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Spiritual Growth - Inspiring Examples in Philippians

This week, March 4, 2018, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series studying Philippians with the passage Philippians 2:19-30.

This passage doesn't seem as inspiring, but Paul includes two examples of Christian service.  If you were writing a letter and including people as examples who touched your life, who would you include?

More important, whose letter would you be in as an example of someone who touched their life with Christian service?

[As it happens, we have many opportunities at Gateway to touch the lives of others, especially children!  We will begin having two services each Sunday beginning Easter Sunday, April 1st.  So we actually need twice as many volunteers.  

We had an opportunity to walk around and meet people and check the four tables with volunteer opportunities - which will also be up next week.]

Paul offers Timothy as an example because:

1)  Timothy understands and practices Christian unity (verse 20 - No one is like-minded with me like Timothy.).

2)  Timothy was principally concerned with the cause of Jesus Christ (verse 21).

This matches Paul - he, too, measured his circumstances by whether they advance the cause of Christ.

3)  Paul had mentored Timothy in the faith (verse 22).

Mentoring and being mentored helps us grow in our faith.

Paul offers Epaphroditus as an example because:

1)  Epaphroditus was well-known to the Philippians.  He was a more real world example for them (verse 25).

2)  Epaphroditus was a fellow soldier with Paul (verse 25).

This was not casual spirituality.

3)  Epaphroditus was an "apostle" and minister to Paul's needs (verse 25).

He was a "sent one."  He had a special calling and he accomplished it.

Honor people like this and follow their example.

We need examples in our lives.  We need people like that, who minister to the needs of others.  We need these people.  And we need to be this kind of people.

Who would you put in your letter?  Who would put you in their letter?


G'Attitudes Going Forward

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Last Sunday, July 23, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen preached about the heart attitudes we need in our community going forward, as we prepare to move into our new building.

We did a virtual tour of part of the building.  We are especially thankful for God's provision!  We take so much that God does for granted.

When we began the building process, we looked at four heart attitudes that we needed, from Joshua 1:

1)  Dependence

2)  Obedience

3)  Courage

4)  Solidarity

Now there are 6 heart attitudes we need for this next season.  We'll call them G'Attitudes (instead of Beattitudes) - Gateway Attitudes.

1)  Solidarity

2)  Service

3)  Excellence

4)  Flexibility

5)  Hospitality

6)  Generosity

On Sunday, we covered the first two.


We looked at Philippians 2:1-4.  We also want to make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

Church is not about me - not about selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Church is a "we" thing, not a "they" thing.

The word for church in Greek is ecclesia - "called out ones."  We're the gathered ones.

It involves stepping in and showing up.

The church is not a building, it's the people, the community.

I'm an integral part of the church.

Jesus defined the distinguishing characteristic of his church as Love.

Heart challenges:

1)  Some need to investigate and decide:  Is this the place God has for you?

2)  Some need to step into Gateway with our gifts and our interests.  You need to be counted in.  Let us feel the full weight of who you are.

3)  A few of us need to let go of some barrier - some conflict, some hurt, or some slight.

Theme:  Connect in full!

Don't give the scraps of your life to Gateway.  As much as you can, and as much as you should, step in.  Step in, give your all.


The second G'Attitude we need.  It's intricately intertwined with solidarity.  As we serve, our hearts get intertwined.

We looked at Philippians 2 again, going on to verses 5-11.

Selfish ambition is an alternative to service:  It's about me.

Our participation in church is not driven by selfish ambition.  Is this a place I can serve?

Our participation in church is not driven by vain conceit.  This is a service blocker.

If you're having trouble serving, these may be the problems.

Our participation in church is driven by humility, thinking about ourselves less often but more accurately.

Heart focuses:

1)  Let's think about other people's needs!

September to November this year, let's focus on our guests!  We're doing this for others. 

Make this our attitude:  "It's my pleasure!"

It's about service!  As soon as we turn our lives outward, our needs get met.

2)  Share meals - Take people out to eat.

"Nobody eats alone!"

Can we make this our motto this Fall?