I like the start of a New Year. Do you?
A New Year is full of possibilities.
For some of you watching it may be the year you get married. For others it may be a year where you hope to get promoted at work. In my house it will be a year where my eldest finishes school and goes to college.
For others simply put this year is not last year, perhaps you lost someone last year, perhaps your health was not as good is could have been. Perhaps you are just glad that 2020 is over.
For all of us we are hoping that this year 2021 we see the back of COVID 19 or at least the worst of it is over.
Some of you may have made New Year’s resolutions, some of you may have already broken those New Year’s resolutions.
2021 will unfold, we have ideas, plans and dreams but none of us can be 100% certain how things will turn out.
For those of us who are followers of Jesus there is one thing we can be certain of and that is God. He loves us, He is with us through the good and the bad. We have hope for the future.
We may not be sure off everything that is going to happen in 2021 but I am sure that the mission of the church (the church being anyone who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour), the mission of Living Springs has not changed, that mission is to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES. That mission has never changed and never will.
Go means tell people about Jesus
Make Disciples means help people grow in their relationship with Jesus.
I believe strongly that this year is a year of Kingdom Advancement for Living Springs.
Kingdom Advancement is about seeing people come to know Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him.
I want to lay a couple of foundations around Kingdom Advancement and the role you can play in it.
The first foundation is that of prayer.
Possibly the shortest bible verse is
1 Thessalonians 5:17
As we go into and continue through 2021, I believe we need to up our prayer life.
Everything we do needs to be rooted in prayer.
Every outreach needs to be rooted in prayer.
Every advert, every service, every act of kindness, ever conversation we have needs to be surrounded by prayer.
Will you prayer walk your street?
The benefits of prayer are immense.
You get to have a conversation with God, the creator of the universe, you get to bring all types of things into the conversation:
You can give thanks, you can ask for guidance, make requests the conversation is unlimited.
The first step of Kingdom Advancement starts with us our knees.
The second foundation which we will need for Kingdom Advancement is that of telling people about Jesus.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Now this can be a challenging area for many people.
But I want to take that pressure off.
Not everyone is called to preach, but we can all share, I want to give three examples of how we can share.
We can share what Jesus has done for us; our personal testimony is powerful in many ways. Let us not keep Jesus to ourselves, we are happy to recommend films, restaurants, places to shop. We are happy to passionately about music or a sports team, we need to be passionate about talking about Jesus.
Sharing our spoken testimony tells people how Jesus changed our lives.
The second way is how we live our lives, our lives should be lived as a testimony to what Jesus has done for us. The effect of knowing Jesus, our lives lived out should shine a light towards Jesus.
The third way we can share is by using the tools available to us, if you have social media you have an easy way of sharing.
Will you share social media posts on your timeline?
Will you invite people to watch services online?
For the Kingdom to Advance we need to share about Jesus.
Jesus shared, the Apostles shared, we are called to share.
The second step of Kingdom Advancement is sharing