Eight-Weekend Sermon Series
For churches and leaders: Follow or adapt this suggested message plan below for an eight-weekend sermon series based on the book Across the Street and Around the World: Following Jesus to the Nations in Your Neighborhood…and Beyond. Why spend eight weeks? Because whole weekends are devoted to basic building blocks for any follower of Jesus: loving all people who don’t know Jesus, disciple-making, how to share your faith so that it’s good news, surrendering the American dream to do whatever God asks of us, listening for his leading in our lives. We send people from our congregations into our schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces, and to the nations across the street and around the world if they are growing, genuine followers of Jesus in these key areas.
WEEKEND ONE (FROM CHAPTER ONE)
ADOPTING GOD’S HEART FOR THE WORLD
Point one: God blessed us to be a blessing to the nations, even in “Jerusalem” (Gen. 12:1–3) (Ez 5:5, Isaiah 49:6, Acts 3:25) (pp. 5-6).
Point two: God confirms it through the Old Testament (stories of Daniel, Esther, Jonah) (pp. 6-7).
Point three: God confirms it in the New Testament—the disciples follow Jesus to the nations (pp. 167-171).
Point four: God planned for all nations to worship him (Rev. 5:1–10) (pp. 7), be reconciled to him (2 Cor. 5:18-20) (pp102-103), and be free (Luke 4:18-19) (p 16-17).
Point five: Personalize God’s heart for the nations by making a friend from another country (use tips on pp 9-13)
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Eat this week at an ethnic restaurant.
“Interactive idea in the service: Ask the congregation to set their cell phone alarms
for 5:09 p.m. to pray Revelation 5:9 each day for the nations that week. ”
WEEKEND TWO (FROM CHAPTERS 2-3)
welcoming THE NATIONS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Point one: Lay down our preferences for someone else (1 Cor. 9:19–29) (pp.22-23).
(Can include 4 Tips and 6 Habits for interacting with other cultures well) (pp 23-36)
Point two: Welcoming the foreigner is a deeply biblical practice (Matt. 25:31–46, Matt 2:13, Lev 19:9-10, 33-34, Jer 7:5-7, Deut 10:18-19) (pp. 49-50).
Point three: Love counteracts fear (1 John 4:16-18) (pp 50-52)
Point three: Welcome international students well (pp 39-44)
(Can include ways to befriend students) (pp 54-55)
Point four: Welcome refugees well (pp 44-55)
(Can include five ways to love refugees well) (pp 52-55)
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Sign up to host an international student for a holiday dinner. Join in to welcome one refugee family as a church.
“Interactive idea during the service: Interview an international
student and/or a refugee live onstage during the service. ”
WEEKEND three (FROM CHAPTER 4)
Point one: Jesus last words were to go make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20) (pp 61, 159-160)
Point two: A disciple follows Jesus and does what he did (Matt. 4:19, Matt 10:7-8) (pp. 62-63).
Point three: Read and obey the Bible with disciples to make disciples (1 Tim. 2:2) (pp. 63-67).
Point four: Put into practice five principles to disciple people well (pp 67-76)
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Ask someone to read the Bible with you.
“Interactive idea during the service: Invite someone up on stage
to train them in five minutes to share 1 Tim. 2:2) (pp 65-66)
WEEKEND four (FROM CHAPTER 5)
Offering jesus in a winsome way
Point one: Offer only Jesus, not our cultural expectations (use prayer example with scriptures on pp 80) (pp 78-81)
Point two: Use Kingdom of God language, like Jesus (Matt. 13 parables, Matt. 2025-29, Matt. 5:43-48, Matt. 15:30, Mark 1:15) and Paul (Acts 1:3, Eph.2:19, Eph. 1:5) (pp. 81-83).
Point three: Practice five ways to make good news good (pp. 85-92).
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Look for an opportunity to encourage someone by praying with them in the moment this week.
“Interactive idea during the service: Ask people to look around the building
and write down all the things that are cultural and not necessarily in the Bible. (p 79).
Ask them to try holding out their hands palms up, eyes open, while you model this way to pray (p 80).
WEEKend five (FROM CHAPTERS 6, 7, and 8)
INCREASING OUR MISSIONAL INTELLIGENCE (MQ)
Point one: Develop the posture of a learner (Mark 12:30) (pp. 99-102).
Point two: Play to win—the goal of reaching all people groups (Matt. 24:14) (pp. 102-107).
Point three: The state of the world today—what’s it going to take? (pp. 108-112, pp 56-57).
Point four: Practice a global role here—welcoming ( review Matt. 25:34– 36), mobilizing (Num. 10:1–2), giving (Matt. 6:19–21), and praying (Eph. 6:10–20) (pages 43 and 52-55, 136, 140, 144).
Point five: Someone’s got to go—short-term trips with long-term intention (pp 116-128).
Application for congregation: Come to a worship and prayer night for the nations. Give towards a selected work in an unreached people or place.
“Interactive idea during the service: Tape butcher paper on all the walls with names of people groups.
Ask congregation to write prayers on the walls during a reflective worship song.
Show the stellar 3-minute video on Reaching the Unreached. ”
WEEKend Six (CHAPTERS 9 and 10)
GOING TO THE NATIONS
Point one: The question of gifting and using it wherever you are located: (Romans 12:6-8, 1Tim. 4:14) (pp156-158)
Point two: The question of calling: Should we go until we’re called to stay? (Matt. 28:16– 20 (pp. 158-160).
Point three: The question of personality: What kind of global goer are you? (pp. 162-167).
Point four: What would I do overseas? The five identities (pp. 172-184).
Point five: Church-planting, poverty-alleviation and social justice: How they intertwine (184-192).
Mid-week application for congregation: Sign up for a short-term vision trip. Join a missional goer small group. Register for a Perspectives course.
“Interactive idea during the service: Video chat in real-time with a field-worker living
overseas in an unreached people group. Get your phones out and take the 3-minute
What Kind of Goer Are You? quiz found on the jeanne-marie.com menu bar.”
WEEKEND Seven (FROM CHAPTER 11)
Surrendering the american dream
Point one: Jesus calls us to lose our life in order to find it (Matt. 16:24-26, ) (pp.194-196).
Point two: Surrender materialism (,Luke 18:22) ( 196-199).
Point three: Surrender financial security (Luke 12:20-21) (pp. 194-195, 200-202).
Point four: Surrender comfort (pp. 202-204).
Point five: Surrender safety (Ps. 46:1, Ps. 20:7, Job 14:5; Ps. 139:16, Matt. 28:20, Gal. 2:20, John 16:13-15) (pp. 204-209).
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Find something valuable you own to gift to someone else. Turn off your electricity or water for the day and try to live without it.
“Interactive idea during the service: Ask people to write what they need to surrender
most on a post-it note in the bulletin, come forward and nail it to a cross—or tear it
into pieces and put it in a pile to be burned later. ”
WEEKEND eight (FROM CHAPTER 12)
Getting Healthy and Hearing from God
Point one: Know the truth about who you are and who God is (Zech 3:1-2, John 8:44, Gen 3:1, Deut 31:6, Ps.34:3) (pp. 214-218).
Point two: Deal with past wounds (Mark 5:34); sin (Isa. 59:2, Job 31:33-34, Psa. 32, Isa. 43:25); and unforgiveness (Matt 6:15, Matt 18:22) (pp. 218-225)
Point three: God still speaks (John 14:26, 16:8, Acts 9:31, Rom. 8:26, John 10:27) (pp.225-226).
Point four: Prayer is also listening (John 10:27, Mark 13:11, John 16:13, Acts 8:29, 1 Cor 2:13) (pp. 225)
(Five piece of advice for listening prayer (pp 226-229).
Point five: Abide, remain in Jesus Christ (John 15:5) (pp. 13-17, 229-230)
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Go make things right with someone that God brings to mind.
“Interactive idea during the service: Take a few minutes of complete silence to
just listen as the leader asks out loud the questions on page 215. ”
OTHER IDEAS TO WRAP AROUND THIS SERIES:
Recommend your regular small groups mirror the weekend topics by reading through the corresponding chapters in Across the Street and Around the World using the Reflection Questions at the end of each chapter, the Small Group Plan, and Bible Reading List in the book.
Do one of the All-Church Global Challenges.
Use the series to promote next steps such as a Perspectives course, your planned short-term trips, local refugee resettlement teams, discipleship internships, or signing up with interest to be coached to go.
Here’s a great idea!!! Launch six-month missional goer small groups to do Across the Street and Around the World, asking those with an interest in preparing to go to the nations to join. Set expectations for a higher level of participation and practice. Expect three hours of outreach time, three hours of time with God, and a three-hour group time per week. I suggest taking several weeks to discuss and practice one chapter of Across the Street and Around the World before moving on to the next chapter using the Small Group Plan along with the Bible Reading List in the book. You could supplement with online resources found at www.AcrosstheStreetandAroundtheWorld.com.