Sun, May 27, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 45 mins
Sun, May 20, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 45 mins
This is Us week three message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 20, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
A message that we need to hear ourselves and the message we need to be sharing with those around us…
You are one church family away from changing your world
The world had never seen anything like this community of believers. The authenticity in which they lived out their faith… how they backed up their words with their actions… how they genuinely and sincerely loved one another… of course people were drawn to it every day! That’s what happens when we’re doing it right! People want to be a part of something like that!
As Jesus’ representatives on this earth, the church is the hope of the world.
On the other side of the battle is the Enemy whose sole purpose is to keep people from this love relationship with God at all costs. He doesn’t follow any rules. He does whatever it takes to make people feel worthless and hopeless. His native language is lies and deceit. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy everything that is God-honoring in this world.
1 Peter 5:8
We are one church away from changing the world. Let us be that church, let us be that people. When it comes to this kind of commitment, let it be said that you are this kind of person… let it be said that I am this kind of person…when others see how we support each other and treat each other and do life together and go to battle for one another and for those in our community let us be able to say “This is the real me, this is my real church, THIS IS US.”
Sun, May 13, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 33 mins
This is Us week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 13, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
The series we are in right now is called This is Us. It is a series that reminds us of who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do.
I want us to look beyond the day to day grind and zoom out from the details of our broken relationships for a little bit and focus on God’s big picture for our lives.
So let’s start off by having you finish this sentence….
My number one goal in life is ____________________.
Let’s look at this first from a worldly viewpoint.
Now what about for those of us who profess to follow after Jesus?
1 Corinthians 14:1
Why love? Because the Bible tells us that God is love…. not that He HAS love, but that He IS love… and God’s greatest desire is for us to be more like Him.
People looking for meaning in their lives and usually ending up aiming their arrows and placing their trust at the wrong targets.
Instead of love being their greatest aim, instead of love being at the center, they put something else there instead.
If you go all through life it doesn’t matter how much you acquire, and how much you achieve, and how many accomplishments you make and how many rewards or how famous you become. None of that matters. One day you’re going to stand before God and he’s going to say, “Did you learn to love me? That’s why I sent Jesus so you could learn to love me. And did you learn to love other people? Because that’s what I put you on earth to do. It’s all about love.
1 Corinthians 16:14
These four words “Do everything in love” are easy to say but extremely difficult to live out.
So how do we do everything in love? We follow the advice of…
1 John 4:7
There are no shortcuts here. You have to practice.
The same goes for us in learning how to love God and one another.
It’s easy to love people who love you. That’s no problem. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about loving the unlovely. Loving the difficult. Loving the irritable. Loving the people who are different, who are demanding. Loving people all around you who you don’t FEEL like loving.
1 Timothy 4:15
It is our signature in life. How we love one another is supposed to be the PRIMARY way that the rest of the world takes notice that we are for real, that we genuinely and sincerely believe that there is a God who is crazy about us and that He has an amazing plan for our lives and that that plan truly makes a difference, not just here on Earth but for eternity.
No longer is it just “love your neighbor”… now it’s love one another. No longer is it up to us to define who we want to consider a neighbor, now Jesus is saying that love is the primary aim in how we treat EVERYBODY.
This is the kind of people we want to be…. this is the kind of church family we want to be.
When it comes to this kind of love, let it be said that you are this kind of person… let it be said that I am this kind of person…when others see how we love each other and treat each other and support each other and do life together let us be able to say “This is the real me, this is my real church, THIS IS US.”
Sun, May 06, 2018
by Chris Russell
Duration: 42 mins
This is Us week one message from Pastor Chris Russell on May 6, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana.
We have hit a new stage of that doing life together as we have been in the first part of our Ripple Effect Initiative for the past two months. The Ripple Effect Initiative is about seeking out what it is that God is calling us to do in the upcoming years and who He is calling us to be along the way. A component of this is the building addition you have been hearing about but the much bigger picture involves our goals of digging deeper together and reaching further into our community and into the global ministries that God puts in front of us to partner with.
But in order to reach others the way God wants us to, we have to be individually and corporately growing in our relationship with God and understanding of what it means to follow Him every day of our lives. We can’t take people to a place where we haven’t been ourselves. In other words, we can’t effectively tell others about our amazing God and what it means to follow Him on a daily basis if we don’t really know what that looks like because we aren’t sold out ourselves on the whole idea.
It’s not enough for us to come together on Sundays, give out lots of hugs and kind words, and walk away saying “what a great church we have!” The stakes are just simply too high for that! Our goal has eternity on the line! There are people all around us that are far from God and are making the choice to spend eternity apart from God. There has to be a sense of urgency in our lives to want to let them know that there is a loving Savior who makes it possible for them to be restored to God and spend eternity with Him. God has given us the responsibility to be about this significant task at all times.
Jesus’ goal for you and I is not for us to just simply try to become better people – people who are more holy and better fathers, mothers, bosses and friends. His goal is for you and I to follow and to do in the lives of others what someone has done in your life.
And it all starts with an INVITE. It’s our first core value here at Waterford. My guess is that the first thing that you think of when you hear the word invite is the notion of inviting someone to come to our service here on Sunday mornings. And while that is certainly part of what we are talking about when we say we must be invitational kind of people, it’s not going far enough in it’s scope to cover what our mission is here at Waterford. Remember, our goal is to reach farther and dig deeper.
One of the best ways to be an invitational kind of person is to find common ground with others. What is something you already love to do or talk about that can open the dialogue between you and someone you know that doesn’t know God?
Think about how this Ripple Effect happened in your life - the people who God strategically used and placed in your life along the journey to point you towards Him and help you to fall in love with Jesus. It’s why you are where you are today, because someone was faithful in leveraging their sphere of influence and that influence included you.
If you choose to seek after God with your whole heart and mind, God will continually position you in places where He can leverage your story and life to impact the story and lives and eternities of others around you… and you will get the honor of being a part of The Ripple Effect.
Look at what we have and continue to create here. This is a place where people come and get their questions about God answered….this is a place where people don’t feel judged… this is a place where authenticity is encouraged and practiced…. this is a place where hope is birthed and forgiveness is realized…. this is a place where brokenness starts the healing process…. this is a place where people find their identity in Christ and line up their lives with His purpose not their own…. this is a place where friendships are birthed…. this is a place where God stirs and new ministries are formed… this is a place where eternities are altered and real life is realized. This is a place filled with messed up, broken people, but God is working powerfully in so many lives through us and in spite of us. This is Us.