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Life at Cross of Christ | January 2016

Life at Cross of Christ | January 2016

At Cross of Christ, we believe that community is a gift.

Here is a snapshot of the life of the Cross of Christ community from January 2016

Tag your photos with #crossofchristoc to be included in future posts.


SECOND ANNIVERSARY SERVICE

BABY DEDICATIONS

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NEW SERMON SERIES

As a church, we believe God is a creative God (Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19) and that we should steward our gifts for his glory (Romans 12:1-2). We are excited and thankful that husband and wife team Tim and Katie Wright created the art for our new sermon series.

COMMUNITY GROUPS SERVING THEIR CITIES

Last month the Orange Community Group served their city by picking oranges to donate to a local food bank. They then headed over to Hopper & Burr (owned by our very own Truman Severson) to enjoy some coffee and time together.

View the full Photo Set on Flickr.

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Grace Upon Grace | 2015 Annual Report

Grace Upon Grace | 2015 Annual Report

As we close out our second year as a church we are continuing to see the way in which God is forming and growing our community; “Renewal-empowered mission” is the clearest way to articulate it. We want our mission – to help people know God’s love in Jesus, and to bring the Gospel to bear in every aspect of their life – to start with us, in our own hearts and lives first.

Perhaps the best way to show you is through our story and people.

We’ve doubled the number of Community Groups from three to six and just under 60% of Cross of Christ are in Community Groups.

Our attendance is up an average of 31% on Sundays.

We now have 33 members and 7 deacons committed to loving and serving our church.

We got to baptize a deacon.

We brought Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), David Zahl (Mockingbird Ministries), and Brett McCracken (Christianity Today) together for the Love, Suffering, & Creativity event in August.

We served the poor in Orange County through food drives and adopting families through Families Forward.

We moved into a new Sunday location that is great for both worship and mission.

We held two great retreats for our men (in Julien, CA) and women (in Lake Arrowhead).

We helped financially support 23 other churches in the Acts 29 and Sojourn networks and have given away over $6700 in benevolence to needs in our church.


Who do you say Jesus is?

“I don’t know how else to put this, but Jesus is the coolest person who ever lived. He is both fully God and fully man. He knew exactly what to say and how to say it. He walked with captivating power and dignity, and yet His actions were of humility and service. He is Messiah in all the moments I cannot run from my sin. He is near when my actions or thoughts isolate me. He is my companion, sharing my adventures and passions and sorrows. He is King over all the things I can’t do and don’t understand. He fights for my heart and never ceases in sending scripture, circumstances, or community to combat all my stone walls and rebellion. He is all of these and more, and as desperately as I need Him, his character is not dependent on anything that has to do with me. Show me someone cooler than that.” - Melissa


How has Jesus been faithful to you?

“He pursues me when I’m not pursuing him, he blesses me when there is absolutely no reason I deserve to be blessed. Actually, when I think about it, it's really hard to not see how Jesus has been faithful to me.” - Ben

 


Thank you for being a conduit of God’s provision and grace for us this year. We couldn’t exist without your support and I’m excited to see what God does in and through Cross of Christ in 2016!

Gratefully,

Pastor Nick Bogardus

If you want to help the mission of Cross of Christ and the Gospel go forth in 2016,  please consider giving a tax deductible donation or setting up recurring giving.


Gospel Centered Life | The Gospel in the City

Gospel Centered Life | The Gospel in the City

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Philippians 2:4-8

Scriptures Referenced: Psalm 29:3-4, Jeremiah 10:12, Deuteronomy 4:37, Luke 1:34-35, Romans 8:11, Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Philippians 2:4-8

New City Catechism: Question #36 | What do we believe about the Holy Spirit? That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.

QUOTES

"Power is simply (and not so simply) the ability to participate in that stuff-making, meaning-making process that is the most distinctive thing that human beings do."

— Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power

“The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays, not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on his shoes but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”

— Martin Luther

"Most people think of ‘wickedness’ as disobeying the Ten Commandments, as actively breaking the law by lying or committing adultery. And those things are of course wicked! But lying and adultery are best understood as the visible tip of the iceberg of wickedness. Below the surface, less visible but no less wicked, are things like not feeding the poor when we have the power to do so, or taking so much income out of the business we own that our employees are paid poorly, or shoveling snow from our own driveway without even thinking to do the same for our elderly neighbors. In all these ways we disadvantage others by advantaging ourselves."

— Tim Keller, Center Church

“Why do we not observe that it is their [Christians’] benevolence to strangers…and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done the most to increase atheism [Christianity]…For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilieans support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us.” 

— Roman Emperor Julian, AD 361-363

SONGS

Come and Stand Amazed

Oh, For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

Man of Sorrows

How Great Thou Art

Jude Doxology

 

You Have Been Shaped More Than You Realize

You Have Been Shaped More Than You Realize

You have been shaped by your culture, probably in ways you don’t even know. In a well-known commencement speech, David Foster Wallace tells this parable to illustrate a similar point:

Find Yourself Here

Find Yourself Here

One Way to Love: Understand

Each mission field has it’s own unique challenges. In the last blog, we mentioned that one mistake many Christians can make is to think that missions is only for the really serious Christians, as opposed to every Christian being a part of God’s mission. Connected to that distortion is another: mission is what someone does when they cross an ocean. Certainly international missions are part of Christ’s command in Matthew 28 (“all nations”) but he didn’t mean to do that at the expense of our neighbors. A great correction that many believers have made in recent years is to remind one another that our primary mission field is right in front of us, among the people and in the place God has put us (Acts 17:26).  

One way to show love is to understand. When I first started dating my wife, Continue Reading

Why You Should Be on God's Mission in Orange County

Why You Should Be on God's Mission in Orange County

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Know Yourself, Know Your Setting

I believe in game film. I believe that before you face an opponent, you need to know what his tendencies are on offense and defense. Do they run a spread or pro-style offense? Can their weak side linebacker cover a tight end? Is their coach a risk-taker or a meticulous manager?

I believe that before you go into battle you need to have done reconnaissance. What are the natural boundaries of the battlefield? What are the resources available? Who trained their men?

I believe that before you preach the Gospel, you need to know the idols the people worship. What is it that they love? Where do they go for comfort? Who are the most influential voices in the culture? How is Jesus the only one who can fill what they are looking for?

And I believe that in any of those scenarios, you first need to know who you are. Where do you find your identity? How are you uniquely gifted for the task and what are your blind spots? Who are your biggest influences and how have they effected you positively and negatively?


God never pulls you in without sending you out.
— Tim Keller

On God’s Mission, Recipients Are Participants

Biblically, we see Paul doing this in Athens in Acts 17 (v 16, 22) as he addresses the leaders of Athens by using their polytheism as a starting point to preach Jesus, the only one worthy of worship. We see it in the various letters of the New Testament, each written to a particular group of people, addressing particular concerns. In the helpful and comprehensive book The Mission of God, Christopher Wright’s shows us that mission originates in the nature of God, He is a missionary God. So, before the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, or David Livingstone, the famous missionary to Africa, were participants on God’s mission, they were recipients of it. God's mission to bring reconciliation between him and man (2 Cor 5) and to restore all in creation that sin has marred (Rev 21) is one that God initiates, that God brings us in to, and that He allows us to participate in.

Seeing that mission originates from God himself counters two errors Christians can fall in to. Both errors stem from seeing mission as optional, as a subset of a believer’s life or a program of a church. On one hand, some Christians can fall in to the error of apathy. Because mission is optional in life or a program for the ‘varsity’ Christians, some believers may think they can ‘opt out’. On the other hand, some Christians can fall in to the error of arrogance - that because they are the ones on the short-term mission trips, planting a church, or even doing long-term missions work that somehow mission is encapsulated in their particular cause. 

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
— John 17:18

 

Humbly and Gratefully Urgent

How did you come to faith in Jesus? Seeing that every believer is a recipient of God’s mission before they are a participant gives us the only sustainable motivation for a life on mission. Because God has sustained his mission from the Garden to the cross and through the centuries, and because he used a myriad of people to bring you to faith - friends or parents who prayed, a small group who patiently pursued you, co-workers and friends who talked to you about Jesus - you can’t be apathetic or arrogant! You can only be humbly and gratefully urgent. 

 

When I was young I thought I knew everything. I distinctly remember, in my mid-20’s (pray it doesn’t take you that long), having the terrifying realization that so much of what my parents said was right. It was like that moment in the Sixth Sense when you realize that Bruce Willis was a ghost - it changed my entire interpretation of history. They weren’t domestic dictators, they were loving enough to tell me ‘no’. They weren’t Puritanical when they told me that I didn’t need to be out late because ‘nothing good happens after midnight’; they were largely right. With long-suffering and tears they patiently disciplined me, prayed for me, and nurtured me at my worst until one day it ‘clicked’ in me and they finally got a ‘thank you’. How can I not be thankful for that? How can I not want to tenaciously carry on that legacy to my kids? How could I arrogantly take credit for who I am when so much of it has been received? I am a recipient of grace who, at my best, wants to humbly, gratefully, and urgently pass it on. So it is with receiving and participating in grace on God’s mission.

 

Why Plant Cross of Christ Church

Over the coming weeks we will be looking at what has informed the planting of Cross of Christ Church in Orange County - a summary of the history of the region, the cultural forces that resulted, how they manifest themselves in the region and more largely in our generation. My heart is for the message of Jesus we boldly, lovingly, passionately, gracefully declare in the hopes that tens of thousands will be reconciled to the Father by faith in Jesus, dozens of churches that work towards renewal, reconciliation, and restoration will be planted in the name of Jesus, and the legacy of an entire region altered.