Introduction Good morning everybody and good morning Church, it’s it’s a great pleasure, as always, to be with you on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon, depending on when you’re watching this. But today is going to be actually a little bit different. We are actually taking a break from our sermon series. But don’t worry,… See more
Good morning everybody and good morning Church, it’s it’s a great pleasure, as always, to be with you on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon, depending on when you’re watching this. But today is going to be actually a little bit different. We are actually taking a break from our sermon series. But don’t worry, if you came here to listen to the next part of “The world is not worthy of them.” If you come next week, you will catch it. Then we’re going to continue it.
This week, however, we’re going to talk a bit about a really important question and this is the question that we’re going to be talking about: Why.
My daughter is three years old. This is her and she looks like she’s 11 in this picture and it makes me very sad because the process of growing up is going by way, way, way too quickly.
But this is my my little girl and this is her when she was about five months and this is her when she was about a year old and and this is her now at three. She’s she is the quintessential three year old. She is a three year old girl through and through. She loves princesses, she loves unicorns and Pink and Doc McStuffins. She loves watching Moana and Frozen and all those other things. She loves all of those things almost as love as much as she loves to ask me and her mom the same question over and over and over again.
And that question is why? If I ask her to eat, she replies, Why? If I ask her to sleep, she asks why. If asked her to go to school, she tells me why. If I ask her to use the potty, she says, why? And sometimes in a fit of rage, I will blow up and say, Because you’re going to pee on yourself. But why? Why, why? Why, why?
Why, why? And I have to make a quick confession, because when Cassandra and I were thinking about having children and when Cassandra was eventually pregnant, I thought to myself, I’m going to be like the perfect dad. My parents set the bar really high, but I’m going to raise the bar. You know, they were awesome, but I’m going to be awesome. And I thought to myself, one of the ways I’m going to be awesomer is to make sure that when my child asks me why I don’t get frustrated and I don’t respond quickly, but instead I sit down and explain it to them.
And this is a part of the sermon and this is just for free. But but sometimes people make commitments they are not prepared to keep. And that’s kind of what happened to me. And that’s the kind of the case now, because I could totally understand now when parents or rather when children ask why, why, why, why, why? And parents say the famous line because I told you so. Why can be very infuriating question, but it’s also a really important question to ask.
Jesus oftentimes ask these questions to the people that followed him. Blind Bartemeus, the mother of the sons of Zebedee. He asked the question, why are you here or what do you want from me? These are basically the same questions. And in many ways, this question is as important with the small things as it is with the big things. It’s important with the ethereal things as it is with the practical things, with the spiritual things and with the secular things.
And as we think about church, especially in the content context of the world in which we live in, we cannot meet together in person and where there are no kingdom kids and we are not singing, gathering together to sing and people are meeting fewer and fewer times and and community groups aren’t meeting. And no one is and no one is in person. And it seems like really there’s no end in sight. There can be a question that begins to fill our minds was just simply this question.
Why then does the church exist? Why does the church exist? So if we can’t be together, then why? Why, and it’s important question because it helps us understand the motivation of the things that we’re endeavoring in or the things that were a part of, so I can understand the question, why? Why does the church exist? Or I can understand that desire for clarity or wondering that. And and I’m just going to tell you up front where we’re going with the lesson.
If you are someone that comes and goes, I understand the church is important, but why do we exist? Why is the church still relevant in the twenty first century? What’s the point of the community of people? Why do we exist? What’s our mission? What’s our motivation again? Why does the church exist? And I’m to tell you the answer right up front. Here’s the answer. It’s because God said so. I’m just kidding. Actually, that’s true.
But it’s kind of incomplete. I want to give you a little bit more of an answer to that and flesh it out a little bit more. Of course, we’re just going to scratch the surface today. But I want to tell you a little bit about the motivation for our church, why we in the broad church exist. The reason why I believe we’re here. And I want to begin by reading 2nd Corinthians, chapter five, starting in verse 14.
If you have a Bible, you can go in and turn there, will be bouncing around to a bunch of different passages. So don’t worry, if you can’t follow along with me, all of the passages will be up on the screen. This is Corinthians, chapter five, verse 14. It says. This says, For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died. They died for all that. All died for all that.
Those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again. Abraham Maslow was a pioneer of the field of psychology, especially modern psychology. His work has become kind of a pillar in modern psychology. Maslow believed this, that self actualization was the driving force of all human motivation. It’s a concept that he captured in his book called Motivation and Personalities. Self Actualization, as he calls it, is the highest drive of all humanity.
It’s and this is the idea and obviously this is grossly oversimplified but the idea is that you and I are most motivated by a longing to be our best selves. That’s what we’re longing to be. And so we’re motivated to to achieve kind of whatever it is that that we could possibly achieve. Anyway, long before Abraham Maslow ever lived, there was a man named the Apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians. And he speaks about a motivation a little bit different than the way that Maslow or really any other modern psychologist talks about it under the under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
He wrote about motivation for doing what he did and being who he was and serving who he serves. And he writes about the motivation for action and he writes about a motivation that’s far above anything, honestly, the world has to offer. And it defies all of the hierarchical needs, in fact. So it’s so strong. The motivation Paul Scott describes, his motivation was so strong that he was that he was persuaded to even deny his own physical needs, sometimes going without food or shelter.
He denied his own safety, often being beaten or being put into prison in pursuit of that which was which what he was called for. He became a social outcast and abandoned all recognition by those who the world would deem as important. His motivation was found not in finding himself not being his best, him not having a lot of money, not having all of his needs taken care of, not having the safety and the security that the world offers, not having and not having finances or recognition or popularity or pop or any of those things.
But he found a motivation that made him lose himself, no longer live for himself. See these words found in 2nd Corinthians, chapter five, verse 15 are on, I have become kind of the motto for our church. We began this journey of of sort of uncovering our motivation several years ago, about four years ago, we really started talking about it in terms of words but many of us have been on the journey for much, much, much longer.
And we’ve tried to discover what it would mean to if we’re supposed to not live for ourselves, what it would mean for us to be a church, not for ourselves. We’ve used this model as a way of explaining what seems to be honestly the only appropriate way of describing why we exist. God’s church in the modern world. The church, simply put, is a people of God who primarily exist for the glory of God and for the benefit of others.
That’s what’s tied up in that mantra. We exist primarily for the glory of God and the benefit of others. This is what that mantra the church, not for ourselves means. And so we began to flesh it out again, like four years ago during a season of transition of, some would say, stagnation, of even confusion. But we wanted to do this. We wanted to do was to put into a framework what it meant for us to be the people of God today, what it meant for us to be the church God had longed for.
So we again go back to this phrase, for Christ, love would compel us. We wanted to be compelled, controlled, pushed forward by the love of God because we were convinced, deep conviction, that one died for all and therefore all died, obviously talking about Christ. And therefore we relinquish our own ways and he died for all that. So the reason he died is so that we would turn away from who we were and we would no longer live for ourselves or themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.
See, this passage hits us because of its clarity, it also hits us because it’s so countercultural. It’s truly unique to Christianity, this description of the way of living, because so much of the Christian calling is about this idea of denial of self and embracing who God made us to be. This is echoed throughout the scriptures. Galatians chapter two, verse 20. It says, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I live, but Christ who lives in me.
Luke, chapter nine, verse twenty three and twenty four. And he said to all, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me forever would save his life, will lose it. But whoever loses his life for me will save it.
Galatians Chapter five verse twenty. For those who belong to Christ, Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Colossians Chapter three verse I think it’s thirty three for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Romans Chapter 12 verse one I appeal to you therefore brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. The depiction of the Christian life is in fact a depiction of a crucified life. The depiction of what it means to follow Jesus is what it means to follow Jesus all the way to the cross, where you relinquish every bit of who you were and you forsake all of it so that you could pursue Christ, his will and his longing for your life.
The depiction of of Christianity is a sacrifice life. It is a sanctified life. It is a no longer for ourselves type of life, a life where we admits that me first is miserable, that me first doesn’t bring about any sort of glory, but instead just drags us into the muck and the mire of the corrupt system of the world. To live a Christian life means that we save our life by losing it to live the Christian life means that we are rich by being generous, that we get to the top by becoming a servant of all the scriptures, make it plain that life to the full is actually life fully offered.
Life to the full means, you give up everything in this world so you can have the hope of eternity and the hope of the kingdom of God invading the earth, and this is to the benefit of God and also to the benefit of others. Why do we exist then? We exist for the benefit of others and for the glory of God, that’s why we exist. We exist to help the world be reconciled to God, the father. We exist to serve those who are in need.
We exist to be the hands and feet of Jesus for our brothers and sisters and also for the rest of the world. We exist to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and to love the Lord, our God with all our heart and soul and strength. And by doing so, showing that there is something greater in this world than just this world, we exist to gather every race, every gender, every culture, every socioeconomic level to show that, to show the world that unity can be forged through the kingdom of God.
We exist for the benefit of others, and we exist for the glory of God. And it is such an appropriate motivation. It is such a perfect answer to the question why we exist, because honestly, the only way we could have ever been blessed with the things of God is if somebody else lived this way for us. Think about it in your own life. Isn’t it true that you and I were brought into the family of God? Isn’t it true that you and I were brought into the family of God because someone else decided to live?
Not for themselves. They decided to sacrifice time maybe to get with you and talk to you about God’s word, they sacrificed energy to spend dealing with your problems. They sacrificed resources, money, resources to help you find the word of God all again to bring you to God. And even now, the reason that the message is coming to you over the Internet, the reason why you’re able to see it on YouTube or Facebook or whatever other platforms you watch this on is because somebody else made a way for you.
They lived not for themselves. And so now you get the benefit of this. And in fact, if you’ve been impacted anyway by the ministry of the church in any way by an Instagram post or by being baptized just behind me, or maybe your son, your daughter got interested in kingdom kids, interested in God with the kingdom kids or through or through our teen ministry or through the campus ministry. It was all because somebody else decided to take on the mantra of living, not for themselves.
Somebody decided to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice. Someone decided to crucify themselves so that they could live for God. And see, it’s certainly possible. It’s certainly possible that over time, those who made a way for you, those who made a way for you, will be forgotten in the muck, in the mire of the world we live in. So I just want to put it back to the forefront of the way we think about life.
We are a church, not for ourselves, with which means we exist to bring God glory and to and we exist for the benefit of other people to find Jesus. And this idea of sacrificing self, of giving over our lives for for the cause of somebody else, for the benefit of somebody else is in the DNA of this church. See, there are so many of you listening here today who have given up jobs or not taken jobs or decided to adjust your work schedule or didn’t participate in hobbies, all because you were convinced that you needed to sacrifice something about yourself for the benefit of God’s glory or for somebody else.
Some of you listening today moved cities, maybe move for a short time or move for a really long time to follow the great commission because you understood this idea that your life was not about you, that your life was not about what you could get from life, but instead what you could give from your life. Some of you sacrifice sleep. You sacrificed family dinners, even drove to people to have Bible studies and ungodly hours of the night because you were convinced that the world needed to know about God.
You lived, not for yourselves. Some of you have lived and face the embarrassment of trying to reach people that didn’t really want to be reached and have door shut in your face or conversations ended or friendships being destroyed, or because you thought, you know what, this is not about me making just friends, but it’s about me helping people know the glory of Jesus. Deep conviction is in the DNA of this church, and it all comes because we are convinced that God loves us.
And so we decided to go out and live, not for ourselves. And this, honestly, is the legacy of every Christian through the history of the history of Christianity, martyrdom disciples would die before their convictions did. The list of martyrs is really in the tens of thousands because why? They were convinced that one died for all and so they were willing to die. And maybe this seems extreme. But I could fill in a lot of words that would still prove the fact that we have deep convictions, some of you were convinced that one died for all, and so you were willing to quit.
You were convinced that one died for all, and so you were willing to forego you’re convinced that one died for all, and so you’re willing to break a boyfriend or girlfriend relationship, you were convinced that one died for all. And so you were willing to step out on faith and move to a new place to reach out to your neighbors, to talk to your friends. You lived in those moments just like those martyrs do. Not for yourself. That’s that’s what the church exists for.
We exist to be a people, not for ourselves. But it comes as we understand the love of God, I want to show you the passage one more time. It says, For Christ, love compels us. Doesn’t say that some law compels you some piece of advice. Compelled you some some sermon compelled. You didn’t say that someone someone randomly came to you and said you need to do this. And so you did it. But but but we are compelled by the love of Christ.
Church, I want to ask you, are you still compelled by the love of God? And maybe more specifically, are you still grateful for the cross? See, pervasive discontentment is trying to color virtually every area of the modern world. Marketing stations and marketing companies are constantly trying to remind you that you need to get better and things need to get faster and get to get easier and cheaper and and and TV shows are like they’re restoring homes and cars and houses because everything needs to get better.
And so they’re pumping in us this idea that we constantly need to be this content. Man’s rebellion and man’s default position is to grumble and complain, to grumble and complain, to argue and to whine about just about everything. But those of us who have taken on this idea of trying to live, not for ourselves, really it comes about because we are convinced. We are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died, and so we find some incredible value in the cross of Christ, we fall down at the feet of Jesus.
We were washed in his blood. We are convinced that he went to the cross not only to give us a better life, but also to tell us that that that our individual lives weren’t worth living by ourselves or for ourselves, I should say. So, again, why do we exist? Well, we exist because there are still souls that need saving. Exist because there are still wounds that need binding and there are still there are still a lot of tears that need drying and there are still a lot of people who are hurting, a lot of people who are broken, and a lot of people who are discontent.
And there are still a lot of needs in our city, in our country, in our county and our world. The church exists. This church exists because there are still problems that need solving. And there are still people who need to find Jesus. That’s why we exist. That’s why we exist. And I needed to say all of this because this serves as kind of the backdrop for for what we’re going to do here in a moment. There’s a conviction that that needs to be tested in our hearts, because in just a moment, we’re going to launch our season of giving.
Over the next few months, we’re going to collect and then send about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars out to organizations in our partner churches and partner programs, specifically targeting ministries that spread the love of Jesus and live not for themselves. Once a year we get together. And we used to do it in May, but covid hit and so now we’re in whatever month. We’re in September and we do something big in the name of Jesus, an extraordinary act of generosity and a proof that we live not for ourselves.
Here is how it works: Over the last several decades, we have partnered with organizations, organizations that bring Christ specifically to South America and the Caribbean. We have these churches. What they do is they fill out grants and they ask for things and they ask for things. Typically falling into these four categories, either church planting’s church, strengthening youth programs and media programs. Basically, these churches apply and we’re looking for rock stars, programs that are awesome, churches that are amazing.
We ask the churches, how can we help you specifically? We ask them what would make a big difference for you and what would help you make a big difference. And they just give us their wish list. And and what happens is they send in their wish list and we look at the amount of money that we collect and we end up being able to send out people and and they go, well, if we just say to them, look, if you had a little bit more money, who would you hire?
What would you do with the money? What what what would it all look like? And so they send in their applications, we vet them, we pray and we consider and after and after trying to meet as many needs as possible, then we add in projects that help reach people right here in Broward County. And so it’s for for missions, things like South America and the Caribbean and also some things specifically that come right here in Broward County this year.
The total amount collected will be about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And it’s a uniquely important year because and I’m just I’m trying to make a point here, because normally those churches ask for things that kind of go above and beyond their needs this year. We’re really trying to meet a lot of needs, we’re trying to meet some really specific needs, and before I go on a long diatribe to explain those needs, I decided that I would let the churches speak a little bit about their needs.
So this is from the mouths of our brothers, from South America and also from the Caribbean, describing what the offering means to them and their particular and what their situation is because of the covid-19 crisis.
My name is George Bettencourt, and I’m part of the leadership team, meaning the church in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My name is Angel Martinez and I’m here in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.
My name is Greg Ball and I am an evangelist here in Jamaica.
We were talking offline for a little bit just about some of the challenges that a covid-19 has had, not only on people physically, but also people financially. And so can you can you speak a little bit too that with the churches, the church, and maybe even the culture? Like what’s what’s been going on since covid hit there in March when this pandemic started?
We went instantly into a curfew and we went into a total shutdown, meaning nobody can go out, only people who had to, you know, had to be out working at the police, the government, all that. So that put people in a very tough situation where literally people were not able to bring food home to the table, were not able to pay their bills. That life was already challenging before and then it just became super challenging.
Now, yes, there are significant challenges. You know, we were very grateful to hope worldwide with their initiative of the Loaves and Fishes program where they took up money, they got donations and they spread it right around the world. And Jamaica was a recipient. And what we did with the money that was approved for us is that we got supermarket cards that were able to give out right across the island to the most who were affected by the covid. So they were able to get grocery items.
I can tell you when we were distributing these cards, there were tears of joy and thanksgiving because people said they were on their last dollar. They didn’t know what they were going to be doing. So, yes, we have been affected significantly, members have been affected by the shutdown. And you know what? Hope Worldwide stepped in and helped.
It was really hard, not only on the people obviously, but on the leaders as well, because all of a sudden we all had to adapt to media and to doing online services and a lot of those things we haven’t been doing. So we went to that initial stressful phase and even despite of all of those challenges, I feel that God’s been really great. I mean really good to us has been providing studies for four disciples to to have with their friends through evangelism. I feel that God’s been using that a lot. Several disciples have reached out to their families and friends who live in other states.
If you didn’t have the support of the American churches who choose to support the Caribbean, and what would that what would that look like?
That would look like no survival. That’s what that would look like.
When you think about kind of the special programs that that that the church and the churches in Florida support things like MAPA and and what would it mean if that offering just kind of went away?
I’m smiling here and out of happiness, just thinking that.
I mean, the reality is, especially now, because it’s it’s like I said, in many cases, you know, speaking Caribbean, in many cases you have contribution that has dropped 70 percent, in some places, 50 percent, in other places a little bit worse. So, again, even as the help comes in from the states that in the Caribbean were always super grateful for it, many times just meets the current needs and doesn’t even allow us to do it while being a lot more than what we want to do.
So even now, you know the offering, you know, the sacrifice of the disciples as things makes a big, big, big, big difference, especially now. It is significant. You know, we have to continue the work. We have to be thinking about the next generation of leaders, and we have to be able to make some guarantees. People need to not just hear that there was a guarantee. They there must know that if they make a choice to go into the ministry, that there is going to be sustainability.
The money that we receive from the church and Broward and the church in Florida is obviously my hope is in God. But the way I feel is that God is able to provide a lot of the hope that we feel through the mind because it’s through with the mind that we that we were getting to train like some of the disciples who who I am sure will be part of the momentum changing in the church here. They are zealous. They have initiative.
They are learning how to use the Bible to confront people and to have ideas and to think differently, to move the church in a different direction.
Give to God and he will take care of the rest. He will give you abundantly, because honestly, that’s the way I feel, I feel abundantly blessed in my life.
Have there been tight times? Definitely in hard times, definitely. But I have seen that God is even more faithful. And to know that what we give goes a long way. It goes a very, very, very long way to put food on a whole farm. Not one person on a whole family. So I think is we think about that, we can think about the impact for eternity that this can have on the lives of many people.
So I want to thank you so much for your generosity and for Broward coming on board with the Caribbean Mission Society, where we are appreciative and know that every dollar, every cent that is donated really makes a huge difference to the churches in Jamaica and around the world, wherever it is they you contribute to.
These brothers are heroes to me because they work for the Lord and they live not for themselves, but it’s not just for missions or for for missionary work that we collect money.
We also collect money for the poor. And I want to explain I want to rather I want Marcia Brevett to explain what she does down in Jamaica for some orphaned kids. It’s a remarkable project. And your offering goes to this. Hi, my name is my Marcia Brevett Fat, I have a nonprofit work that I do called “Helping others with love”, that we help people in Jamaica, the children in Jamaica and the people in need in Jamaica every single year and.
Just go down and offer therapeutic services, offer support as far as educational program, offer supplies when needed. You know, do volunteer work with community, like having book fairs and and food drives and any way possible to help support a system that’s down in Jamaica. As long as I’ve known you, Marcia. You’ve talked a lot about your love and care for for the orphans that you specifically work with. So can you speak a little bit to the work you do with the orphans?
I don’t know. It started a long time ago.
I’d gone down to Jamaica after being in the United States for a few years over 10 years, and started a visit, an orphanage. And I’ve always loved kids. I’ve always served in some way, young children. And I even did my degree in social work and counseling to work with children. But I get one in nineteen ninety one. I was down in Jamaica and I had a fortunate opportunity to visit one of the children’s home orphanages in Kingston, and it all started by what I saw there on the baby’s South Sudan themselves.
Just a lack of care, even though the food was provided and shelter was provided. It was such a very evident, a clear evidence of lack of emotional care to the children. I’m not saying every organization that takes care of children in Jamaica treat these kids the way that they do. But it’s definitely a problem with not the children, not be provided provided with emotional care. It just broke my heart and I was never able to get that imagery out of my mind.
From that year, from 1993 until this day, I’ve done everything possible to provide to provide training, what I would be bringing people down to Jamaica to to interact and play with the kids, whether it be me going in and spending weeks on. And I use all my vacation time to be down in Jamaica, to spend that time bonding with the children in the orphanage to to play with them, to do whatever it is to stimulate them in a way that is so desperately needed.
Yeah, we we are certainly living in kind of unique times here with covid-19. And like you said, sort of the heart of of God is to stop and to take care of people. And and it seems like it’s especially for those in developing nations that are uniquely challenging to to have a lot of those needs met. So can you speak a little bit about the the unique position the orphanage has been in or the work that you’ve done has been in because of covid-19 and sort of what has what has transpired with with the organization that you work with or that you that you founded because of just the global climate at this time, the emotional connection that is needed with the children?
It’s not really provided. What we went and did was we hired a young lady so that she can do those, play therapy and play with the kids and and develop those emotional bonding time. And it’s been incredible. I mean, when I called to check on the kids, they’re like, aren’t when you come in until when your friends come in? Because as you know, as you well, you know, I tend to do the groups that would bring down 30 and 40 people down to Jamaica.
Where would you take them? To the zoo and take them out for ice cream and do like fun, things like that. We did. What about we we did a swim clinic where the kids can be in the pool because they’re kind of the tennis to be locked up and not given a lot of time and space to roam and to play. And so what is what this virus has done is that it’s caused that to even be in a greater extent where nobody’s allowed to visit the home except the staff.
There’s a there’s a need for food. There’s a need for, you know, I get calls or sick. Is there any way that we could, you know, the kids are home or we don’t wear long food? Can you get some donations? So we call in and trying to get some donations sent down down to them. And so it’s causing even the places that have had a problem and has the problem. You know what I mean? I think what you said, it’s so good that there’s already a tendency for them to be kind of locked down and then in this sort of lockdown that that has multiplied so there is a lot of needs there.
Certainly now now we have been in the church, we’ve been supporting the orphanage or your work in many different ways. You know, primarily people for years. And and obviously, you’re such an amazing member. So you’ve been supporting us. The reason for the view, certainly, but but over the last couple of years, we’ve been giving financially to to the cause down there and so we’re so excited about your work and even now just get pumped up about about what we’re able to do with you and through you.
And so can you speak a little bit about about what that money from from from the American churches has meant to to your work down there?
I mean, it’s been life saving, really very, very grateful for the help that we get from you guys, from our our ministry here in Florida. Most also my team that come down to Jamaica has been from the broad church. And it’s been incredible when we do have our project, whether it be the book fair or we bring down twenty six thousand books or thirty thousand books to distribute around the island. And we work with the poor people, poor volunteers to that.
The money is held for transportation, for shipping or for the food that people are eating, the projects that we do because we pay for all of the kids to go to the zoo and pay for all the kids to get ice cream just so much that that that has made such a lasting impact on these children. So that donation truly has helped us to be able to do that work. God is so amazing. I cannot tell you how many times out of the blue he has provided the help that is needed.
I mean, even with us not being in contact with the children, I was wondering how can we serve them? How can we make them know that we had not forgotten them? And because I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, over 20 years of going on every year with folks I knew and all kind of stuff. So the kids and I follow the children. So it’s like I’ve known some people, some of the kids are 11 and I knew them when they were two weeks old.
So they expect me.
So when I call to check, they’re like, well, you know, so, you know, we were able to do a different kind of service is like great cards and send these things down. I mean, my roommate, Nick Sanches, and I was able to make some bags and put stars and stuff in every one of the hundred kids name on it. And so I’m sitting on a little food and we are able to make these little gift bags for them just to make sure that they know that I love them.
You know, I always say, like, do you know who’s doing this? God is doing this? No, no, no, no. God is doing this so that they can remember that they haven’t been forgotten. You know, one of the things that that that really movement is there in common with the children ask and they always ask why? Why don’t have a mom? I don’t have a dad or. They know that, but, you know, just to remind them that they all have a dad, you know, if they don’t have anybody physically, they do have a dad that loves them, you know, nothing good comes from us or me.
So everything good that is happening to them is from God know and. It’s very difficult to watch to see that, but you know that we can play a part to make them feel loved. Julie? It’s not something that I deserve to be able to do, but I’m so blessed to be able to do Marcia, as always, your passion for this and and your connection to God’s spirit as you think through what it means to to really love people in the way that God tells us to love people.
Right to true religion is to look after orphans and widows in the times of their distress. And and you live that. And, uh, and I am so grateful as as part of this church to have as as just where I am in my position to be able to support a ministry like yours. And and I know there’s so many people who are watching even this conversation now and thinking, you know, like, man, I, I don’t know, my life is tight or I’m going through challenging times to0.
Not to minimize anybody problems but as we think about all that’s going on, we know that really God would be proud of an offering that would go to something like this. So I just I’m so grateful for you. You are an amazing woman of God and I’m am honored to have you as a part of my my family. And as I say to you, I’m very grateful, truly from my heart.
As I said, I’m so grateful for the work that Marcia does, but I want to share with you one last project and one last program that fits into our special offering. The last thing is right here in Broward, and it’s focused in very specifically on media. And so I’ll have the people who lead our media team take it away. I’m excited to present to you some of the people that work on our media week after week, we have Noel Rose Tuan Wright and Emon Kiffin and these are three of the people on our media team we have been for the entire year, are really working on ways to reach people in a new way as as we often talk about.
The idea is that the mission of God has always been to save people in all places. And one of those places is now online. The online has become in some ways a brand new church frontier. And so I have just been blown away and so excited about all that God is doing through the church online ministry. And so I wanted to because part of our special offering goes to these endeavors. I wanted to bring on these guys and have them share a little bit about the impact that the more tangible impact that our media has had on so many people as we think about the churches that that have been benefiting from some of the media that we’ve produced.
Can you think of anything that that maybe stands out to you as like an antidote or something like that that would be encouraging for the church to hear?
Yeah, I think this time has has really humbled me and I’m sure even humbled Tuan and Ivana as well. Just just to think, like when you think of South Florida, you’re not thinking about Davie, you’re not thinking about Davie, Florida, you’re not thinking about Broward County. People don’t know what that is. But God has really blessed us with not only just willing hearts here on staff for the media, but with just you guys as a church who are continuously investing in our media.
I mean, we we got a contact from a church in China asking to use our our worship for for one of their services. And and it’s funny to catch up with friends who who live across the country and they’re like, oh, like you’re in our worship service this morning because we know the content that we produce. We just have a mentality that because we’ve been blessed, we want to bless us other just to see what God has done with with our our itty bitty church.
We’re just we’re humbled and he’s able to use us this way. Yeah, it’s cool.
As Noel said, we have people, it seems like. Well, it was certainly a lot more a month or so ago, but like calling us pretty much every week going, hey, can we take that song or can we take that that music video that you guys made and put it in our service? And and always our answer was, you can take whatever you want. You don’t have to give us any credit because it’s God that gets credit anyway.
You know, put your own church logo on the bottom. I don’t even care. I just use it because we want your church to be as encouraged as our church has been through this. And and I just think about how encouraging that is for for us as a congregation to know that what we give has not only planted seeds in Broward, but to plant the seeds seriously all over the world.
We’ve used video as a pretty incredible medium also for for trying to reach more people and to connect more people. We’ve even tried our hardest to to produce things that had a little bit of engagement and kind of a silliness to them. Iman is probably the the most famous person on that, setting up our hot ones video. And and can you speak a little bit about the strategy that comes with Iman, about using media that’s maybe not so traditional to maybe pull in some more people to to listen to the gospel message that maybe wouldn’t have been able to wouldn’t be willing to listen to it otherwise?
Yeah, I think that we’ve been definitely trying to do media differently this time around. And one of the things that I’ve really been trying to focus in on in the videos that we do are just kind of trying to bring the humanity into things like making it more personal for the viewers. So we did a lot of like the local covid things where we dropped off food to the first responders. And I think that was just showing people that didn’t know the church, just the nature of the church wanting to serve.
And as well, as always, just trying to think outside the box of how can we encourage our youth during this time. So we’ve been doing our kids videos and just trying to help them to stay engaged because it’s hard to do everything through. Zoom So that’s just something that I’ve been just trying to think through as well as other people.
And yeah, we’ve to mention that not only to mention the things that you said, but but we also had and we did a cappella and I you know, we’re trying to do different things that have been creative. And I think that has all been an effort to not only encourage the Saints, but also so you can save that which was lost. And that continues to be the driving force of the media team. And I appreciate you guys so much, because every time we talk and every discussion we have is really based on that, it’s it’s how do we reach more people?
How do we encourage the church more? It’s not about cloud. It’s not about fame. It’s not about our own popularity. It’s really about the gospel of Christ. And so I want to ask you this one and this. But but like, what do you think are. Church would be if we didn’t have the investment made by the church a year ago to do live stream, to start implementing volunteers to really pull this off. What do you think would be and and you’ve spoken to some congregations that are there sort of in development mode who are who are who feel like they’re a step behind.
So can you speak a little bit to that about where we would be if it wasn’t for the or the offering and and God allowing it to be used in such a transcendent way? Yeah, I think we would be scrambling to figure it out. So Unkovic started a lot of our churches had to stop for a while because they they they had no experience with media and, you know, for a variety of different reasons. But we we didn’t necessarily miss a week of church.
We just we just put more energy and time into the media and making sure that we made the live stream great. So all of our visitors, all of our members would be able to congregate and still have church. And that ended up being an added benefit for other churches because they were able to watch our church in the meantime, while they were able to watch, while they while they were in the process of trying to figure out what they need to do or how to do a lot of the things that that we were doing.
So during that time, we we kind of stood in the gap for a lot of other congregations because they were still able to kind of have church with us and while their church was was figuring things out. Yeah, absolutely, yeah, we’ve got has been just kind of blowing us away with with the impact and, um, people have been baptized that found us online, that filled out an online comment card and and all that has been just such an encouragement for our souls.
And I just want to say thank you. Thank you from from us as a media team. Thank you for continuously donating to to the church and then also giving giving of the special offering, because not only does it help sort of in in developing nations, but it helps right here and it helps Broward and helps the United States. And I’m so thankful that you’ve allowed us to have the liberty of having this offering be a forward thinking, offering and expansion on God’s kingdom, not for our benefit, but for the glory of God.
So I just want to say thank you and thank you guys for serving so diligently a week after week and being a part of something that I do believe is changing the world. So I love you guys. Grateful. These projects are awesome, and God does so much through them, and I’m just so blessed to be a part of a community that is willing to live not for ourselves in order to have other people find Jesus. And I just want to say thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for giving every single week. And thank you for taking on the sacrifice of giving this one time offering. It is so moving to see the people of God draw together an incredible amount of money so that God’s glory can be displayed and so that more people could find Jesus or be comforted in the times of their distress.
Now, here’s the thing, and here’s what I want to make sure about, especially if you knew we would love for one hundred percent of you to participate. If you’re a Christian, if you’re not a Christian, if you go to this church, if you don’t go to the church, if you like this sermon, if you don’t like the sermon, those who are watching and who are watching, maybe for the very first time now, somebody listening or somebody here today, you might be thinking, I can’t give, I’m broke. I don’t want to participate right now. I’m going through covid things. I don’t want to just diminish your pain. There is no guilt if you cannot give. I’m just inviting you to participate in what we’re doing as a church. I’m trying to invite you in this moment to try to live, not for yourself. If you think the love of Jesus impacts people, then give today. If you think the love of God will change lives, then give today or plan to give over the next month or so.
Together we can make a huge difference for the world, difference for the world. So here’s the idea. We’re going to give again to like twenty five different projects, including six church plantings. We’re going to orphan care in Jamaica. People I know people don’t like to give salaries, but people don’t like people like to give directly to the poor. And we certainly are giving to that. But we’re also going to give two salaries because we have amazing missionaries in South South America and the Caribbean who need our work.
Remember, these are vetted. There’s some amazing programs here and they’re just extraordinary. They’re just doing extraordinary work, really for people all over the world. And the thing is, if you’re a Christian, you know this, but your devotion to God is best demonstrated and most authenticated through your love for the people you can see. I know that we can’t see God. And I know that we want to show our love for God, but the way the scriptures define it is that it’s more authenticated and it’s most demonstrated by the way we serve people we can see.
Christians are calling us to live not for ourselves, but to live for the benefit of others, to show extraordinary generosity. I’m thankful for all of you who already do this, but I pray that the love of God would compel you in this moment to maybe participate with us. And if you’re asking how you could participate, these are the ways you can do it. There are four ways you could text Broward to seven, three to five, six.
You can go on the realm if you’re a member here in the church or you can go to Broward Church dot org sports give again. It’s an opportunity for us to live, not for ourselves. Religion is not a demonstration of just singing and compassion. It really is demonstrated perfectly in generosity and a love for people who you can see. I pray today that as we take our offering, as we collect money from all over the world, that God would do something profound with it.
Also, as we go to God for our for our time of communion, that God would allow us to realize that Jesus gave up everything so that we could have life to the full. Let’s pray: God we love you. We we thank you for this offering that will be collected. I pray that lives are changed through it. I pray that our brothers and sisters in South America feel the impact. I pray that our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean feel the impact.
I pray that people right here in Broward who watch our digital media will feel the impact. I pray that the orphan care that we provide for the orphanage in Jamaica through Marcia can just, I don’t know, go further than we ever imagined. I pray and that you can multiply it like you did with the fish and the loaves. We could just bring the little we have and you would do something profound with it. But I also pray for communion at this time as we take the bread and juice that represents your body and blood, that our hearts would be drawn to understanding your sacrifice that we can sacrifice for others.
To Jesus name. Amen. And she has ordered a. No, in. No, at. And he has already. And Tatsuo, Dudi. Levels have I mean, losing is lost because it. We’ll also see how this coming screenplay’s bromates. Punk rock solid on the punk. Sort of like superstars. No superstars, super special, no. So I’m hoping for the best. Superstars superstar Servando. But to start to understand and get on with our next Samantha.
You your look at it to the ordered. It’s amazing to me how God has gifted each one of us and the church in so many special ways. I always feel like I’m coming back here and I’m just saying how grateful I am for our music ministry and the people who worship God in these really special ways. And I just love seeing the diversity of the church. So I’m really grateful for Carla and Alex being here and sharing a song, especially for the communion.
I think that it means even more to me in light of what Tony had to share as well. You know, we we will worship this God who makes away who is a miracle worker, who does all of these things for us. And it just goes back to what I was sharing in the beginning. You know, I’m just so grateful for Jesus being our motivation. And I really hope that that Jesus is your motivation for the life that you live for this life of sacrifice that’s giving back day after day.
I also hope that when you give when you when you give these sums of money or your time or whatever it is that you’re giving, I really hope that you’re thinking of Jesus and that it’s not something that’s just done in vain because he’s the best motivation there is. So I just hope that this season of giving is as much a celebration for you as it is for all of us. And a very big thank you. I just want to call you back to the number of ways that you can give you can text to give seven, three, two, five, six.
You can do that on the realm if you’re familiar with the realm. And then also you can just go to our church give and you can give that way. I just want to say thanks again. Thanks for being here and being with us. Next time. I’m sure we’ll be very soon and we look forward to that whenever that next time is. We love you very much.