Sermon Series: The Wesleyan Way

1/12 - 3/3/2019

Sometimes the “rules” of Christianity can seem so complex. An 18th century English pastor named John Wesley taught that the best guide for the journey of life and faith goes beyond the important forms and rituals of religion to a place of rediscovering the joy and freedom that the earliest followers of Jesus felt. Wesley sparked a worldwide revival of Christian faith by pointing to a way of following Jesus based on a real relationship where we can find God’s grace. This series looks at eight core aspects of faith that lead to a joyful and abundant life.

Messages

3/2 - 3/3/2019 | What About My Money?

Talking about money makes us nervous because while we want it to be permanent, it is not. Money is a sign of faith. Rather than something to idolize or something to reject, Jesus teaches us that money comes from God, and how we tackle our money says a lot about how much we trust in God and how well we treat other people.

2/23 - 2/24/2019 | Why is the Christian Life So Hard?

The gap between Jesus and the lifestyles of those who claim to follow Jesus can be so wide that it becomes the reason an unbelieving world does not believe. Our basic nature is not to love God and our neighbor—this is why the Christian life is hard. When Jesus redeems us, he also calls us to a new way of living. This means something very different than simply avoiding immoral actions; it means changing our hearts and lives.

2/16 - 2/17/2019 | How Can I Connect with God?

We know we need God's grace—so what do we do? Jesus tells us to "Seek first." We do this with God by engaging in the practices that allow God to have the biggest impact on our lives. Through the routine habits of daily faith, God is trying to reach us and give us transforming grace, care and love, to do something profound and life-changing.

2/9 - 2/10/2019 | Am I a Sinner?

The world wants to hand out participation trophies for life. But acknowledging our brokenness and limitations isn’t a downer; it is the starting place of wisdom. Sin is a reality—as is the grace that God offers to heal us.

2/2 - 2/3/2019 | Do I Have to Obey the Law?

Even as God offers us unlimited grace and love, God calls us to a life of perfection. This is not an unattainable goal, either but something we can achieve when we follow God’s moral laws and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and shape our lives.

1/26 - 1/27/2019 | Am I a Real Christian?

What happens the day after a person accepts Jesus as their savior? While the life of the almost-Christian practices the rituals of religion and tries to be nice to other people, the life of a real Christian is characterized by real love - sacrificial, giving love, which can begin only on the full realization that God has first loved us.

1/19 - 1/20/2019 | How Can I Be Saved?

On the surface, asking the question, “are you saved?” seems simple - it is a question about the soul. But at different times, Jesus talks about four different kinds of salvation. That’s because Jesus was concerned with the whole person - heart, mind, soul and strength. Salvation is both for the future, and for right now.

1/12 - 1/13/2019 | What is the Bible’s Message?

The kingdom of God is not a set of correct opinions or beliefs, nor is it a physical destination in the clouds for us to go to when we die. It is a state of the soul. The overriding message of Jesus, and therefore of the whole Bible, is that in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the kingdom of God has come. Christianity is a religion of the heart.

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples

Materials

Podcasts

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John Wesley Sermons

Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 (Pt. 1) | Week 4 (Pt. 2)

Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

HANDOUTS

For weeks 1, 4, and 8 only

Week 1: John Wesley and Charles Wesley
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Week 4: Do I Have to Obey the Law?
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Week 6: Means of Grace Checklist
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Week 8: What About My Money?
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