This Sunday, Bill Russell brought the message, continuing the series in Acts, "Who Do You Think You Are?" about the foundations of the early church -- finding out about our people.
He covered Acts 15:36-40 and Acts 16-17, Paul's Second Missionary Journey. This journey had some unexpected turns along the way.
1. The Context Acts 15:36-40
Their goal was to strengthen the churches -- and they started with a dispute.
2. The Challenges Acts 16:6-8
Asia: NO Bithynia: NO
Sometimes we're trying to follow God's plan and we're at a loss when He closes doors. Paul doesn't skip a beat. He keeps traveling. He perseveres.
Has our Christian walk become too easy? God is still guiding us even when the going gets hard.
3. The Cracks Acts 16:1-15
We have to work in the cracks. Find the places we can serve along the way.
They made some guesses to find the place of prayer in Philippi.
4. The Chains Acts 16:16-40
Paul cast out a demon -- and ended up in chains.
How did they react? They sang hymns.
But when the chains fell off and the doors opened, they didn't leave. And the jailer came to them and asked how to be saved.
5. The Culture Acts 17:16-34
Athens had a completely different culture, and Paul adapted to it.
Paul found an altar with an inscription, "To an unknown God" and used that as an in.
To impact the culture, you first have to understand it. He even quoted their poets.
How does this apply to us?
Our Context - We're building a building.
Our Challenge - There are and will be several along the way.
Our Cracks - How will we get out there? What communities can we reach?
Our Chains - Not sure yet, but when you go through change, there are often setbacks.
Our Culture - We need to be keenly aware of it.
We're fishing - Because God is good.