Over 5 Sundays we're looking at what makes our church tick. It's a wonderful time to join us as we dig into our "5 G's" (Grace, Growth, Groups, Gifts & Generosity) - core values that make us who are. Check back here for weekly sermon podcasts and join us from wherever you find yourself this summer. 

Bottom Line: We want to be a people of grace known and of grace shown.

In the message Tim told a story by Shane Claiborne. You can read about it in an editorial piece here.

We also sang a song called "Your Grace Finds Me" and mentioned some info available about the mission priorities of our denominational family, the Evangelical Covenant Church (find links below).

Scripture: Romans 3, Ephesians 2.

Bottom Line: You can grow. You will grow. What you grow is up to you.

When we're kids growth is expected - inevitable even. But in our adulthood many of us seem to believe that we're stuck as we are. While the idea of "growth" may sound like a challenge, it is also an invitation to hope - to recognize that life can be more and that we don't have to be held back by the things of the past.

Scripture: Ephesians 2, Matthew 13.

You can always search and find Bible content here.

Bottom Line: Groups are relationships that optimize life change.

If we want to participate with Jesus in this world we have to intentionally trade the mentality of "me" for the mentality of "we". Jesus called, trained, sent, and empowered his followers together. Even the scriptures were, for the most part, written to be read and lived by people... together. Groups can be difficult because no two people are the same and conflicts are inevitable but at Renew we celebrate the diversity among us, accepting it as a God-given gift and a vehicle through which we learn to give and receive grace.  

Scripture: Hebrews 10, 1 Corinthians 10 & 12, Romans 12.

You can always search and find Bible content here.

Bottom Line: You haven't only been gifted with but you’ve been gifted to.

God has given each of us gifts. These include our possessions (things, talents, abilities), passion (things we get excited about), position (age, marital status, geography, etc.), and personality. These aren't given to us, for us, only for personal enjoyment but also for the blessing of others to the glory of God. In the scriptures the church is described as a "body" of people with each person playing a vital role in the health and life of the whole. That means that you are needed and in need of others if you are to be and do all you were created for. Recognizing our unique gifts can keep us from becoming too self-conscious or too self-important. At Renew we believe that the spiritual life is a team sport.

Scripture: Matthew 9, 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12.

You can always search and find Bible content here.

Bottom Line: Generous living has more to do with where your focus is than what your situation is. 

We might be tempted to think that the most generous people are the ones who have it all - generosity produced by excess. But so often this is not the case. Some of the greatest acts of giving and kindness come from people in the greatest need. Not only do we see this in current event but it's evident in letters written in the 1st century about a collection taken for a starving community and how it was the poor who showed the most incredible generosity born of "overflowing joy and extreme poverty". In our church we want to be known for generosity and not only with physical resources - with all things we've received from God including grace, hospitality, forgiveness, mercy, wisdom... just to name a few. What if the church was a generosity incubator where people of all kinds knew they could come to find refuge?  

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8 & 9, Isaiah 32.

You can always search and find Bible content here.

Links & Extras

Learn More About Your Gifts

Through the links below you’ll access two tools. One is a spiritual gifts assessment* based on the scriptures we looked at in church (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 & Ephesians 4). The other is a personality assessment.

Now, you may be wondering why a personality test?? The basic answer is because every gift you have is used by you. Your personality shapes all of your relationships, the way you understand the world and how you function in it. You may find that this is the more helpful of the two tools.

Some notes before you begin:

1) These tools aren't perfect. They're not straight from God but created by people. Further they're self-assessments - YOU answer the questions for yourself.

2) They aren't exhaustive. Like Paul himself, they do not list every single position, possession, passion, or personality.

3) They don't define you. If you disagree that's great! But ask why.

4) They don't determine what you do. For seasons of life we're called upon to perform duties inside and outside our comfort zone.

The purpose is to make you think & help you pay attention to how you’re wired.

Have fun!

*Spiritual Gifts Assessment used with permission from Connexus Church. Thanks, guys!

A Song We've Learned.

Learn more about 2017 Mission Priorities of the Covenant Church here:

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