Building Your Life On Values That Last | Celebration Weekend

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We put Celebration Weekend on our calendar every year around Thanksgiving to give thanks to God, turn the corner into the the holidays, give to Him and celebrate what God has done in our lives this fall.

With Celebration Weekend, we open up a giving opportunity called the Celebration Offering. Our first priority for you is to give out of your relationship with God and give through the church, that’s called the tithe. If you choose to give beyond your tithe, that is called an offering. The Celebration Offering we bring at the end of the year, to celebrate what God has done in our lives.

The Bible says the way you give to God is through the church because the church is the body of Christ. Here’s how we plan on using the money given during this year’s Celebration Offering.

In previous years, we’ve used part of the offering to give an extra month of support to the missionaries and amazing organizations we support as a church. Through your giving this year we’ve been already able to cover that.

This year, we want to give half of what comes in to church planters. The other half we’ll use for some improvements around here.

In the past, we’ve been able to renovate a room or space or add technology to help us get the gospel out to more people through the Celebration Offering.

If you want to give to that, you can designate your gift, Celebration Offering. You can give online at RockBrook.org/Giving to give online.


“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples…”  Mark 8:34a NIV

Jesus understood all of the people who were following Him. There were people in different stages of their spiritual journey, they weren’t all disciples. He had a crowd of people who were kicking the tires and trying to figure out if Jesus was real. He was talking to both of them at the same time.

“and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34b NIV

In other words, “Let’s go!” Come from where you are to the full potential God has for your life. By the way, all of us need to do that. We’re still growing and learning and becoming more like him.

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,”  Mark 8:35a NIV

It says here you have to give an exchange for the things you’re currently doing that aren’t what God wants.

“but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”  Mark 8:35-36 NIV

What good is it to have a great marriage, great job, the house, cars or vacations if you don’t deal with your soul issues? The real you and the part of you that’s going to live forever?


One of the things we’re passionate about is making a growth process clear to everyone. Basically, there are four different groups of people that attend our church on any given weekend.

  • Crowd: Come and see

Someone gave them an invitation in some way. The message we say is come and see. Take your time. We’re not expecting anything from you. You don’t need to give or serve or worship the way the rest of the room worships. 

We want a church that’s not full of church people.

  • Congregation: Come and join us

These are the members of the church. First, join Jesus then you join a church.

Christianity is being part of the family of God.

We belong to each other as the body of Christ. This is a local expression of that family. There are so many verses, chapters and whole books of the New Testament that you can’t fulfill if you’re not connected to a local church. So, come and join us.

  • Committed: Come and grow

Christianity doesn’t end a process, it begins a process. We’re becoming more like Jesus. Believing happens in a moment, you get saved in a moment of belief. But there’s a long process where we’re becoming more like Jesus. That’s why this entire Fall Spiritual Growth Campaign was built on Small Groups.

Life change happens in the context of relationships.

  • Core: Come and serve

Don’t just attend church, participate in your church. 

Worship one, serve one. Come be a part of the Dream Team that has over 400 volunteers of people on it serving together. You might say, “With that many people you probably have everything covered.” We’re doing okay, but it’d be a lot better with you on the team. We want to make a big impact this Christmas season and in 2020! There’s a place for you! You’re not only welcome, you’re wanted!

If you’re wonder where to start, we’ve designed a process that ushers you through this journey called Growth Track. Four steps, four Sundays. We cycle through it every month.

The first step is next Sunday, December 1st, the membership class. StepONE just explains our vision and what being a member here looks like. This would be a great time to jump in.


Baptism

We have many people on our Dream Team that have a unique story about their journey to Christ, to Rock Brook and to serving and making a difference. Many people you see serving around our church would tell you they got serious about their faith when they took a step of obedience and got baptized. Let’s look at what baptism means and the power of obedience.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”  Acts 2:41 NIV

Notice that baptism is a post-decision to believe, not pre-decision. So we don’t baptize infants here. Some churches do, but honestly it’s more of a dedication service. We dedicate babies and young children, but we baptize believers.

There are 27 accounts of baptism in the New Testament all of them were after the decision to believe.

Baptism is a vibrant part of the church. Baptism doesn’t save you, but it’s where your faith goes public. Just in the last 10 weeks of our Fall Spiritual Growth Campaign, 44 people indicated on their communication card that they either began trusting or renewed their trust in Jesus Christ.

Those people can now take their next step and be baptized. They can follow God right away. We make baptisms available every month. If you would like to be baptized at Rock Brook, sign-up HERE.

When you get baptized, what does that express?

1. You are a follower of Jesus Christ

When we get baptized we’re saying Jesus doesn’t live only on the pages of history but Jesus lives today! Even more than that, He lives in the lives of people who put their faith in Him.

We’re not talking about history, we’re talking about a living real person. We’re not talking about subscribing to a set of principles, entering into a list of rules we’re talking about entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Look at this passage after Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from the dead,

“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” John 12:9-11 NLT

You’d think everyone would have believed in Jesus. That everyone who came to see Jesus would have believed in him. But there are still some on the edges who weren’t 100% sure.

Many people did put their faith in Jesus. They came hearing about him, but they left having put their faith in him. Their life changed from knowing about someone to believing Jesus could save them.

2. You are beginning a new life in Christ

No one getting baptized, is doing it because they were a bad person and want to try to be a better person. That’s not the picture of baptism.

Why did God give us a picture of water baptism?

It’s important that we actually immerse people, dunk people under the water, because Jesus got baptized under the water. He didn’t get in the river and stand around and splash around. He got in the river and was immersed in the water.

That’s actually what the word baptism means. It means to dip under the water.

Why was Jesus baptized? It was a picture of what was coming. Jesus was dedicated by his parents at a young age. That was their decision. He wasn’t dishonoring their decision. Now He’s saying this is a choice I am making and it’s pointing to the ultimate choice I will be making.

For us it’s a picture of what happens when we trust in Christ to be our Savior. So we put someone under the water and quickly bring them back up. When Christ died we died. When Christ was raised, we can be raised too. When He went down in the depths for my sin, I went down, but when He was raised it’s as though I was raised up too.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 NIV

Though we had a sentence of death on our lives because of sin, we now have life and life to the full because of the work of Jesus.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

When you get in the water, you are saying that when you got in Christ you became a new creation. It doesn’t mean we won’t stumble. It means our desires have changed and our defense for life changed because now Jesus is in us.

No one getting baptized says they used to be a mess but now are perfect. No, the message is we could never be perfect, but Jesus is perfect and we got into Jesus by putting my faith in Him. Our lives are joined up with the perfect one and He is going to work in us to make us like him. Our lives are now changing!

What is changing? What is the life change that we’re saying happens when we get baptized?

3. You are part of a new family

It used to be all about me, but I’m coming forward in my baptism to say it’s all about us now. I used to be an individual rolling through life and now I am walking with him and his body, the church.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27 NIV

It’s not just me that this happened to, it happened to a “we” and now I’m part of that “we.” I’m a sister or a brother in that “we” and there’s no changing that.

Baptism is the door to the church. It’s the doorway to being a part of the family of God. People say faith is a private thing and a private decision, not according to Jesus…

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NIV


Frequently Asked Questions About Baptism

  • I have already been baptized. Should I be baptized again?

Your baptism should have signified you becoming a follower of Jesus, beginning a new life, and uniting with a new family. If your baptism did not reflect this change of life, then you should be baptized again.

  • May my child be baptized?

We encourage parents to partner with Rock Brook for Kids and take their child through our Kids Baptism Class. This class is offered for third through sixth grade. You can find out more information at http://www.rbfk.net/kids-baptism-class

  • May my infant be baptized?

Throughout the New Testament, the Bible teaches that baptism is a public expression of worship symbolizing the new life we have when we follow Jesus. In the Bible we see that Jesus’ parents dedicated him to the Lord (Luke 2:22–40), and he was later baptized as an adult (Matthew 3:16–17).

We understand that some churches practice “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a commitment between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his or her own personal confession of Christ. This custom is different from the biblical examples of new believers being baptized to publicly profess their faith in Jesus. At Rock Brook we provide opportunities for child dedication. Let us know on the communication card if you would like to dedicate your child.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion about love, or your discussions from the spiritual growth campaign. Any loose ends you need to tie up? What was your favorite week of the campaign?

 

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Hear the Word

Pausing to celebrate and look back at how far we’ve come is biblical. God commands it. He doesn’t want us to just fly through life without recognizing what He has done for us.

This weekend we paused to reflect on where we’ve been and look at what our next step of spiritual growth may be. We were reminded of what happens, specifically when we take the step of baptism. It shows we are a follower of Jesus, we are beginning a new life in Christ, and you are part of a new family.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

Application

  1. What stood out to you in this message? What did you hear?
  2. Describe your baptism. When was it? What did your life look like then?
  3. What did you need to be reminded of most in this message? What do you need to pause and celebrate in your life?
  4. Baptism is the first step in following Jesus. If you have been baptized, what do you think your next step in following him is?

Tell Someone Else

Faith in Christ is not a private thing. Baptism is a public expression of our faith in Christ. Have you been baptized? If not, you can sign up HERE. If you have been baptized, who can you share your faith with now?

Christmas is a great time to share your faith with your friends. Who could you bring with you to a service in December? Who could you invite to one of our Christmas services December 21-22 or Christmas Eve at 1:30, 3:00 or 4:30?

 

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Look Up. Look Back. Look Ahead.

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As we celebrated our 21st birthday weekend, we pushed pause to celebrate where we’ve come from and where we are going as a church.

Look Up. Look Back. Look Ahead.


We are a church that loves Jesus deeply. We love each other. We love seeing people transformed by the gospel. At Rock Brook Church, lives are being changed.

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know.”  1 Peter 1:17-21 (MSG)

On this journey of life, you’ll never have to be reminded to look down. You have to remember to look up every once in awhile though.

Our focus is on this life, these problems, these pains, these difficulties, these days. You have to remind yourself, this is not all there is. There’s more going on than you think there is. No matter what season you are navigating, look in these three directions to travel this journey with a deep consciousness of God.

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We can Look Up to the Most High God. The title, the Most High God, is important to God. He is the highest possible object of our worship. Man-made gods or man-made desires cannot compete with Him on any level.

In 1 Samuel 5 the Lord demonstrates that He is God Most High. The Philistines captured the Ark of the Lord. The Ark is what held the ten commandments and the mercy seat so the Israelites could atone for sin. This was necessary before the Cross. The Philistines set it beside their idol, Dagon, in his temple. The next day, Dagon had fallen over before the Ark. The Philistines set their idol back up, and, the next day, it had fallen again, this time breaking off its head and hands. The Lord Most High was proving to the world that no god can stand beside or above Him.

“For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”  Psalm 97:9 (NIV)

We Look Up because we know that:

“…true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.”  Job 12:13 (NLT)

True wisdom doesn’t come with experience or age. True wisdom doesn’t come from time by yourself in nature or from hard work. True wisdom belongs to God and is found in God. So we regularly need to Look Up, for there is none above Him.

There’s another direction we can look that is helpful to travel this journey with a deep consciousness of God.

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We must Look Back and see that God is faithfulMost people forget what they should remember and remember the things they should forget. Jesus said he was sending an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be our divine reminder to remind us what Christ has said and done, the blessings we’ve been given, the price Christ has paid and how loved we are by Him.

 

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulnessYour unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.”  Psalm 89:1-2 (NLT)

Once we look back to see that He is faithful, how He’s rescued us and pulled us out of our sin, then we can Look Ahead believing He is able.

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The faith that enables us to move forward is in the faithfulness of God. As we’re on this journey and we come to a place where we don’t think we can go on, we can look ahead with faith knowing that we’re not about to turn back now.

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)

Jesus says, “If you’re looking back for an excuse or to disqualify yourself, you’re not fit for this kingdom. Because He’s doing a new thing and we’re moving forward.” 

You don’t have to go back to that old sin. You don’t have to go back to those old ways. You don’t have be enslaved by the past. There is a hope and a future and a calling in following Jesus. We want to help you find it.


Vision

As we look ahead, on this birthday weekend, let’s talk about our vision, our hope for you.

Vision is the ability to see what’s ahead.

KNOW GOD

Jesus said when praying to God, this is salvation, that they know youThat word “know” doesn’t mean understanding. It means a relationship. Not that you know of God, but that you know Him.

Our Weekend Worship Services are designed to make Knowing God possible.

This is where you can take your first spiritual steps. You can be introduced to God. You can give him your life. Take your next step of being getting baptized. You may be reading this and be nowhere near Belton, MO. The, find a church that wants you to Know God each time you step in their doors.

Once you know God, he gives you the power to settle some of the junk that’s in your heart. You can get saved and still have junk in your heart. You can be going to heaven and still have addictions and habits and wounds and hurts that are just ruining your life. It’s the second step in our journey.

FIND FREEDOM

Hands down the best way to Find Freedom is in an honest relationship context. 

Life change happens in relationships.

Let’s stop playing church and let’s get real. You don’t have to share the real you with everybody, but share with somebody! At Rock Brook, we have two ways that you can find freedom and fulfill God’s purposes in relationships.

Find Freedom by joining a Small Group.

Ultimately we want you to get close enough to someone so they can help you conquer that thing, whatever that is for you. 

Celebrate Recovery exists so you can find freedom from any hurt, habit or hang-up and live fully alive in Jesus.

Once you Know God and Find Freedom from the past, you can look ahead without having to look back. Once that’s wiped clean you can see your calling.

DISCOVER PURPOSE

When you find your purpose, life takes on new meaning. In four steps, we can help you discover why you are here on earth. We call those steps, Growth Track.

Growth Track is designed to teach you the purpose of the church and how to connect to God relationally so you can discover what your spiritual gifts are.

You can’t do it alone. So you join the body of Christ and you get on a team.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Making a Difference is what you’re life is all about. The people at Rock Brook making a difference are called the Dream Team. They’re teaching kids, playing instruments,  keeping people safe, feeding people, putting on blood drives, setting up and cleaning to make a way for others and helping other people take these steps. Our Dream Team makes a way for others to Know God.

The Dream Team is a where you can find your place and Make a Difference.

Next week, we launch our summer season at Rock Brook. It’s a season of serving. Here’s what coming up-

Why I Serve – a sermon series starting next week (June 9-10, 2018)

A Place to Serve – summer small group curriculum available in our church lobby

Serve Day – on July 14th we will offer a church-wide serving opportunity to make a difference in our community

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Let’s take a look at the dream God has laid on our hearts for Rock Brook church as we look ahead.


It Is The Dream…

It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance, and encouragement.

It is the dream of a group of people who gather together with eagerness, passion and enthusiasm to worship, treasure and lift up the name of Jesus Christ.

It is the dream of welcoming people into the fellowship of our church family. A church family so full of the spirit of Christ that you can tangibly feel the sense of grace and second chance when you are around them. A church family that is loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together.

It is the dream of a freedom so rooted in Christ that it produces the fruit of spiritual maturity. A desire to lead one another to the truth of God’s word. A love for the word of God and radical generosity as we give of ourselves in response to the word.

It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover the gifts and talents God gave them. Anyone can make a difference, no matter how unqualified they feel, or how broken their past.

It is the dream of a church so passionate for the lost, like a parent who’s lost a child, nothing will stop them nor stand against them as they share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their neighbors, their nation and their world.

It is the dream of Rock Brook Church to be unified around these purposes of God.


Check Back

Do you have any more questions or conclusions after reflecting on our last series, The Time Is Now?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know.”  1 Peter 1:17-21 (MSG)

  • Look Up to the Most High God.

“For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”  Psalm 97:9 (NIV)

“But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.”  Job 12:13 (NLT)

  • Look Back and see that He is faithful.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulnessYour unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.”  Psalm 89:1-2 (NLT)

  • Look Ahead believing He is able.

“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 9:62 (NIV)

Application

  1. How has being connected to a local church made a difference in your life?
  2. Is there anything in your life you are putting above God?
  3. Look back over your life, what are some ways God has been faithful?
  4. How do you feel as you look ahead in the journey that is your life?

Tell Someone Else

  • Who can you share this life-giving message with?
  • Is there someone you can invite to church with you?
  • Is there someone who would benefit from a small group?
  • Is there someone who you could go through the Growth Track with?
  • Is there someone who would serve on the Dream Team if they were asked by you?

 

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