look into the future and commit ourselves to faithfully following through to listen, learn, lament, lead, and labor on behalf of injustice in the name of Jesus!
There may not be any group more vulnerable in this world than those without a mom or dad to care for them. Orphans are among those God clearly told us to care for in our world (James 1:27). This "Orphan Sunday" will be a chance to learn about how each of us can play a part in eradicating the orphan crisis in our world. Each of us can do something to "loose the chains" of injustice for kids who desperately need someone to intervene on their behalf.
This past week in NYC, there was another terrorist attack on our soil. This tragedy reminds us of the challenge we have as followers of Jesus to wrestle with what we are to do with immigrants, refugees, and those who invoke "terror" in us. Join us this Sunday at 10am as we talk about a Christian response to the immigrants and refugees that come to our own backyard of Fort Wayne.
There is nothing like spending time with friends visiting from out of town! Mike, Connie, and Tiffany Tabor from The Happy Church will join us Sunday and add insight into how we can get busy helping "loose the chains" of injustice where they serve in the poorest region of the US. We will also unveil several action steps we are taking to begin doing something about these injustices. Join us Sunday at 10am, as we continue to learn how to be a blessing other people, near and far, with the love of Jesus.