SERMON PODCASTS

 
Check out some of the most recent messages below. Sermons are downloadable for on-the-go listening.
Older messages can be found on Pastor Jon’s YouTube Channel
 

Jul 18, 2021
1 John 1:1-4 “The ART of Sharing”
Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”): “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 As we close out this sermon series on Effective Evangelism, we’ve talked about several “tools” that we have to effectively build relationships with other people that can lead to faith and/or spiritual conversations.  Ultimately, though, evangelism does boil down to actively sharing the Gospel Message.  Many Christ-followers fear this because of the discomfort it may bring or due to the perception that they would not “present it right.”   The Bible, though, is replete with examples of sharing the Gospel message and a choice few of them come in “presentation form.”  Even Jesus, after healing people, simply told them “go and tell others what the Lord has done for you.  The reality is that most people aren’t actually interested in a presentation.  We don’t need to try to “sell Jesus” to people, the invitation that we are given is to tell others what we have experienced in our own lives, what God means to us and has done for us. Something to take home (Practice using the club):
  1. Read 1 Peter 3:13-16.  What is your story?  Have you taken the time to write it down and/or share it with someone?  If someone asked you today why you are “different” or about your “hope” what would you say?
  2. Set aside some time (15-30 minutes) in the next two days to reflect on this question: “What has knowing God added to my life?”  Journal your thoughts or make a list of why God has been worth knowing and spend time praising Him for each reason.
  3. Pray and look for an opportunity to share one of the reasons on your list with an unbelieving friend this week.  Don’t force it; pray and watch for God to open up an opportunity.
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Jul 18, 20211 John 1:1-4 “The ART of Sharing”
    Jul 18, 2021
    1 John 1:1-4 “The ART of Sharing”
    Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”): “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 As we close out this sermon series on Effective Evangelism, we’ve talked about several “tools” that we have to effectively build relationships with other people that can lead to faith and/or spiritual conversations.  Ultimately, though, evangelism does boil down to actively sharing the Gospel Message.  Many Christ-followers fear this because of the discomfort it may bring or due to the perception that they would not “present it right.”   The Bible, though, is replete with examples of sharing the Gospel message and a choice few of them come in “presentation form.”  Even Jesus, after healing people, simply told them “go and tell others what the Lord has done for you.  The reality is that most people aren’t actually interested in a presentation.  We don’t need to try to “sell Jesus” to people, the invitation that we are given is to tell others what we have experienced in our own lives, what God means to us and has done for us. Something to take home (Practice using the club):
    1. Read 1 Peter 3:13-16.  What is your story?  Have you taken the time to write it down and/or share it with someone?  If someone asked you today why you are “different” or about your “hope” what would you say?
    2. Set aside some time (15-30 minutes) in the next two days to reflect on this question: “What has knowing God added to my life?”  Journal your thoughts or make a list of why God has been worth knowing and spend time praising Him for each reason.
    3. Pray and look for an opportunity to share one of the reasons on your list with an unbelieving friend this week.  Don’t force it; pray and watch for God to open up an opportunity.
  • Jul 11, 20211 Thessalonians 1:2-10 “The ART of Serving Together”
    Jul 11, 2021
    1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 “The ART of Serving Together”
    Scripture Passages: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 Message Title: The ART of Serving Together Thoughts for Reflection: Some of the most transformative experiences of my life have been while serving on mission trips.  There is something about the experience of solving problems and meeting needs in Jesus’ Name that brings you closer to both God and to those you are working with.  It doesn’t just have to be mission trips, though.  Helping a neighbor, serving in the community, or even assisting a random person while out running errands are all ways we can communicate the love of God through our actions. Serving together with others has an even greater impact.  It opens up opportunities to experience the love of God being shown to another.  This is a non-verbal and yet very tangible and practical way of communicating God’s love, mercy, and concern for others.  Engaging in service for someone with another person softens hearts and can open up opportunities for deeper spiritual conversations.  People rarely care how much you know until they know how much you care. Questions to take home:
    1. Think of a time when you worked together with friends on a service project.  What impact did it have on you personally?  What impact did it have on the relationships with your friends?
    2. What are some of the barriers in your life to serving others (time, knowledge, confidence, etc.)?  What are some of the barriers that keep you from asking others to serve with you?  How can you begin to address these barriers this week?
    3. Identify a need in your own community, neighborhood, or workplace and ask someone you know there if they would help you meet that need.
  • Jul 4, 20211 Peter 1:3-9 “Enduring Hope”
    Jul 4, 2021
    1 Peter 1:3-9 “Enduring Hope”
  • Jun 27, 2021John 1:35-42a “The ART of Facilitating”
    Jun 27, 2021
    John 1:35-42a “The ART of Facilitating”
  • Jun 20, 2021Luke 15:1-7 “The ART of Welcoming”
    Jun 20, 2021
    Luke 15:1-7 “The ART of Welcoming”
    Scripture Passages: Luke 15:1-7 Message Title: “The ART of Welcoming” Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”): “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 Have you ever had an experience where you felt an abundance of welcome and hospitality?  There are so many things that can help create this feeling.  Whether it is the physical space, the people that are hosting, or simply the overall feel of the event, welcoming people in any capacity takes some manner of thought, intentionality and effort.   Our Scripture today opens with Jesus spending time with some of society’s most disliked and rejected people.  They were drawn to Jesus because of His welcoming nature, much like the father of the prodigal son (a story later in Luke 15).  We often read this story and resonate with the run-away son; afterall, we are all sinful.  Have you ever put yourself in the place of the father though?  The man lost half of his possessions to his loser son, and yet welcomes him home again with open arms and a party!  Or… are we more like the older brother? Something to take home (Practice using the club):
    1. How was your preconceived understanding of hospitality confirmed or challenged through our Scripture and Message today?  What is God calling you to enact or adjust in your life in response to this?
    2. This week, practice welcoming at least one time in each of the three aspects of welcoming - in your face, in your space, and in your place.
    3. Do a personal assessment of the Five Barriers to Welcoming.  Pick one or two that are your weakest and begin working on removing them this week.
    4. Pray specifically that God would reveal to you a person or couple that you know don’t know the Lord and with whom you could begin to develop a stronger relationship - welcoming them into your life.
  • Jun 13, 20211 John 4:7-21 “The ART of Loving”
    Jun 13, 2021
    1 John 4:7-21 “The ART of Loving”
    Scripture Passages: 1 John 4:7-21 Message Title: The ART of Loving Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”): “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 Love.  It is one of the most important words in all of Scripture.  We are reminded that God is love and that the very definition of love is found in God and is seen in His action toward us.  The Bible tells us that, even while we were still God’s enemies, He sent His Son Jesus to die so that our relationship with Him could be restored.  Regardless of the ways culture tries to co-opt or redefine the word, God’s love and purpose stands FOREVER marked as His constant work to draw humanity back into relationship with Himself. Knowing that God loves us isn’t the end of the story though.  As we have been talking about, we are Christ’s ambassadors, modeling Him with our lives.  God’s radical love for us is one that we are called to emulate in our relationships with others.  Just as God has freely offered His love to us, so too we love others unconditionally, setting ourselves (opinions, assumptions, feelings, etc.) aside for the sake of Christ. Something to take home (Practice using the club):
    1. How would you describe the way God sees you and loves you?  Make a list.  How does this list clarify the way we are called to show God’s love to other people?
    2. What does it mean to show God’s love to a stranger?  What are some practical ways you can bless those around you this week and shower them with God’s love? 
    3. Read Luke 6:27-36.  Who is in your life today that fits this category.  Pray for them right now.  How is God prompting you to reconcile with this person?  How can you show them God’s love?
    4. Who has God put on your heart today?  How does He want to use your unique love and care to impact this person’s life?
  • Jun 7, 2021Genesis 3:1-13 “The ART of Asking Questions”
    Jun 7, 2021
    Genesis 3:1-13 “The ART of Asking Questions”
    Thoughts for Reflection: “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 “Daddy, why…”  “Daddy, what...” “Daddy, how…” There is a near constant chorus of question-asking in my household.  My children, ages 5, 3, and 1, are all in various stages of discovering things about the world that they are living in.  They are explorers, ever-curious about the things that have happened, are happening, and will happen.  Apart from observation (noticing & listening), asking questions is how they (and we) learn about why things are the way they are. Today we move into a new phase of our “Effective Evangelism” series as we talk about asking questions.  God, in the midst of the brokenness that was unfolding in the world He created, begins the work of rebuilding a connection with Adam and Eve by asking them questions.  He didn’t lead with criticism, condemnation, or an “I told you so.”  We too can build connections by asking good questions, trusting God to open the doors to a deeper understanding of those we are called to in this community. Questions to take home:
    1. Think of a time when you felt genuinely loved and cared for because someone was engaging you with good questions.  Think of a time where someone was asking you questions that seemed to only fit their own agenda.  What made those moments good or bad?
    2. What makes a good question?  Read Luke 10:25-37 & Mark 8:27-38.  How does Jesus model good question asking in these narratives?
    3. How does attitude and heart play into good question asking?  Read Philippians 2:3-5.  How does this alter or confirm your earlier answer?  What might you need to do this week to align your heart and attitude with this Scripture passage?
  • May 30, 2021Mark 10:46-52 “The ART of Listening”
    May 30, 2021
    Mark 10:46-52 “The ART of Listening”
    Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”): “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.”  2 Corinthians 5:16 We live in a world that is filled to the brim with noise and busyness, living our lives on the run from this thing to that with our raidos on or our headphones in.  We HEAR so much on a normal day, but how much we actually LISTEN is a subject for much debate.  Sadly, this norm has translated into our relationships as well.  We are a part of conversations that we are not even listening to; we are there but not present. Scripture calls us to something deeper, though, and as always we look to Jesus as our model.  Whether it was children running to Him, a sick woman, or a blind man calling out for Him, Jesus never ignores; His attention is never divided.  He hears them and then draws them in so He can listen to them.  In giving them His time and His ear, He shows them that they are important to Him and that He loves them.  As we practice the ART of Spiritual Conversations, we are called to model the same, truly listening both to God and to those He places in our lives. Something to take home (Practice using the club):
    1. What is the difference between listening and hearing?  What do you think causes us to practice hearing more than listening?  How can you intentionally adjust your hearing habits toward active listening?
    2. Practice listening to someone this week without offering any advice or trying to fix things.  Ask good questions and just listen.  (Suggestion: start with your spouse and/or children)
    3. Ask an unchurched friend, neighbor, or acquaintance this question: “I’ve been wondering if you’ve ever met anyone or experienced anything that made God seem real to you?”  Listen intently to their response, reflect back to them what you heard them say, and invite them to clarify anything you may have misunderstood.  Don’t interrupt or offer your own opinions - just listen well, and pray.
  • May 23, 2021Youth Sunday 2021
    May 23, 2021
    Youth Sunday 2021
  • May 16, 20211 John 5:13-14; Matthew 9:35-38 “The ART of Praying”
    May 16, 2021
    1 John 5:13-14; Matthew 9:35-38 “The ART of Praying”
    Last week, Pastor Jon shared a message on the “Art of Noticing”. Today Pastor Jim follows up with a second crucial tool – the “Art of Praying”.
     
    Nineteenth-century evangelist George Muller was a godly man known for his tenacious practice of purposeful prayer. It was his belief that prayer could influence people toward true faith in Christ, and his life evidenced this conviction. He prayed faithfully, he prayed daily, and he prayed by name for unbelievers he personally knew.
     
    In his book George Muller: Man of Faith and Miracles, author Basil Miller recounts the evangelist’s experience praying for five not-yet Christians in his life:
     
    In November 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of 5 individuals. I prayed every day, whether sick or in well, on land or sea. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the 5 was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years later, the second was converted. I thanked God for the second and prayed on for the other three. Day by day I continued to pray for them, and 6 years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the 3 and went on praying for the other two.
     
    Shortly after the death of George Muller in 1898, the two men for whom he had prayed over half a century finally turned to Jesus. It is hard to overemphasize the power of praying intentionally for specific individuals.
     
    WRITE DOWN the names of 2 or 3 people you have NOTICED in the last
    week – or maybe the name (s) of someone God has brought to your mind
    just this morning.
    1. ______________________________
    2. ______________________________
    3. ______________________________
    Commit to pray specifically for them this week – for a set amount of time each day.
     
    Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and eyes to know HOW and WHAT to pray.
     
    Choose a prayer partner and join together at least once this week (more, if possible) to pray for those on each of your lists – ‘praying in agreement' with each other. If it’s not feasible to do
    this in person, you could also do this together over the phone.
  • May 9, 2021Matthew 9:35-38; Luke 8:43-48 “The ART of Noticing”
    May 9, 2021
    Matthew 9:35-38; Luke 8:43-48 “The ART of Noticing”
    Thoughts for Reflection (A club for your “Evangelism Golf Bag”):
     
     
    “From now on, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view.” 2 Corinthians 5:16 Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we see Him interacting with every person he encounters. Whether it was the “unclean” Samaritan woman, a blind man, Zacchaeus, the woman just brushes his cloak or the crowds around him. All of this begins with noticing. Jesus was aware of the people around Him; He was willing to see them.
     
    The notion of “Evangelism” is uncomfortable for many Christians because we wrongly think of it as pounding down the doors of unknown strangers with our Bibles, trying to cram Jesus down their throats. For Jesus, however, we see that the first step for Him in building a relationship with people is simply noticing them. To see people through the eyes of Jesus, it means that we must first be willing to open our eyes, to put our tasks aside, and intentionally look at those around us.
     
    Something to take home (Practice using the club):
    Noticing is a relational act of kindness that anyone can do. It doesn’t take any courage, but it just requires that you do it. What can you do this week to be more intentionally aware of the people around you in your everyday life?
     
    Noticing people can move us to compassion and action as people become real to us, in need of a real Savior. Pray this week that God would help you to see people the way Jesus saw the crowds. Noticing is the first step to bringing someone the good news about Jesus.
     
    Noticing is a precursor to knowing. How will you create space in your life to intentionally notice those around you? As you start to see people, pray for them and for the work God is doing in their lives as well.
  • May 2, 20212 Corinthians 5:16-6:2 “Effective Evangelism”
    May 2, 2021
    2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2 “Effective Evangelism”
    Thoughts for Reflection: My golf bag contains approximately 16 golf clubs, 50+ golf balls (mostly ones I’ve found), and hundreds of tees, amongst other things.  On average, I probably use 5-6 different clubs in a round of golf… when I actually play.  Every club has a purpose, so I am told and is useful for different situations.  Truthfully, I carry clubs in my bag that I have no idea how, and therefore no intention to use.  I’ve tried some of these “less-used” clubs at times; it is amusing, at best, to everyone around me. The Christian life is kind of like my golf bag.  We have lots of “clubs” and Scripture tells us that they are all useful.  There are things like discipleship, different kinds of prayer, worship, devotions, and evangelism.  Most of us are pretty comfortable using a few of the clubs in our bag but tend to avoid most of the others…  Over the next several weeks we’re going to look at some of the so-called “clubs” in our Christian bag and how we can use them to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those around us. Questions to take home:
    1. What do you think of when you hear the term “evangelism”?  How do you react to that term?  Why do you think you respond that way?
    2. Paul writes that we are “Christ’s ambassadors as though God was making His appeal through us.”  Take a minute to think about that.  How does it settle with you?  How are you being an ambassador for Christ in your life?
    3. One of our Mission Metrics states: I actively seek opportunities to share the Gospel with people.  On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you say you land on this?  Remember that number; we’ll ask this question again in August.
  • Apr 25, 2021James 1:22-25; 2:14-26 “Faith in Action”
    Apr 25, 2021
    James 1:22-25; 2:14-26 “Faith in Action”
    Thoughts for Reflection: As we talked about last week, we who are In-Christ are, by the grace of God, given gifts by the Holy Spirit that we are then called to use in ministry to build Christ’s Church and God’s Kingdom.  Everyone was challenged to spend some time identifying and discerning their gifts (www.giftstest.com is one resource) and praying over how God was calling them to use their gifts in ministry and Kingdom work here at HCC and in Hopkins. Today we are hosting a “Ministry Fair”, a chance for you to take what you have discerned and put it into action through the ministries of Hopkins Community Church.  As we respond to God’s Word today, we will be sent out to learn about, interact around, and ultimately find a place or places that God is calling us to here at HCC that we can use our gifts to build His church here and his Kingdom in the Hopkins community.  Here is a list of the ministries that are represented: Property Team Deacons Sunday School (3 yrs. - High School) GEMS Cadets Middle School Youth Group High School Youth Group Adult Discipleship Meals Team Worship Team Outreach Team Congregational Care Hospitality Team Security Team Nursery Walk Out Worship Ladies for the Lord Additionally, Kathy will have a table set up to assist people in getting connected to the new Church Center app that will become the central hub of communication for HCC.
  • Apr 18, 2021Romans 12:1-8 “Playing to Your Strengths”
    Apr 18, 2021
    Romans 12:1-8 “Playing to Your Strengths”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
    Over the last few decades, there has been a measurable increase in the use of personality profiles and “strengths” evaluations. Educators, counselors, and employers have all identified the need and advantage to knowing and encouraging their students, clients, and employees to use and leverage their strengths for their own advantage and that of the institution they are a part of. None of this, however, is new. Humans have been doing this for thousands of years.
     
    Whether it is positions assigned on sports teams or careers chosen by young people, we all tend to gravitate toward what we are both passionate about and good at. Christ-followers have an added layer to this in the form of Spiritual Gifting. We, who are in Christ, are given gifts by God through the Holy Spirit which, in some cases, offer us additional super-natural giftings, and in others further leverage our natural passions and talents but do so for Church growing, Body-building, KINGDOM purposes to the glory of God.
     
    Questions to take home:
    Read Ephesians 4:1-16. What do you read here about unity? What do you see here about Spiritual Gifts? How are they related?
    Read 1 Corinthians 12. What do you see here about Spiritual Gifts? What does Paul say about their appropriate use within the Body of Christ (Church)?
    Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-8. How does this passage on giving relate to the other passages on Spiritual Gifts and their use within the Body of Christ and for the Kingdom of God?
    Go to “www.giftstest.com” and take the Spiritual Gifts assessment. What is confirmed from this? What is surprising to you? Write down or bring the results with you next week to church!
  • Apr 11, 2021John 3:1-12 “You Must Be Born Again”
    Apr 11, 2021
    John 3:1-12 “You Must Be Born Again”
    Series: Discipleship