Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses Matthew 5:13-16, 9:12-13, John 4:35, 9:38, Colossians 4:2-6 Worship Playlist A Million Saints - Meredith AndrewsSound of Adoration - Bryan and Katie TorwaltLiving Hope - Phil WickhamShout to the Lord / What a Beautiful Name - Influence Music Study Questions When have you ever eaten something with a missing ingredient?Read Matthew 5:3-11. Which of the beatitudes are the hardest to practice with people far from God? Which of the beatitudes are most important for Christians to understand today?Read Matthew 12:18-21. What do these verses teach us about Jesus' approach to culture? What picture do most people have about the Church's engagement with culture?Read Colossians 4:2-6. What principles does the Apostle Paul give about evangelism? In what areas of evangelism do you most need to be equipped?Read 1 Peter 2:11-16. How do you apply these verses to your life today?Read 1 Peter 2:18-25. What was Christ's example? As you imitate Christ, what most needs to change? Action: Take a DISC assessment on ROCK website and receive some coaching? Action: Attend a Behavioral Seminar on DISC results led by Jon? Downloads & Resources People of Influence Dr. Jon Morrissette - 3/3/2019 “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” No matter how you slice it or dice it, Christ’s call upon every Christian is to be a people of influence. We’ve not just called to salvation--we’re called to live on mission and live lives of impact. I cannot tell you how many good Christian people reject Christ’s call to influence. People say, “evangelism isn’t my spiritual gift” or “I’m just content coming to church” or “I don’t want to get involved.” Just because we don’t want to be called or feel called, doesn’t mean we aren’t called. Could you imagine what a wake-up call it must have been to hear Jesus teach? He certainly didn’t call us to be a bunch of egomaniacs. He said, “blessed are the meek, those who mourn, and those who are humble.” But neither did Jesus call us to live small lives. He said “blessed are those who hunger/thirst for righteousness! Blessed are the mercy-givers, the pure in heart, the peacemakers! Blessed are you when no one and no thing deters your righteousness—neither persecution, nor insults, or false accusations.” Jesus couldn’t have said it more plainly. Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” We may have come from dust, but we’re not called to “be” dust. If we’ve lost our saltiness, we’re dirt, we’re dust, we’re sidewalk, we’re no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on the ground. We’re to be light. But what good is a covered lamp? We’ve all been given talents—some 1, some 2, some 5. Are we going to be good and faithful servants? Are we going to put what God has given us to work and share in the master’s joy? Or are we going to dig a hole in the ground, and hide what God has given us? Are we going to be salty and let our light shine that people may praise God? Or are we going to hide what God has given us? The “good-for-nothing wicked, lazy servant” is thrown out into darkness where there is weeping/gnashing of teeth. The Parable of the Sheep and Goats. Am I part sheep, part goat? Jesus says it’s a simple as this: “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’” When opportunity presented itself, the goats were the one who didn’t feel called, and didn’t want to be bothered, and hoped others would come along. Jesus doesn’t mince words: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!” You definitely don’t want to be a goat! Most Christians want to realize their influence. But the longer a person remains a Christian the least likely they are to engage people far from God. It should be just the opposite, but it’s not. The longer were Christians, the more apt we are to withdraw into our comfortable Christian enclaves. There is this interesting story in Matthew 9 where Jesus is criticized for spending time with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus… “you’re not at the temple”, “you’re not spending enough time hanging out in the synagogue,” “you’re not looking after the saints,” “you’re not shaking the right hands,” “you’re not fulfilling your religious duties.” Being a churchgoer is like being one of those bulletin boards over at Starbucks, or in the entryway of the supermarket. About every fifteen minutes someone comes up with some flyer, or event, or happening hoping to staple you with another commitment, another expectation, another opportunity. Maybe you’re that stapler guy? Always making copies. Always trying to monopolize people’s energies. We don’t need more things to do, we need larger things to do, consequential things. Jesus never let the stapler guy or stapler gal pen things to him. Matthew 9:12-13 Jesus says, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” We don’t need that much more of each other… but people far from God sure do! If we operate by default, we’ll be married to each other and the church building 24/7. But if operate as Christ has called us, we’ll turn our eye toward those who are far from God. We’ll go to those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, sick, incapacitated, who need a doctor… Most Christians want to realize their influence—but just don’t know how to be salt and light. Let me put on my “pastor-coach” hat and give you some help. Christ’s mission is something we can do in the course of everyday life. Yes, some are called to distant lands. But most of are just called to stop being distant. Every moment or every day we need to make four strategic choices: Choose Compassion over Ambivalence. The essence of compassion is the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If I were walking in this other person’s shoes, what would I most need? Not “want”, but “need”? Most everything I’d want to preach on compassion I said last week... but here is a quick review: Jesus “saw” the crowds. He had “compassion on them.” Head, Heart, Hands: Some people need to think different. Some need to take new actions, make new choices. Some just need a little help, an opportunity, a hand-up, a 2nd, 3rd, or 70x7th chance, a break. Jesus taught/instructed the mind, he preached to the heart, he healed people’s bodies and responded to their basic needs. Jesus gave tremendous advice on compassion, second to none. In John 4:35 he says, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.” In Matthew 9:38 he says, “pray to the Lord of the harvest.” If we’d prayerfully open eyes, God would show us opportunities all around us every day to show his love. Influence begins with choosing compassion over ambivalence. Choose Connection over Transaction. There are two types of people in the world. There are those who are connective, and those who are transactional. There are those who are “Sticky”, and those who are “Teflon.” The overwhelming majority of people are Teflon. They don’t need anyone, nor do they allow themselves to be needed. They don’t need help, they don’t need advice, they don’t need encouragement, they don’t need new friends, they don’t need to talk… but then they also don’t want to be needed by others. They don’t want to get entangled in the drama of others, they keep everyone at arm’s length, they pull in the garage and leave the lights on low. A house may be burning down across the street, but their neither bothered nor concerned by the flashing lights. Just the other day Lara scolded me for being too transactional with a salesperson. The guy was trying to be helpful, but I wasn’t making eye contact, or being very warm, I just wanted to be transactional! In stark contrast, Jesus was “Sticky.” On the front end of relationships, he saw value in people. He dignified them with eye contact or a personal touch. Jesus offered his full presence to people. He wasn’t preoccupied checking for text messages, or the most recent status updates of his Twelve Disciples. He walked. He met people where they were. He sat down. He wasn’t rushed. He stayed. He was approachable. He entered homes, shared meals, broke bread, washed feet. He listened well, took time to understand deeply, and responded to conversations around him. On the back end, Jesus followed-through. I was at a church conference and they were contrasting follow-up with follow-through. Follow-up can be transactional. A person attends, we send a form letter. A person returns, we send an invite to a class, or church program. Follow-up is waiting for someone else to take the initiative. In contrast, follow-through is you taking the initiative. We just go. We call, love, pursue, seek out, risk. We ask, “Where have you been? How are you really? What’s needed?” The greatest casualty of the technological revolution is we’ve lost our stickiness. Nowadays Churches think the most important kind of stickiness is programming. If we have the biggest/best facilities, and band, and lighting/sound, and speakers, and kids’ ministry, and show and crowd we’ll make an impact! If we really want to grow, we could start by becoming relational sticky like Jesus. Let’s get together. Let’s hang out. Let’s stop rushing in/out as if Church attendance were the high call and pinnacle of the Christian life. Let’s slow down. Let’s be available. Let’s learn people’s names—and I’m talking about what we do at church. Let’s do BBQ with the neighbors, let’s walk through our neighborhoods, let’s involve and include and invite and initiate. Put down the phone. Take off the headphones. Break out of our holy huddles. Forge new paths. Take some roads less traveled. Let’s flip the script from “Come to us” to “Let’s go… to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Ends of the Earth.” Choose Curiosity over Incivility. A lot of Christians have a hard time not being judgmental. For instance, it’s inevitable, that if we become sticky with people far from God there will be enormous differences. Spoiler alert—non-Christians think, speak, act, and behave differently, they value things differently. Let’s talk about this a minute. There is absolutely no question, that we are called to judge, or discern, or test all things. When I hear a song (even at church) I judge its lyrical content. When I hear a speaker (whether it’s a politician, late night talk show host, cable news head, preacher, professor, author) I’m judging everything. I’m taking every thought captive, critically evaluating its merits, and making it obedient to Christ. Whenever I interact with someone, I’m sizing up their words, their actions, their behavior, their moral judgement, their motives. I’m asking, “Does this person know the Lord? Are they led by the Holy Spirit? Are they safe, dangerous, trustworthy, reckless?” Jesus knew the heart of men and wouldn’t entrust himself to certain people. What is the essence of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, if not judging, testing, discerning? The Bible says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.” It also says, “put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient. . . put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another.” How do we do that w/o judging? What’s crossing the line is becoming judgmental. There is a huge difference between making an observation and leaping to a conclusion. We are so quick to leap to conclusions about people these days. There is so little grace. What would it look like if we swapped our incivility with curiosity? What if we asked far more questions and made far less assertions? What if we swapped our talking points for questions? Instead of assuming anything, ask “What do you think? What do you believe? Why is that thing so important to you? What motivates you? What do you want or need? Why did you do that, or say that? Help me understand? Have you ever considered. . .”? More dialogues, less monologues. More listening, less shouting. More humility, less posturing. A posture of curiosity communicates value. It says, “tell me your story… give me some context.” Curiosity respects another person’s journey, their trials, their temptations, their struggle. You don’t have to “agree” to be curious, but you do have to be sincere. Choose Calling over Cowardice. The most important thing in relationships isn’t whether we’re loved or liked—it’s whether we’ve honored God. At the end of the day what we’re really saying to people is “follow my example as I follow Christ.” Courage doesn’t mean we go out looking for trouble—but it does mean enduring trouble, hardship, insults, persecutions, slander. What societal transformation we’d experience, within a generation, if we’d become far more concerned with pleasing Christ than pleasing people. The essence of being salt and light is maintaining our integrity. If salt loses its saltiness, if our light fizzles out, what good are we? Colossians 4:2-6, “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.” Choose Compassion over Ambivalence. Choose Connection over Transaction. Choose Curiosity over Incivility. Choose Calling over Cowardice.