The Real Deal

Pastor Jay begins a new sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “The Real Deal,” from 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 (ESV)

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brothers, we should be encouraged by new Christians who bear evidence of genuine faith.

  • A new Christian bears evidence of genuine faith.
  • A new Christian bears evidence of genuine love.
  • A new Christian bears evidence of steadfastness of hope.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • If a huge bear messed up bedroom (when you’re not there!), how might you figure out what made the mess?
  • When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, all Israel noticed something different.  What was it?
  • Having a friendship with Jesus should change us.  What changes would show?
  • How would someone know you have a friendship with Christ without telling them?


Pastor Jon Kelly shares an addendum to the “Vital Signs of a Health Church” series with this week’s message on baptism from Matthew 28:18-20.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The healthy church has a biblical view of baptism.

  • Baptism isn’t a way of salvation.
  • Baptism is a command.
  • Baptism is immersion.
  • Baptism is for passionate Christians.
  • Baptism is an outward display of an inward commitment.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • If you had to compare your family to a family in the movies or on TV, which family would it be?
  • How would you describe your family?
  • Has anyone ever told you that you resemble a family member? In what way(s)?
  • What evidences can people see that you’re part of God’s family?

Biblical Worship

Pastor Jonathan wraps up the “Vital Signs of a Health Church” series with this week’s message, titled “Biblical Worship,” from Colossians 3:16-17.

Colossians 3:16-17 (ESV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A healthy church is a worshiping church.

  • A healthy church encourages biblical worship.
  • A healthy church encourages individual worship.
  • A healthy church encourages corporate worship.
    • variety of music
    • Engaging the heartmind and body
    • Loving one another
  • A healthy church seeks eternal worship from all nations.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Do you have to be in church to worship God?
  • What do you think it will be like to worship in heaven with people from all over the world?
  • What is one way you can worship God this week?

The Simple Church

Pastor Jay continues his “Vital Signs of a Health Church” series this week with a message titled “The Simple Church,” from Mark 2:23-27.

Mark 2:23-27 (ESV)

One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

A healthy church is relatively simple.

  • A simple church is not driven by false taskmasters.
  • A healthy church understands the Sabbath principle.
  • A simple church keeps the main thing the main thing.
  • A healthy church loves/accepts its limits.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve put together on your own? (LEGO, dollhouse, etc.)
  • Were the directions easy to understand?
  • How simple is Jesus’ work on the cross to understand?
  • God wants to make sure we don’t complicate things He made easy to understand. Find one thing to talk about with your parents that you find hard to understand in the Bible.

Life-on-Life Fellowship

Pastor Jay continues his “Vital Signs of a Health Church” series this week with a message titled “Life-on-Life Fellowship,” from Acts 2:41-46.

Acts 2:41-46 (ESV)

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

A healthy church grows stronger through life-on-life relationships.

  • Jesus modeled it.
  • Jesus commands it.
  • The early church modeled it.
  • The New Testament commands it.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Think of a close friend. What makes him or her such a good friend?
  • How often do you talk with that friend? What do you usually talk about?
  • What does Acts 2:41-46 say about friendships in the church?
  • Why do you think friendships in church are so important?