Fall Stewardship Sermon Series: Moving Forward by Faith

This four-week series coincides with our stewardship campaign, “Moving Forward by Faith.” The central image of the series is that faithful people and churches are moving, not stagnating. The church and its people are in the race and must engage. The theme verse of the sermon series is Hebrews 12:1-2, “Let us throw off everything that hinders…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus… (NIV).”

Where are we going? How are we going to get there? What is our identity as we move forward? Our prayer is that our congregation does not stand still; instead, we passionately move forward with our vision, supported and committed by prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Let us dream and envision together as we move forward by faith as God’s church.

October 8 – “Take Your Mark”

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3

As we “take our mark,” we do three things. First, we get rid of our warmups. First, we get rid of the warmups. Those suits look nice to and from the race, but there comes a time when it is about racing! As believers and as a church, there are some things we take off as we make our way to the blocks. Faith is about racing, moving, engaging, not stagnation. Here, we will speak of our vision of the church for the next year, and how we as church family will move forward by faith to grow in discipleship together to fulfill our calling to be the body of Christ in our community. In addition, we will speak of the way that we dig into the blocks. As we do, we gain a sense of identity, stating that this is simply who we are. We are in the race, not eating popcorn in the stands. Finally, there comes that point where we look down the length of the track. It is here that we are reminded that often the race is long and will require perseverance, but in the end, it is all about Jesus, as we fix our eyes on him.

October 15 – “Clearing Hurdles”

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16

There is that classic line that says that the Christian journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. There is ample truth to that. In addition, however, the Christian race is one of clearing hurdles. This week, we will speak about some of those hurdles, helping us to know that it is normal when Christians have struggles. In truth, the challenges (hurdles) have a way of making us press on to become better racers and servants of the One at the finish line.

October 22 – “Passing the Baton” (Bible Sunday)

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:3-7

Relay racers know the fundamental truth. Winning the race is all about the handoff. You can have superstar runners, but if the transition between the athletes does not go well, the race is lost. So it is with the Christian faith. Solo Christians can do great work in one generation, but the church is eternal. The church has to be good at making handoffs.

The sermon will use Paul’s message to Timothy and his reference to Timothy’s family to highlight this truth. It is critical that parent’s hand down the faith to their children and youth. It is critical that the church passes this faith down. But it is not just about children. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, began from the very start, passing his work to his disciples. Who are we passing our baton to?

Finally, our financial giving is a way of passing the baton on. We do this with our children; passing our assets on to the next generation so that the family legacy will continue. It is important to remember that we also do this financially with our local congregation! During this service, we will dedicate Bibles for kindergarten and 3rd grade students as a way to pass our baton to the next generation.

October 29 – “Finishing Strong” (Commitment Sunday)

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The sermon will be based on the 1 Corinthians passage as Paul speaks of seeking excellence, of not wanting to live aimlessly, and making his body (his life) his slave so that he won’t be disqualified. Is that not what most of us want? We want to be excellent, we want to matter, and we want to finish the faith in a strong way. We will dedicate our commitment cards at the end of the service.

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