Four-Weekend Sermon Series
For churches and leaders: Follow or adapt this suggested message plan below for a four-weekend sermon series based on the book Across the Street and Around the World: Following Jesus to the Nations in Your Neighborhood…and Beyond.
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.
Weekend Two (from Chapters 2-4)
Following Jesus to the Nations in Your Neighborhood
Point one: Lay down our preferences for someone else (1 Cor. 9:19–29) (pp.22-23).
Point two: Welcome the foreigner—international students and refugees (Matt. 25:31–46) (pp. 45, 49-50).
Point three: Make disciples who make disciples (1 Tim. 2:2) (pp. 65-66).
Mid-week application idea for congregation: Ask someone to read the Bible with you. Join in to welcome one refugee family as a church.
Week Three (From Chapters 5-8)
Increasing Our Missional Intelligence (MQ)
Point one: Play to win—the goal of reaching all people groups (Matt. 24:14) (pp. 102-106?).
Point two: Offer Jesus in a winsome way—the language of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15; Matt. 13:24–46) (pages 81-83).
Point three: Share good news so that it’s good (pp. 85-92).
Point four: Practice a global role here—welcoming (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).
Application for congregation: Come to a worship and prayer night for the nations. Give towards a selected work in an unreached people or place.
Week Four (Chapters 10-13)
Going to the Nations
Point one: Should we GO until we’re called to stay (Matt. 28:16– 20 (pp. 158-160)?
Point two: It takes surrender and perseverance (Matt. 16:24–26 (pp. 194-196)
Point three: How to hear from God (John 16:13–15) (pp. 225-230).
Mid-week application for congregation: Sign up for a short-term vision trip. Join a missional goer small group. Register for a Perspectives course.
Other ideas to wrap around this series:
Recommend your regular small groups go through 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, as well as the supplemental Videos.
Do one of the All-Church Global Challenges.
Use the series to promote next steps such as your planned short-term trips, local refugee resettlement teams, courses like Perspectives, discipleship internships, or signing up with interest to be coached to go.
Here’s a primo 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.