Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.—John 20:30,31
I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…—Philippians 3:8
Normally I use my Thursday Thoughts to share something about life in Christ. This week I need to use this space to tell you about something that’s happening this year at Community Church. Please forgive the commercial, but it’s something I’m really, really excited about, which I think is worthy of a little explanation:
Two years ago this week in our office, we started working on something behind the scenes that is finally ready to be shared with our whole church, and with anyone else who’s interested. It’s a video series in which I teach through the entire Gospel of John. This series is different from our Sunday sermons in two important ways. First, most of the 44 videos are under seven minutes long. That’s it. Just a few minutes out of your day. And second, the lessons are taught with unchurched people in mind. They don’t use insider language or assume any prior Bible knowledge. They are an introduction to Jesus for people who don’t know Him very well yet.
This coming Sunday, we’ll be starting a year-long sermon series called Journey through John. Over the course of 2023, we’ll be looking at John’s Gospel in small, bite-sized pieces, really digging in deep to discover who Jesus is. And each Friday, we’ll send out a link to the video that coincides with the passage we’ll be looking at in the services that weekend. Everyone who is on our church email list will get the link in an email, and it will also be attached to a short message from me that we’ll post on Facebook. If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you’ll be able to see the episode that is released each week, as well as all the prior episodes up to that point.
Why are we doing all of this? Why so much effort? Three reasons:
- As I talked about in last week’s sermon from Philippians 3, Jesus is worth knowing. There’s no better thing we could devote time and energy to than knowing Him better.
- Most of us learn by hearing something more than once. If we really want to grasp something, we need to be exposed to it a few times. The combination of these videos and sermons will hopefully make it easier for the truth about Jesus to put down roots in our minds and hearts.
- Many of us would like to do a better job of sharing our faith in Jesus with others, but don’t feel equipped to do so. Sharing a short video with someone and then having a follow-up conversation about it can be a great way to get started.
So here’s the idea: every Friday you watch the video and read the corresponding passage in John. Then you come on Sunday and hear a sermon on that same passage, which makes more sense now that you already have some familiarity with it. You also share the video with a friend who needs to know Jesus better, you pray for God to use it in their lives, and after they’ve watched it you ask if they have any questions about it. If they’re interested in going deeper, you can help them find the sermon online, or invite them to join you in worship.I’m really excited about what I believe God is going to do on this Journey Through John. I’m praying that people will come to faith in Christ, and people of faith will go deeper with Christ. I’m praying that by this time next year, we will all know Jesus better and be better equipped to share Him with others. I hope you’ll join in and take full advantage of this opportunity.