Church of the Nazarene Harrisonburg
Your Un-Churched Neighbor Part 1: Understanding“ People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Series Purpose: To inform, inspire, equip and challenge us as the people of God to embrace our unique calling to be a counter-narrative people, to do His will and serve others, and to speak the truth in love, to those who are lost/far from God, as we tell of what He has done in our lives and for the whole world.
Luke 19:10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The focus for today is: UNDERSTANDING
Only 21% of non-Christian people have a positive perception of the local church Half of non-Christian Americans don’t trust local pastors Millennials think the local church is detached from the real issues people are facing. The percentage of people who attend church 1 or two times per month decreased from 34% in 2019 to 28% in 2022In the same time frame, the percentage of people that never or seldom attend church grew from 50% to 57%There is an increasing % of people who are spiritually/biblically illiterate – especially in younger generations – but open to spiritual things Non-Christians are pretty sure we’re not interested in them for who they are. Non-Christians tend to think Christians are against more than they’re for. Non-Christians don’t see much difference between the way Christians live when compared with non-Christians.John 4:1-30Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Dean Flemming“ Jesus’ love and restoring power intersect people at the point of their life circumstances.”WORK TO UNDERSTANDBEFORE WORKING TO BE UNDERSTOOD
As we continue in our series over the coming weeks, we will unpack other areas of focus for bridging the gap or being effective in sharing Jesus in our ever-changing world. We will see that no matter how much our world has changed, evangelism, or reaching the lost, is a supernatural pursuit that must begin in prayer. We will see that perhaps one of the greatest ways we can show people the love of Christ, is to serve them. We will be reminded that evangelism takes real work. And finally, we will understand that the ultimate expression of love is sharing the honest and compelling truth of the Cross of Christ