The Church Broadens | The Story Continues | 10-30-16 | Brian Phipps | Westside Family Church

The Church Broadens | The Story Continues | 10-30-16 | Brian Phipps | Westside Family Church
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(Music plays.) BRIAN PHIPPS: Good morning. CONGREGATION: Good morning. BRIAN PHIPPS: My name is Brian Phipps. Before we kind of get started on the teaching
this morning, want to just let you know about something that’s been brought to our attention. There is apparently a group or an individual
distributing a bunch of pamphlets onto your car — you may get those. Wanted to let you know that, while we all
want to teach the things of God to you, and we at Westside want to encourage you to vote,
we would never tell you how to vote. So those did not come from us. We’ve actually, politely, asked those engaged
in that practice to stop. And so we can’t control that, but there you
go, from Westside. Let’s vote. Let’s get ‘er done. But we’re not going to tell you how to do
that here. Back this spring, a mobile app hit the market
that kind of took the market by storm. This thing set five world records within its
first month — one of those being the fastest mobile app ever to hit 100 million downloads
— and a number of other amazing records. One of the craziest things, to put it in perspective
for me, is that this app, at its heyday, had more people on it for a longer time than Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram combined. That’s a significant feat. That app was none other than Pokémon Go. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: And there are some of you in
here that have it. You just have it on the back page of your
phone so nobody else sees it. Now, I had committed — I had committed, “I’m
not going to download that thing at all” — until Pastor Rob was at my house, and he was catching
Pokémon at my house. And I thought, you know, what a nerd to do
that. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: I mean, that’s — he’s too old;
he’s too old for that. But I saw what he was doing. He was connecting with his lovely daughter,
Belle, and he was doing a great job at it. So I figured, I’ve got a kid that age, Kaleb,
so I downloaded it, and now I’m on level 17. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: I’ve been asked on a number
of occasions to have my man card revoked. I figure this will be another one of those
days. I mean, I did get a Pikachu, and he is evolved
to a — whatever it is. And so eat your heart out, kids. You got a 50-year-old coming your way. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: You know, when I see something
take the market like that, you got to ask yourself, what is it that made that app unique
and just blow everything else out of the water? And there’s at least three things that researchers
are pointing to, and the first one is just the nostalgia of the whole thing. I remember when my kids were little, they
did the Pokémon game. They knew all the characters. And so now, when they have an app that they
can engage with these characters in, there’s some type of deep connection that makes them
want to go back and experience that. And I think that’s pretty cool. Another thing that they’ve leveraged is this
new technology called augmented reality. And here’s kind of how it works: You take
something that’s not real, like a Pokémon, but stick it in an environment that is — like
this lunch date that my wife had — wife and I had up in Weston. We went there — we’re both geeks with Pokémon. So we’re playing Pokémon Go while having
this great time out. And you can actually take a picture. It’s an interesting technology. If you ever — if you like watching NFL football,
you know that line of scrimmage that they put on the screen, that’s augmented reality. So they’re doing that stuff; it’s an amazing
thing. But here’s how it really took off: People
told people about this app. They said, “I love it. It’s fun for all these reasons. You ought to try it.” And another person downloads it, and another
person downloads it, and it just goes over, and it takes over the whole world. And I do promise you I’m going to connect
this to something meaningful. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: We’ve been studying this book
all year, “The Story.” It’s the narrative parts of the Bible put
down in novel format. And you are in the very first chapters when
you hear that the brokenness and the messed-up things in this world are something that have
the attention of God. And he wants to bless this world, and he wants
to make it right. And you know how he did it? He created this app called “People of God
Go.” It started early on. Really started catching fire with Abram. A man named Abram turned into Abraham, father
of multitudes. “And I want to start with you, Abram. I want to be a blessing to this world, and
I want it to be contagious, and I want it to go crazy.” And we’re at the point of the story now where
we’re in the New Testament. We’ve gone through the life and ministry of
Jesus, who was the first guy to really bring the presence of God into the world in a way
that it would expand powerfully across the world through his presence and the Holy Spirit. And we’re at the beginning of what’s called
the expansion of the church or his kingdom. And you talk about something that started
to go and went viral around the world but hasn’t stopped — like all the other mobile
apps, like Pokémon Go or Candy Crush or whatever those things you might have done. This “People of God Go” thing is still going. Here is how it’s going internationally at
Westside. I think you’ll be intrigued to know this. These are the four countries that we serve
outside of Westside — intentionally — outside of the United States. And as you can see, the bottom line number
there, nearly 8,000 people attend regularly. That’s more Westsiders outside the country
that call Westside their home than inside. Is that not cool? People of God Go. Yeah, let’s give it a clap if you’ve got it
in your heart. CONGREGATION: (Applause.) BRIAN PHIPPS: They’re going! And here’s what I think is awesome about that. Much like Pokémon Go, you know, there’s a
nostalgia. There’s a deep connection in all of us to
see the world made right again. Right? And when you see a redemption story — you
see a movie where the good guy wins — you resonate with that, and you want that kind
of thing to happen more and more in this world. We resonate with that. The other thing that Pokémon Go had was that
augmented reality. Well, how different is reality when the presence
of Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, is a part of what’s going on? Can take broken relationships and fix them;
can take broken bodies and heal them. Augmented reality, by the presence and the
spirit of God. I’d actually call it actual reality that we
just tend to miss without his presence. I love what God is doing around the world. Here is what he wants to do. It’s Matthew 24:14. And I invite you to read this with me out
loud. This is the plan about God’s People Go: “This
gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.” That’s the plan of Jesus, and he wants to
use us. And you might be thinking, “Brian, there’s
no way he’d use me. I’m too tainted, too tarnished, too broken,
too run down, too beat up, too old.” You fill in the list of what you think might
be in the way, and I’m going to introduce you to a man today, who would be the most
unlikely candidate to be one of the instigators of the “People of God Go” movement. His name was Saul, highly educated guy, born
in a rich family, a Jew. Part of God’s people, highly educated, trilingual. Of the lineage — the education he had — you
know, you had Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. About three or four or five generations after
them is what Paul was in the middle of. And this guy was ambitious about making God
famous. But when it came to Jesus, he was a part of
the crew that wanted to see Jesus and this new app called “People of God Go” eliminated. In fact, if you read through the early chapters
of the Book of Acts, Paul was killing and imprisoning Christians everywhere. He was leaving Jerusalem; he was on his way
to go capture some more in a foreign city up in the area of Syria — which has hit the
news a lot these days. He’s on his way up that way to capture and
imprison more Christians when the resurrected Jesus messed him up. Messed him up. I’m one of the guys that’s kind of convinced
that Paul saw Jesus crucified. If not, he was in town when it happened, and
he knew about it. And then, all of the sudden, this man — this
unlikely candidate, this murderer — was transitioned into the greatest missionary that the kingdom
of God has perhaps ever known. So if he can use Paul, he can use you. God changed his name from Saul to Paul, and
he can use all of us. And we’re going to learn a lot from Paul;
we’re going to pull, kind of, five things out of Paul’s life. And one or two of those are probably going
to have some application for you. But before we jump to that, I want to show
you a picture here up on the screen, and it’s a picture of an acorn. And I’m going to toss a few of these out. And it would just be kind of cool to see them
go out throughout the whole thing here. Just kind of grab it and feel it, toss it
on. Just kind of an object lesson here. We’re doing this in our south sanctuary as
well, and we’re doing it all the way up at Speedway as well. Steve, can I toss this one to you? Just kind of toss that around and keep it
going. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: That’s lame, dude. That’s just really lame. Down here — Steve Pickens is his name, and
he doesn’t know how to catch. But I go for a walk every morning, and I walk
around Garrett Park up around 47th and K-7, that area. And I noticed these two big trees, and they
had dumped just, literally, thousands of these. And most of them were just being run over
and crushed or left on the ground to die. And it was interesting to me to realize that
just two trees created thousands. Inside of every one of these acorns is an
entire forest. An entire forest. The potential for an entire forest is right
here. And when we talk about how God wants to infuse
his world with his love and with his grace and his redemptive power, he’s just looking
for a few nuts — CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: — like Paul, like me, like
you, to join him in this crazy thing. It’s got a rough edge, got a smooth edge. Has the potential for everything. Grab this big idea; grab your notes; write
it in the blank: The story of Jesus and his church begins in the Bible. That’s true. You can read it; it’s right there. But here is what we need to get during this
part of the story: It continues with us. The book’s not done; the story’s not over. Your story is written into God’s story, and
your story is made complete in Jesus. We just finished talking through that when
we were doing the part about Jesus. But, now, if you’ll write in today’s big idea,
it’s this: Like Paul, the story of Jesus continues in me as — and then you see a colon, and
we have a to-be-continued big idea for today. And what we’re going to do is we’re going
to look at five kind of characteristics of Paul’s life, how he was a nut for Jesus. And my encouragement to you as we’re going
through these is to just look for the one or two that have your name on them. They won’t have all of them on — your name
on them. But several of them will, one or two in particular. And then let’s just take a next step based
upon what he’s telling us. Like Paul, the story of Jesus continues through
me as I, one, am made new by Jesus’s death and resurrection. I’m made new by Jesus’s death and resurrection. If you have an iPhone, you just got a brand-new
operating system, most likely, or at least you have an invitation to go from iOS 9 to
iOS 10. And if you are familiar with how that works,
that’s the software on which all the other software makes sense. It’s an operating system. It determines how everything else behaves. And Paul had an operating system before he
met Jesus. And that operating system, if I was to give
it a name — and I don’t have a place in the notes for this. You can write it down. I would write it down — it’s called “master
myself.” It means get it done right, be the right guy,
the right way, for the right reasons. Master myself. In fact, this is splintered, scattered throughout
all of his books that he wrote — the letters that he wrote. He was just always about mastering himself. “I want to exceed those in my generation. I wanted to keep the law to just an absolute
faultless degree.” Master myself. But Paul, when he writes about that stuff,
talks about just how discouraging it was and disillusioning it was, because even though
he could probably get a grip on a good bit of his behavior, he had no control over the
motives. And he realized he was a selfish, broken individual
that looked good on the outside but was all messed up on the inside. And that’s hard to live with — until you
meet a risen king, Messiah, pursuer of our souls, who knows all about the inward motivation
and says, “I love you anyway.” The crazy thing about Paul is when he experienced
the love of Jesus, he knew that Jesus should be mad at him. I mean, here’s Paul. He’s out there killing Jesus peeps. He’s imprisoning them; he’s ripping families
apart. And when Jesus met him, there was no condemnation. It was, “Paul, you’re mine. I want you. I love you.” It took Paul three years to adjust his whole
heart and mind and soul that the God that he served was a God that loved him, wasn’t
just demanding of him. And the way he got that, I think more than
anything other, is recognizing that the guy that grabbed him on the road was a guy that
he not only helped kill, but a guy who voluntarily allowed himself to be killed so that Paul
might live. Did you catch that piece? Paul knows that he was all about getting Jesus
and his people killed. But then he realizes — after Jesus loves
him — that Jesus intentionally, deliberately, voluntarily allowed that atrocious act to
happen to him so that he could live in and through Paul. And Paul had to somehow absorb that into his
soul. And we all need to do that as well because
if we’re ever going to be made anew by Christ, we’ve got to know just how crazy much he loves
us. Later, I imagine, Paul learned about the teachings
of Jesus that is recorded in John, Chapter 12. It’s right before Jesus was arrested and ultimately
crucified. And he says — tells this great story — and
it didn’t make sense at the time, but he said, “Unless a seed falls to the ground and is
buried, it remains only” — what? — “one seed.” But if you allow that seed to be buried and
used for a greater purpose, it becomes the entire forest for all. Paul knew that that was the case. And so Paul went from “master myself” to “die
to self.” And over and over in his writings, you hear
him saying, “Die to self; live for Christ. Die to self; live for Christ. Die to self; live for Christ.” Galatians 2:20 is one of my favorites. He says, “I’ve been crucified with Christ. And I no longer live, but the life I live
in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and who gave himself for
me.” In 1 Corinthians 2:2, he writes this to a
bunch of really smart people. He said, “I resolved to know nothing while
I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Have you been made new by the death and resurrection
of Jesus? Do you have a new operating system within
your own soul? I promise you this: If you stay the operating
system of “master myself,” try to get it right, try to be good enough, you will one day burn
out and quit, frustrated. Jesus wants to do that work in you. We’ve got an exciting journey coming ahead,
friends. Every year, your elders here at Westside get
away for a couple of days to just basically ask the question, “How are we doing with our
mission?” And our mission is threefold: We want to love
Jesus; we want to become like Jesus; and we want to share Jesus. And we were asking, “How are we doing with
our mission?” How’s business, in other words? We want to get to the brutal facts so that
we can start to — continue to move forward with God and his power. And we assessed it, and we said, “You know
what? Things are really happening with the ‘Becoming
like Jesus,’ section. Discipleship track is engaging, and it’s developing
people in character and calling, and they’re making an impact. It’s really fun to see.” When it comes to “Sharing Jesus,” a lot of
people are learning to bless the folks in their orbit — where they live, work, and
play. They’re beginning in prayer, they’re listening,
they’re eating, and they’re serving, and they’re sharing their story. And obviously that’s having an impact both
here and internationally. But when we looked at the loving Jesus part,
where it all starts, we realized that, while we’ve been doing a lot on the output, we haven’t
been inviting the churches intentionally to just embrace the loving Jesus. But catch this. It’s not the verb “loving Jesus.” It’s the adjective — “he’s a loving Jesus.” And he meets us right where we are, and he
takes the Pauls of the world and says, “I know there’s a past. I know it. I’ve been watching you. I’ve been close. And I want to take yesterday and forgive it. I died for that. That’s why I climbed up on that cross. I took your brokenness with me there, and
I’ve buried it, and I’m ready to come back out of the ground with you and through you.” That’s a change of operating. That’s a loving Jesus loving us. And we’ve decided — 2017 — that’s going
to be our focus. We are always a year ahead in mapping out
our message series and stuff. We had Mark planned for all next year. We just shoved that to 2018. We’re going to figure out how to receive the
love of Jesus next year. Does that sound fun? I am truly excited about that. But that’s where it starts. CONGREGATION: (Applause.) BRIAN PHIPPS: Yeah, go, God. That is cool. If you’re wondering about this whole new operating
system, here’s how that kind of works. You know, folks are sceptical about it, and
they say, “I really want to see if Jesus is real.” Then ask him to present himself to you, and
he will. That’s the crazy thing. People — people bring all these arguments
against the existence of God and all this other stuff, and I just say, “Do me a favor. Just start intentionally praying for the next
three months for Jesus to make himself real like he did for Paul. And when you see him, you’ve got somebody
to deal with.” And all the cognitive stuff just kind of goes
away. “I’m made new by Jesus’s death and resurrection.” It worked for Paul, it’s going to work for
us. The rest of these are going to go a lot quicker
because they all rolled out of number one. I live out Jesus’s calling for my life. Will you write that in the blank? I live out Jesus’s calling for my life. Before you were born, the Bible says, “When
you were created anew in Christ, he gives us all a role to play.” He gives us some good works to do. And inside of your nuttiness is all the potential
— the spiritual gifts and the passions — that will drive you to be able to engage in what
he’s calling you to do to participate in his family. For Paul, it was laid out before Paul even
knew about it, and it was revealed to a man named Ananias before it was revealed to Paul. In Acts, Chapter 9, it says this: “This man
Paul is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before
the people of Israel.” In other words, what God is saying to this
Ananias guy is that, “Hey, be kind to Paul. I know he’s been your enemy, but I’m changing
Paul now.” And then, “He’s the guy I’ve picked to go
west, young man.” And then the entire western hemisphere is
dedicated to the ministry that Paul has done because God appointed it to him. And what’s interesting is that in that action,
God actually put the burden inside of Paul to always be sharing the gospel at places
that have never heard it before. He says, “I don’t need to camp out where everybody
already knows it. God has put it on my heart to take it all
the way out.” And it’s so fabulous to watch that. And here at Westside, we have a tool that
helps people start the journey of discovering their calling, and it’s called a SHAPE assessment. And you see a link right there inside of your
notes. You can go online there 24 hours a day. It’s free. You can do that assessment, fill it out. It takes 45, 50 minutes. And it will give you a clue as to where to
start looking and serving in order to tap into the calling that God has for your life. And it’s not just here in this building. It’s out — it’s downtown. It’s around the world. It’s anywhere. It’s not like we’re trying to plug you in
to be a cog in our machine. The spirit of God is extremely creative. We just want to help you tap into that. Here’s another thing we’ll give you: We’ll
give you relationship, a guide, people to help you discern that. I encourage you to do it. A story I’ll share with you about this is
a girl named Dani. And Dani was a friend about 15, 20 years ago
in a small church that we served just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. And she was so new to church and all the Jesus
stuff — when she came in one day, I was teaching and I said, “If you’ve got your Bible, feel
free to turn to Luke.” And she told me later that she just started
looking around going, “Which one of these guys is Luke? And what am I supposed to do when I find him?” CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: So she’s, I mean, brand-new
to all this stuff. And she hears this stuff about calling and
how a lot people, really, their intensity for following Christ just came alive when
they started pursuing the idea of calling. And so she came in and did the whole class
with us, took the assessment and all. And I was hanging out with her afterwards
talking, and she’s looking at my results and she — or looking at her results, and she
said, “Mine are so much lower than everybody else’s. There’s very little here.” And she was discouraged. And I said, “Well, let’s just take what we
have and go.” And there was a passion in there for kids
— powerful story behind all that. Passion for kids and some gifts for teaching
and a gift for shepherding and caring for people. And so we thought, “Well, let’s team her up
with my wife, Carol” — and started doing some stuff with the children’s ministry. So that was going on. And then came her Sunday to teach, and we
were all kind of like, “Is this going to work out? Is this going to work out?” And she did it. Carol came home after church that day and
said, “That’s perhaps one of the most gifted leaders in children’s ministry I’ve ever seen.” She is now part of one of the largest churches
on the East Coast doing children’s ministry. You never know. You just never know. But she took some deliberate steps, and we
have those steps available for you. Like Paul, the story of Jesus continues through
me as I’m made new by Jesus’s death and resurrection. Part of that being made new is discovering
and living out Jesus’s calling for my life. Here’s the third one. Write this in if you would. I am led daily by the Holy Spirit. I am led daily by the Holy Spirit. Here’s that augmented reality piece brought
into play. Jesus actually lives in us, with us, and he
guides us and directs us on a daily basis. 45 times in the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit
is mentioned as an in-dwelling presence of Christ prompting to go here, to say this,
be concerned about this, and whatnot. I want to give you a fun example of this. Just about every weekend, when I come to Westside,
there’s something to do. But I always say, “God, whatever you want
me to do that’s on top of the regularly scheduled agenda, just kind of guide me and lead me.” One Sunday, a couple of years ago, I was on
my way out. The services were done. I’d finished talking to everybody. I was hungry, ready to go home, just like
some of you guys are starting to feel right now. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: And there was a prompting to
just come back — specifically, come back and walk into this room through that tunnel
back there. And I’m like, “That doesn’t make any sense. There’s nobody in there.” But I follow through on that one, and I walk
through the door. And there’s one of my friends whose eyes are
this big. There was a particular challenge that he experienced
during the message that day that was messing with him big time. And the prompt that he got was to share with
somebody some of the hurt and brokenness that was going on in his life at the time. But he didn’t want to, because that’s hard
to do. That takes vulnerability and all that. And then he said, “All right, Jesus. I’ll make you a deal. I’m going to start walking out of this room
in just a minute, and if Brian Phipps walks through those doors, I’m going to tell him
what’s going on.” CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: Put two and two together. I walk through the door, and he was like,
“Oh my gosh.” CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: And I think, you know, what
an inconsequential thing it is to just ask God to guide you on those little bitty things
like that. But how big it is when he’s not just working
with one nut, but working with multiple nuts all at the same time, and then that augmented
reality shows up that way. You think that man was left unchanged after
that? No. He wants that for all of us. Look what it says in Acts 20: “And now, compelled
by the spirit” — will you circle that phrase, “compelled by the spirit.” That means pushed on, shoved on by the spirit. Paul says, “I’m going to Jerusalem not knowing
what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city” — here it
is again — “the Holy Spirit warns me.” There’s one — another one to circle. The Holy Spirit is warning him, preparing
him that prison and hardships are facing him. How can we, like Paul, have the story of Jesus
continue through us by allowing his spirit to lead us? Here’s a real simple way that I can encourage
you toward. If you have a smartphone or a computer, download
the Bible app by YouVersion, Y-o-u Version. You can do any other Bible you want, but I
like YouVersion because it has tons of different translations. But it also has hundreds of reading plans
that prompt you to do reading each day. And you can get plans that feed you one or
two verses, all the way to plans that feed you three or four chapters a day so you can
read the whole Bible in a year. But it’s not just about the reading. Here’s where it gets magical. You can also tap one of those verses and say,
“Create a note.” And then inside the note, write two sentences. And the first sentence is just simply, “Here’s
what Jesus taught me today.” “Be nice” or whatever it is. And then answer the question, “How am I going
to accomplish that?” And we call it the “I believe statement,”
what he’s teaching me, and then the “I will statement,” what I’m going to do about it. And here’s what hundreds, into the thousands,
of people at Westside are really starting to figure out: If I do that simple habit four
days out of seven, I will actually — the volume of the spirit’s leading in my life
will go up. You want to be led by the spirit? That’s how it happens. Number four, I persevere through life’s challenges. This might be where some of you are right
now actually. Paul — it’s amazing, if you read through
the book, how he got all he got done done. It’s even more outstanding to learn how much
suffering he had to persevere to actually get it done. He suffered internally with sickness and blindness;
it pervaded his ministry. He talks about strength being made perfect
in weakness and things like that. But he was also suffering from outside as
well. The Jews in his day did not like the fact
that he was saying that the Messiah had come and that the Messiah was breaking people free
from some of the laws in the Old Testament that were just training tools for how to truly
live in Jesus’s kingdom. They hated the fact that he was breaking out
of all their being in control. They liked to control the scene and all that,
and he was breaking it down. And they would actually chase him from city
to city and try to kill him. And in one city, Lystra, on his very first
missionary journey, they actually took him outside the city walls and threw rocks at
him until they thought he was dead. Now, if I was Paul, I’d be saying, “That’s
it for me. I’m done. I’m going home.” He gets up; he goes into the next city; starts
a new church there; goes back to Lystra to make sure that the people are okay. That’s a nut. He persevered. Listen to what he says in Acts 20: “However,
I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the
task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Paul knew that the one who had saved him had
suffered and persevered through that suffering. And he probably also heard about Jesus talking
about how if you’re going to be my disciple, there’s going to be some suffering. And if there’s suffering, there’s a call to
persevere. Some of you are in that spot right now going,
“Has God left me? Has he abandoned me?” And the answer is no. Just about every nut is going to find theirself
in a spot where they just need to persevere with God’s strength. My encouragement is be like Paul, surround
yourself with a couple of people that are on the same target, they’re nuts just like
you. Tell them where you’re struggling, like that
friend of mine did that day, starting in that tunnel. And you don’t get with other friends to try
to have him fix it, so to speak, but just to remind you that Jesus knows what it means
to suffer, and that he is with you, and that he will give you the strength to persevere
wherever you are. The story of Jesus continues in me as I persevere
through life’s challenges. Finally, the story of Jesus continues in me
as I plant and water into faith communities. What does this mean? I could have used the word “church” there. Why didn’t I use the word “church”? Because I think the spirit of God is extremely
creative in how he fashions a church together. You might not know this, but the word “church”
is only used in the New Testament a few times, and it literally means “called out ones.” So it’s the people of God who’ve been given
the augmented reality of the presence of Jesus who are alive in the world carrying out his
business. And that happened in a jail in the New Testament;
that happened by the river in the New Testament; that happened under house arrest for Paul. He was always building, planting, and watering
into faith communities. In fact, the life and ministry of Paul and
his letters don’t even really make sense unless you see how they fit with the timeline in
his life. This slide right here is basically a snapshot
of the Chapter 29 that we all read from here, if you’re reading along. And it infused kind of the timeline of what
was happening in his life with the letters that he wrote during that life. One of my — Paul is one of my favorite characters
in scripture that’s actually fully just human and not God. I mean, Jesus has to be number one, but as
far as the rest of the folks go, Paul is the guy I want to hang with when I get to Heaven. Say, “Dude, how in the world did you do all
that? It’s amazing to me.” And there’s a link there in your notes. For those of you that want to just study this
a little bit more and just see how Paul’s letters are integrated into the mission trips
that he was on, there’s a link there that takes you and shows you the dates all this
happened, the things that he did on his journeys, and when these books were written, and why. And it brings the New Testament alive like
you’ve never, ever seen before. Here’s what he says in 1 Corinthians 3. He says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered
it, but God made it grow.” There’s a bunch of seeds, and he scattered
them. And he was a part of a bunch of other nuts
building his church. I want to introduce you to two nuts; they’re
the Hanchars. God moved them away from Kansas to Paris,
France. And this is how they have planted and watered
into the faith community there. Check this out: (Video plays.) JASON MORRIS: What I love about the online
campus at Westside is that we’re scattering seed everywhere. You may not know this when you’re sitting
in one of our locations around Kansas City, but there are literally thousands of people
around the globe that are experiencing what you’re experiencing every Sunday. There are folks that are taking the content
that we’re broadcasting all around the world, and they’re using it to start home churches
wherever they happen to be. A great example of that is Mary and Mark Hanchar
out in France. They’ve taken our stuff, and they’re translating
it into French, starting a home church right there in France. BRIGITTE: (Translated from French.) MARY HANCHAR: When we first moved there,
I began a women’s ministry because he was working full time. That evolved into a Wednesday night study
for men and women, anyone who wanted to come. And then that evolved into the fact that the
group asked us to begin a Sunday service. We came to Westside and said, “What can we
do?” Mark and I had the assurance of knowing that
when we present things from Westside, it’s truth, and thereby giving them a freedom spiritually
and helping them to grow and understand what the word is really about. BRIGITTE: (Translated from French.) MARY HANCHAR: And for us to know that the
thousands of you here at Westside pray for us. So, Westside, we cannot thank you enough for
going all in so that we can go all in. BRIAN PHIPPS: That’s cool. That’s cool. CONGREGATION: (Applause.) BRIAN PHIPPS: So this afternoon, I’m going
to go for a walk, and I’m going to play Pokémon Go as I’m walking. CONGREGATION: (Laughter.) BRIAN PHIPPS: Catch me some Pokémon. But I’m going to see those trees, and I’m
going to see all those acorns that remain on the ground. And you know what I’m going to think about? I’m going to think about, “What if 10 percent
of those actually got buried and made trees?” There’s probably 5- to 6-, 7,000 acorns. That would change what that place looks like. What if 20 percent? 30 percent? It would look a lot different. But here’s what I’m really going to be thinking
about: What if 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 80 percent of those that call Westside their home were
just a nut? What would that do for the kids that are hungry
on the weekends? What would that do for those that are trafficked? All of the sudden, a warrior showing up because
there’s hundreds of people that said, “I’m done with it.” Not just 10s. What would that do for marriages? How many kids would grow up with the love
of both parents and the security of that? What if? A hundred? What if God was doing that in a bunch of other
churches in Kansas City? Here’s what God wants: “Upon this rock” — that’s
the gospel; that’s the app; that’s what motivates us to go — “Upon this rock of the gospel,
I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” He’s safe to allow your seed to be buried
in him and to reap in absolute harvest with and for him. You can come down front and talk to someone
this afternoon, right now. Multiple friends will be up here that would
love to talk with you about any of these ways to continue to allow the story of Jesus to
be told through your life. Let’s pray together. Jesus, thank you. You’re the first nut of many. Thank you for allowing yourself to be buried
and raised so that we can do the same. We love you, and we commit ourselves to you. Amen. CONGREGATION: Amen. BRIAN PHIPPS: God bless you guys. We’ll see you next time.

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