Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – A Perfect Choice for Fall 2018

sermon on the mount 1

They call it “The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached,” though I don’t really like to rate sermons because that involves both subjective and objective elements. What is not effective for one person might be the most life-changing sermon ever for someone else, right?

Still, it is hard to argue against Matthew 5-7 as the greatest sermon of all time. I mean, what is preaching but to exposit and herald God’s Word? And, what do we have in these chapters but Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, heralding the Word of God!

And, if this was the only fragment of Scripture you could get your hands on, it would be sufficient for salvation and a life of maturing faith. That can’t be said about many other sermons.

Our Story This Fall

Construction Delay

Returning leaders and members who know that we do an all-church sermon and small group series every fall have begun to wonder, “What IS our fall series going to be this year!?”

You might know that we were planning to create an in-house series again this year, that would use God’s Word to define who we are as Christians and as LC3, in conjunction with the move into our new facility. But, with the move now delayed to November, that fall series plan was suspended.

This sent us back to the drawing board, which ultimately resulted in a decision which has proven relevant and timely. Before we move into our new facility and explore the facets of who we are in Jesus, we will dwell for a season in Jesus’ words and become truly more like Him!

Curriculum Choice

distinct

“We were made to be different and live in such a way that it’s clear we aren’t bandwagon crowd-followers; we’re followers of Jesus. That fact makes us stand apart—distinct from the crowd.” – Michael Kelley

We were happy to discover “Distinct,” a solid and simple small group curriculum that will perfectly accompany our sermon series, breaking down Matthew 5 into the same six sections that our sermons will cover. It is solid in that it is centered on the Word, produced by trusted LifeWay Publishers, and taught by Michael Kelley, who, as the Director of Groups at LifeWay, knows how to craft a useful guide for groups.

It is simple in that the chapters and videos are insightful yet short, leaving plenty of time for guided group discussion about the Bible texts. The book’s extra features, like ice breaker questions, thought provoking exercises, and attainable applications, are all excellent.

As always, our group leaders will be well equipped in our training sessions to maximize the benefit for their groups from the weekend sermons, the accompanying curriculum, and the time we have together this fall.

Important Dates

Here are the key dates to mark on your calendars!

  1. Month of August – August is our busy and active month of identifying and equipping new Small Group Leaders. Is God calling you to lead or host a group?
  2. August 17/18 – Small Group Coaches Prayer & Planning Overnight Retreat. Will you make a note to pray for this leadership team over these two days?
  3. After August 18 – I and the coaches begin touching base with all returning and potential small group leaders. Major promotion and communication begin.
  4. August 25/26 – Small Group Signups begin!
  5. Wednesday, September 5 – Small Group Leader Training, WITH DINNER, 6:00pm – 8:00pm. (RSVP’s needed – for dinner and childcare. Returning leaders watch for e-vite. Everyone else, feel free to email me at reg.overstreet@lc3.com.)
  6. *Week of September 9 – Official Small Group Kick Off Week, leaving two “get to know each other” weeks before the “Distinct” series begins.
  7. Sunday, September 16 – Small Group Leader Training Makeup Session, during second service, 11:00am – 12:15pm. (As always, we offer the training session on two dates, to hopefully get 100% attendance.)
  8. Six Weeks, September 23 – October 28 – All-Church Sermon and Small Group Fall Series, “Distinct”
  9. Week of December 9 – Official end of fall semester. The series finishes six weeks before the fall semester ends, allowing leaders the option to continue studying further in Matthew (resources available), and/or to do other group activities such as outreach/service projects, worship/communion nights, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving dinner, and, of course, a finale Christmas Party!

*Notice that our leader training is a bit later than usual. This is because our fall series starts a little later than usual, and because we are going to avoid Labor Day weekend, AND this will allow the maximum number of hopeful small group leaders to participate.

Books and DVDs

distinct

Small group leaders can pick up their book and DVD (and their group’s books if they choose) at the SG Leader Training. Small group members can get their books 1) from their leaders, 2) at the small groups table on weekends, or 3) in the church office, starting in September.

Children’s and youth small groups will also do this series, adding to the family experience!

How to Join a Group

Beginning on August 25/26, we will launch several methods to join a group: signup display in the foyer, an opportunity to meet leaders, the “small group catalogs” passed out in the worship services, and the online “Group Finder” on lc3.com/ministries/small-groups.

I am looking forward to deepening our walks with Jesus and each other, and praying for this fall right now!

Pastor Reg

P.S. If you are not presently a leader or in leader training, but would like to explore your gifts and possible calling in that area, please feel free to attend the leader trainings, or let me know about your interest by emailing me, reg.overstreet@lc3.com.

Our Fall 2017 Series: The God Questions

God Questions

This fall, we will explore some of the most difficult questions about God. This post contains the details!

About the Series

Have you ever ignored people’s difficult questions about God, telling them that they should not ask those questions, or to just have more faith? Maybe you haven’t. But, sadly, those responses are a major reason people cite for leaving the church. That does not need to be!

The God Questions is our six-week sermon series and small group study designed to address the toughest questions head-on.

These include:

God Questions1

  1. Is God real?
  2. Is the Bible really HIS Word, or just an ancient text?
  3. Is there really only one way to heaven?
  4. If God is so good, why is there so much bad in our world?
  5. Why do evolutionists and creationists disagree so heatedly?
  6. What happens when I die?

We have the confidence to believe God is big and loving enough to answer all of these, and many more that will surface. We will uncover truth, grow our own faith, and be equipped to answer others’ questions. We will do so all together in sermons and in relationship in small groups. Will you join us?

Calendar

  • Month of August – August is our busy and active month of identifying and equipping new Small Group Leaders. Is God calling you to lead or host a group?
  • Sunday, August 27 The God Questions Small Group Leader Connection and Training – In the Upper Gym, during 2nd service, 10:30AM-12:00PM
  • August 26/27 – Small Group signups begin, via small group catalogs in service, signup display in foyer, or church website)
  • ministry summit 2015Saturday, September 9 – LCCC Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping for several areas of ministry.  9:00AM-1:00PM. (Includes Apologetics training in preparation for the God Questions, and the Small Group Leader Training makeup session.)
  • Week of September  10 – Small Groups Kick Off! – The first two weeks are to get to know each other and set group expectations, dates, and goals.
  • September 16/17 Introduction to the God Questions 
  • September  23/24 – The God Questions #1
  • September  30 – LCCC Membership Class, 9:00AM – 12:45PM
  • September  30/Oct. 1The God Questions #2 
  • October 7/8 – The God Questions #3  
  • October 14/15 – The God Questions #4  
  • October 21/22 – The God Questions #5  
  • Oct. 28/29 – The God Questions #6  
  • November – mid-December – The series finishes six weeks before the fall semester ends, allowing leaders to schedule semester-end activities such as outreach and service projects, worship/communion nights, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party!

Books and DVDs

God Questions2

Small group leaders can pick up their group’s books and DVD beginning at the God Questions SG Leader Training on Sunday, August 27. Small group members can get their books as they join a group, starting August 26/27. Children’s and youth small groups will do this series, too, adding to the family experience!

How to Join a Group

Beginning on August 26/27, we will pass out the “small group catalogs” in the worship services, have a signup display in the foyer, and update the online “Group Finder” on lc3.com/connect/small-groups.

I am looking forward to all this fall holds for us, and praying for it now!

Pastor Reg

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18

“You’ll Get Through This” – LCCC’s Fall Series, 2015

You'll get through this

“…But God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” – Genesis 50:20

It is a joy to announce the details of Lake City Community Church’s 2015 fall series. This year promises to be one of joy, healing, comfort and great growth for our community as we focus on God’s assurance in all tough times.

They say everyone is in one of three places: You are experiencing life’s bumps, detours, and collisions right now. You love someone who is. Or, you will be soon! The enemy says, “You will never make it.” But, God’s radically different message is this:

You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But I will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With My help, you’ll get through this.

You’ll Get Through This is an in-depth, life-giving journey through God’s assurance in Genesis 37-50 that you are not alone in turbulent times; nor are these trials meaningless or hopeless.

The series begins on September 26/27, with small groups beginning as early as September 13. Small group signups begin August 29/30. 

More details below…especially for our small group and ministry leaders.

Calendar

  • Month of August
    • New Small Group Leader discovery and training month. Is God possibly calling you to lead a group?
    • Community invitation month: community mailers; local events; invitation cards for us to give out.
  • Sunday, August 23 You’ll Get Through This Leaders Materials Meeting – In the Lower Gym, during 2nd service, 10:50AM-12:20PM
  • August 29/30 – Small Group signups begin! (small group catalog, church website, or foyer signup table)
  • ministry summit 2015Saturday, September 12 – LCCC Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping for leadership in several areas of church, communities and homes.  (9:00AM-1:00PM)
  • Week of September  13 – Small Groups Kick Off – First two weeks are getting to know each other, setting goals, small group agreement
  • September  26/27 – You’ll Get Through This series begins.  #1 – “You’ll Get Through This”
  • October 3/4 – #2 – “Down & Out, but Never Alone”
  • October 10/11 – #3 – “Stupid Won’t Fix Stupid”
  • October 17/18 – #4 – “Is God Good When Life Isn’t?”
  • October 24/25 – #5 – “Now, About those Family Scandals & Scoundrels”
  • Oct. 31/Nov. 1 – #6 – “God Can Use This for Good”
  • November – December 13 – Since the series finishes a few weeks before the fall semester ends, leaders proactively schedule their semester-end activities like worship/communion nights, outreach and service projects, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party to end the semester on a joyful note!

Books and DVDs

You'll Get Through This

From “You’ll Get Through This”, DVD

You’ll Get Through This is an original book written by Max Lucado, based on the Joseph narratives in Genesis 37-50. Lucado went on to create a six-session DVD and hired a husband and wife team to create the study guide. Here is my initial evaluation I sent to Pastor Jim:

I previewed this Max Lucado study this weekend. In short, the study guide is great – truly great. The husband/wife team that put it together put together one of the best products I have ever seen for shepherding/discipling a group both during and outside the meetings. The video sessions are about 23 minutes each, and the groups can choose to play all of it or just excerpts each week. Even though I am not experiencing any major crisis at this moment, as I read through the book I found myself desiring to answer the questions and hear and work through others’ answers with them.

It is true. I really cannot wait to go through this series with my fellow small group members; to journey life’s best and hardest moments together; and to enjoy these meaningful relationships.

Small group leaders can buy their group’s books and DVD beginning at the You’ll Get Through This Materials Meeting on Sunday, August 23. Small group members can get their books as they join a group after signups begin on August 29/30. See calendar above for all important dates.

We are a church of small groups. So, don’t hesitate to join, lead, or coach a Lake City small group or ReEngage group this fall!

Finding rest, in God alone, 

Pastor Reg 

 

GO FISH – LCCC’s Fall Series, 2014

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

Go Fish 2 - with text We are excited to announce that our fall series for 2014 will be based on the series, GO FISH, by Andy Stanley. It has great potential, and a backstory that includes the entire LCCC Family.

The Backstory

LCCC has been growing steadily for several years, adding members, small groups, discipling relationships, ministries, and a third worship service which is also now filling up. This growth continually prompts our leadership to pray and make decisions for the future. Our leadership and congregation have agreed, now, to both expand our present facilities and look towards church planting in the next several years. With these major decisions behind us, by God’s calling and through the leadership of Pastor Jim and other church leaders, LCCC’s focus returns this fall to Jesus’ Great Commission for His church to go and make new disciples in the world where He has planted us. Our church is surrounded by people in our community, and we in our personal lives, who do not yet know Jesus’ love and righteousness. That needs to change. They need to be told. The mission of the church is to reach them; to be “fishers of people.” We are setting out to do that; to GO FISH, this fall at LCCC!

Here are the details:

The Plan

As always, fall is LCCC’s season of unity and momentum, when every small group, ministry, and every sermon shares a united focus.

We will follow the same basic plan as in our previous fall series (such as Forgotten God, Heroes, and Why Am I Here?). Small groups, Family, Children, and Youth Ministries will design their fall ministries to coincide with the emphasis. It is always a great time of unity and momentum.

The Resource

Our team of researchers, Chuck Mathews, Pastor Jim, and my wife and I, reviewed eight highly acclaimed church resources for evangelism, seeking the best fit for our church this season. From these excellent possibilities, we chose Andy Stanley’s GO FISH. It comes with a six-session DVD and participant’s guide.

Here is the assessment I wrote to the team regarding this resource:

We (Sarah and I) really enjoyed reviewing GO FISH. In fact, Andy Stanley’s message in the first video penetrated me personally, and I have thought about it often over the last couple days. He is a great communicator, and his team did a great job abbreviating his messages for small group use. We read every word of the workbook, and even filled out several of the discussion pages together. It was a rich experience. Again, it is perfectly laid out for our small groups’ use – in simplicity, form, function, number of weeks, coherence with our philosophy, and impact.  As we noticed before, the only apparent weakness is lack of in-depth Bible study. But, his teaching is biblically authoritative. And, of course, our sermons will provide biblical depth. I believe the resource’s simplicity will actually prove a strength by making the study usable by everyone, and allowing us to add our own relevant supplements to the groups through the sermon applications and through additional small group leader resources, especially including the “Love the World” section in the updated Small Group TOOLKIT. The theme verse given each week could easily be made into memory verses for the week – a strong idea.

The Schedule

So, pull out your calendar. Here is the complete fall schedule, including leader training, small group signups, kickoff and events:

  • August – New leader recruitment month. Is God possibly calling you to lead? Read all about that, here.
  • Aug. 23/24 – Small Group signups begin, via foyer table, small group catalog, and church website
  • Sunday, Aug. 24 GO FISH Small Group Leaders Materials Meeting – Gym, 2nd service (10:50-12:10PM)
  • Week of Sept. 7 – Small Groups Kick Off – start meeting weekly; getting to know each otherMinistry Summit 2014
  • Saturday, Sept. 13LC3 Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping, for everyone wanting to do better ministry for Jesus in our church, communities and homes.  (9:00AM-1:00PM)
  • Sept. 20/21 Go Fish Series begins.  Go Fish #1 – We Were All Fish Once
  • Sept. 27/28 – Go Fish #2 – Why Fish?
  • Oct. 4/5 Go Fish #3 – Fish Guts
  • Oct. 11/12 – Go Fish #4 – Fishing Buddies
  • Oct. 18/19 – Go Fish #5 – Muddy Water 
  • Oct. 25/26Go Fish #6 – The One That Got Away
  • Nov. 8/9 – Veterans Day – Big Outreach Weekend, with Scotty Smiley
  • November – December 14 – Since the series finishes a few weeks before the fall semester ends, leaders will schedule their own important small group activities like worship/communion nights, outreach and service projects, fun nights, planning for next semester, a Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party to end the semester on a joyful note!

The Rest of the Story

Everyone should be in a Lake City Small Group this fall. Leaders will be well equipped and encouraged in the two training events listed above, and by their coaches throughout the year. The GO FISH books and DVD’s will go on sale in the second half of August. Couples can share a book, but it’s usually preferred for each person to have his or her own. One DVD is needed per group. The cost of the DVD’s will be factored into the price of the book.

It will be easy to join a group in any of three different ways: our Small Group Catalogs will be passed down the aisles in the weeks leading up to kickoff. Groups and registration instructions will also be listed on the website, and displayed at the foyer table during the weekends.

Take a moment to pray for Lake City’s unity and effectiveness in reaching the lost world around us with the Good News of Jesus. Spread the word and excitement to everyone you know.

In Him, by Him, and for Him,

Pastor Reg

How We Prepared for the “Why Am I Here?” Series


why am i here 4

“Why Am I Here?” It’s not only the most famous and important question of mankind’s history, but also the title of LCCC’s fall all-church series. Below is an email I just sent to our small group leaders, recapping our first big preparation meeting. I want to give the whole church family a peak at the preparations their leaders are making right now. After all, why just keep it to the small group leaders when it involves everyone??

Hi Small Group Leaders and Friends, 

We had a great turnout, and I think a great time, on Sunday – 44 veteran and new leaders and curious people. 

Our morning included eight parts to get us ready for the fall:

  1. A short devo on “communion” – in which I mentioned that our little Gabby has trusted Jesus and took communion for her first time Saturday night!!  I also urged everyone, again, to lead their groups in communion at least once a semester, for which I’ve given guidelines here – Communion in Small Groups: More than a Good Idea.  
  2. First Round of Prayer – PRAYER FOR US
  3. A look at the Fall Calendar (attached-Calendar – Fall Sermon Series 2013 – for small group leaders)
  4. A big picture reminder and way to process our commitment to THE MISSION of making disciples, and how LCCC is growing in that area.
  5. A walk through our in-house “Why Am I Here?” Study Guide for the fall, which was about 80% finished. I invited all who were present to give feedback on the draft’s content, and have since received some. Thanks, and keep it coming!  Our deadline for the final copy is the evening of September 5. The guides will be available for purchase, for $5 each, starting at the MINISTRY SUMMIT (9/14).
  6. Noted the exciting way we’re doing the “application” steps each week this fall. First, the sermon notes will fit into your series guides each week, for your group’s discussion and application of each sermon’s “Next Steps.” Second, the Faith In Action team is organizing several terrific opportunities for small groups and all LCCC family to reach into the community and/or meet needs within our church. I’m very excited how easy this will make it for our groups to put their faith in action, and even join others as they do.
  7. A look at some new, useful sections in the updated 2013/14 TOOLKIT; and then a look at a draft of the MINISTRY SUMMIT schedule, which you don’t want to miss, on Saturday September 14! (also attached-ROUGH SCHEDULE – MINISTRY SUMMIT 2013 – 4).
  8. And finally, the Second Round of Prayer – PRAYER FOR OUR PEOPLE.

I believe God is going to use us all greatly for His purposes and glory this fall. Glad to be in it with you,

Pastor Reg

P.S. Small Group Sign-ups begin this weekend!  The catalogs (list of our groups) will be distributed to everyone, so please take a look to see if we have all the accurate info for you.  If you are not pictured, and expect to lead or co-lead a group; plan to come to the MINISTRY SUMMIT, and let’s talk! 

Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakecitycommunitychurch & www.facebook.com/lakecitysmallgroups